You’ve probably heard it a few times – runners need to work on their core – but sometimes when you hear something over and over and over it just becomes noise, part of the scenery. I, like so many other runners, religiously work on my core. I do planks and bridges and mountain climbers and supermans and leg lifts and yadda yadda yadda.
Tonight on my run, I realized that a strong core does actually make a difference.
Our track was iced over from the
snow doom slight frosting we got this weekend this weekend so we ran loops on the college that so graciously allows us to take over their campus like a neon, neurotic, bouncing Las Vegas light show. The first loop (roughly 1.4 miles) was just a nice, comfortable warm-up. The second was half marathon race pace, and the third was tempo pace (basically 10k race pace).
Admittedly, I’m not the best at pacing, and the second loop was a fair bit faster than HM race pace (about 45 seconds faster per mile, but who’s counting?), meaning I was pretty tired by the time I got to the end of my (even faster) third loop. I could feel my form breaking down, but then I noticed something – my core muscles were holding me in and upright; I wasn’t collapsing like a tired, soggy wet noodle. I don’t really know how to describe it, but there was a very different sensation. It was one of those epiphany moments when you realize that hard work that isn’t all that visible (I’m looking at you, pudgy tummy) is actually worth it!
Once we commit to being runners, often times our progress plateaus or comes in fits and bursts. It can be hard when mother nature is mocking you and you don’t seem to be making progress. But then one night, when you least expect it, bam! Progress.