Like plenty of other runners, I spend some of my time trying to run faster, with less effort. I suppose that’s really what this “training” thing boils down to. There are not many magic bullets to this process; the training which is the most helpful is not always the most painful or the most unpleasant, but it is always work.
It turns out, though, that I’m finding if I stick to the running workouts – the fun workouts – and forget some of the other key parts, then no matter how much work I put in, there’s a plateau. The back starts getting sore when running, the body starts to get tired before it should. I feel a little bit like this is what’s been happening to me over the last year – random small injuries showing up and hampering training, sore back near the end of races.
Maybe I’m just getting old… but I suppose that excuse won’t fly with most people. I think I’ve been forgetting core work. Abs, flexors, back, all the things that hold me together, maybe they’re just falling apart. It turns out that core work is not too hard to do – half an hour at a time if there’s time, or 5 or 10 minutes in the morning or the evening, on a regular basis, is all it takes. If you aren’t doing some core – start doing some core! If you are – keep it up! It’s a good habit to get into, and it helps with the running. And the skiing. And the surfing. And pretty much everything else.