Soft Centred

Like most runners I tend to ignore working on my core strength in favour of running.  I know strengthening my core is important and I know why but I generally find it a chore and try to ignore it or get it over with as quickly as possible.

So why is core strength so important?  The answer is actually really simple.  A strong core will improve your running efficiency and reduce your risk of injury, especially as your training load – either intensity or volume – increases.  You’ll be able to run faster and further.  There are many articles scattered across the Internet about the benefits of core strength written by people far more qualified than I am (let’s call them experts), so I won’t go into any more detail.  You’ll just have to trust me, read this, or find yourself an expert.

My core strength work to date has been sporadic at best, with brief periods of enthusiasm and long periods of sofa surfing.  Generally this has been accompanied by the consumption of an industrial quantity of chocolate.  A practice, I’m reliably informed by those aforementioned experts, that does not go hand in hand with a strong core.  This has resulted in me having a high aerobic fitness, strong legs and a comparatively weak core.  If I were a chocolate I’d have a soft centre.  Like a caramel.

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Midland Road Relays

My return to running fitness took another huge step forward last weekend as, after what felt like a very long absence, I toed the start line of an actual race.  I was competing for my club at the 12 stage Midland Road Relays in Sutton Park on Sunday and using it as an opportunity to test out how well my hamstring has recovered.

I absolutely love the Road Relays.  This event is certainly my favourite on the club race calendar.  It is one of those very rare opportunities where you feel a part of a running team. The Road Relays are a great chance for club mates to watch each other race and cheer each other on rather than being spread out along the course in the same race.  It is a running club only event so you need to be a member of a club to take part…and if you’re not a member of a running club you should read this compelling article from ukrunchat.

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If Carlsberg Did Job Interviews…

It was with equal measures of excitement and trepidation that I set out last Saturday morning to make my way to the Hertfordshire countryside to meet with the guys at Ashmei Running having been shortlisted as a potential brand ambassador.  Yes, you read that right.  Me, a brand ambassador!  I admit the closest thing I’ve ever done that could be described as ambassadorial is wearing a suit to work but by some miracle (or possible administrative error) the good people at Ashmei had read my application and shortlisted me for their programme. Read More

February Training

Having spent most of January out of action due to a hamstring injury I was hopeful that February would see me return to running.  After 2 weeks of complete rest I started my rehabilitation with some strengthening exercises for my hamstring and core.  The cause of my hamstring injury was not, as I first thought, purely my over exuberance during a track session on New Years Eve, but actually caused partly by a mechanical issue linked to a weakness in my lower back and right hip, which in turn was most likely the result of poor rehabilitation after surgery in 2013. Read More

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