One of the perks of having a fiance who works in physical therapy means that you get to hang out with physical therapists a lot. As a runner, this is a good thing because they are super smart people who know a lot about the body… so if you talk about a random pain, they can fix it. Case in point: IT Band.

Anyways, we were talking about running (duh) and they were laughing about runners and how a) we don’t like to stretch and b) we have the worst cores around. All I could say was its because runners just want to run, and I think it’s so true. It took me the longest time to start stretching, and when I did it was only for 10-15 seconds per stretch. I just started regularly doing core in the past year or so, but before that I would just hit the showers right after a run.

If you want to become a better runner, you need to stretch, do core and strengthen your arms. Yeah, right, right? I think if I had three hours to dedicate to my workout every day, I could be a MUCH better runner, mostly because I would have more time to do all of these! But this is how I was able to work these into my routines without adding too much extra time:

  • Set your alarm five minutes earlier. As a compromise to my body for becoming a early morning runner, I let myself lollygag in bed for a few minutes before I actually get up. But I try to get up five or ten minutes earlier than I need to so I have time to stretch and do exercises after my run.
  • Keep it short. At least in the beginning, try to keep your “extra” workouts short. I try to do around three or four different core/arm exercises and use those to feel the burn. If I’m in a hurry (like today), I cut it down to one or two — something is better than nothing.
  • Do it at a different time. There is nothing that says you have to do an arm or ab workout the same time when you do your run… instead, think about doing it when you are watching TV later or at some other point in the day. That way you won’t be as rushed and it will be a better workout overall.

Do you strengthen your arms and core? Do you have any tips on how to work it into your workout routine? 

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