Core training for endurance runners

Core training plays an important role in the endurance runner’s overall training programme. It improves running form and overall athletic performance and reduces the risk of injury.
The core is much more than just the abs. It includes all the muscles that stabilize and support the pelvis, spine, and trunk.
Core training should generally take place three times per week. Whether you run before or after work, schedule your core training at the opposite side of the day or during lunchtime, so that it won’t detract from your running.
Follow the sequence of exercises, do it twice. Make sure you fully recover between the two sets, rest 15 – 20 secs between exercises. Start with the following repetitions but increase it as you progress:

Abdominal crunch

20 repetitions

Leg pushaway

20 repetitions

Lying bridge

6 repetitions of 5 seconds each – squeeze the glutes when bringing the hips up

Swan
12 repetitions

Back extension
12 repetitions

Plank

4 repetitions of 14 seconds each

Side plank

3 repetitions of 10 seconds each

Standing knee hold

20 seconds on each leg

About Author:

Quintus van Rensburg is an Athletics South Africa Certified Coach, registered with Western Province Athletics. He serves on the Western Province Athletics Statistics Standing Committee and on the Bellville Athletics Management Committee as records official, statistician and coach. He competes in road running in distances ranging from 10 km to 100 km, with a focus on endurance events.

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