Core Work for Runners (Or Really Anyone)

I believe the best way to learn to move effectively and efficiently is through Pilates training. My favorite Pilates method is Stott Pilates. It is the style I did with my mom in our basement when I was young. It has helped me have a resilient and balanced body throughout all the different sports and activities I have done. Here is a great introductory DVD:

https://www.merrithew.com/shop/ProductDetail/DV84132_Dvd–Basic-Pilates-Vol-1

Merrithew also has a good introductory routine online. I know it is demonstrating with kids in some of the videos, but go with it. Learning to skillfully do these movements is so important for overall health in training and life. Give these exercises your full attention and don’t do any move you can’t do correctly. You want to make sure you are teaching your body healthy movement patterns:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3PqQj6AAiKL8xy1mcJ3eos5dY5UEHyGx

This “Myrtl” Routine is great for runners to keep their hips and core strong. I like to do this as a warmup before runs (it is still core work).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mj8uZ1Qtx3M

I do this lunge matrix from Coach Jay Johnson for my warmup (instead of Myrtl), if I am outside (this is also core work, although it might not seem like it).

https://youtu.be/GJo7_MiRLkU

Below is a video of the Pilates core work I normally do after running. When you understand the basic movements of Pilates, you can play around with which exercises you do on a daily basis. These are the exercises that I normally like to keep in my routine.

I also like to do a front plank and side planks after I finish the Pilates exercises in the above video. Ideally, my everyday core workout will look like this:

  1. Warmup with Myrtl exercises or lunge matrix.
  2. Run.
  3. Pilates and plank exercises.
  4. Hip-opening yoga.

The run can be replaced with your preferred method of cardio, of course. Even if it is just an extended walk. And if this feels like too much at first, start with adding in just one thing. Maybe before you go to bed, you do some relaxing yoga poses. Starting small is the best way to introduce your body to new habits. And, be gentle with yourself! If you forget to do these things, even if it is for months at a time, just return to the practice. Everyone needs to find a routine that works with the lifestyle they have and want to create. The happiest people have figured out how to optimize whatever circumstance they are in. Like my favorite trainer, Billy Blanks, says, “Where I am today is where my mind puts me, and where I will be tomorrow is where my mind puts me.”

Hopefully this helps you guys! As always, feel free to reach out to me with questions. I am working on creating more beginner running and training posts for you!

So You Want To Be A Runner

This is the most exciting day of your life. You have decided you might want to see what it’s like to be a runner. Maybe you’ve heard of a runner’s high and you were like, “I want that,” (it is true, it is amazing). Or you envied a runner’s body (it is nice to have). For whatever reason you’re here, this is exciting, because running has made my life immensely better. And I know it can do that for you.

Before I teach you how to run, you have to understand why you run. You might think you know why and you might say, “I am running to be lean and fit, like you, Lauren.” And, I’d say, “I hear that a lot, but this can’t be why you run. Otherwise, you will give it up when it gets hard or you’re not seeing the results you wanted and you will never love running the way I love it.”

You run because running makes you the best person you can be.

You are calmer and more effective when your body is in good shape. You can pursue your passions and your career and take care of your family more effectively when your body is fit and balanced. You can process stress and trauma in healthier ways. By learning to push yourself athletically, you learn to push yourself in other areas of your life.

Becoming the best person and athlete you can be doesn’t end with one run or race. It is a process that lasts a lifetime. It doesn’t matter if you can only jog one minute and it doesn’t matter if you slow down as you age. It doesn’t matter if Jim is faster than you. It doesn’t matter if you’re injured and cannot run.

It is always about how running challenges you and shapes you. It matters that you do not give up when it gets hard and that you learn that working hard is fun.

On the other side of patience and perseverance is the illusive runner’s high and runner’s body. The runner’s high doesn’t happen every day, but when it comes, it is worth the pain. The runner’s body doesn’t happen immediately. It happens after years of falling in love with running and movement and caring deeply for your body. And when it happens, you realize you’re hot. And that confidence is invaluable.

What running does for you as a person affects you the moment you even think about trying running. So be gentle with yourself. Pat yourself on the back for going out for a walk, because every runner first walked.

Running is an amazing sport. I’m excited to help you all love running as much as I do. Feel free to message me with questions.