Forget just adding volume to improve your running, the key to injury-free improved performance lies in your core which is even more important if you’re a mum or hitting your forties
When it comes to the core, most people still tend to assume that these are the tummy muscles that make you look good – the six pack on men and those Instagram-worthy abs that you see on female fitness influencers. But this is not your core.
Core muscles relate to the muscles of the trunk, which include the obliques, the back muscles, pelvic floor, the TVA – all of which, working as a unit, certainly help to create a flat lean physique but more importantly, ensure stability and improved performance.
Without your core working properly – and that means you have to work it, the result will be injury and poor performance.
Your legs and arms connect to your trunk. To use an analogy of a rag doll, imagine a soft tummy of a rag doll and the loose loose, floppy arms and legs connected to the doll. If this was your body, your core would not be able to create and translate the power of the core through the arms and legs.
Now imagine a Barbie doll (for our purposes, lets picture their #morerolemodels brand including boxer Nicola Adams!) with it’s hard trunk. A hard trunk means the limbs are securely fastened, no chance of limbs getting wobbly and holding on by a thread.
Essentially, a strong core means that your pelvis and hips remain stable not only as you land and take off, but as you are travelling through the air. No hip drop, means no unbalanced landing and less risk of ITB.
It also means that your legs and arms are better able to convert power to improve your performance, from efficiency to speed.
And if you’re a mum or approaching menopause, a strong core which includes the pelvic floor, will help to prevent leakage due to the rebounding movement of running or when running hard.
Here’s three of the GRTW best three core exercises for female runner and triathletes.