Core Training

Hi everyone,

Currently training for VLM and lots of posts on here refer to maintaining core training at the same time. Could anyone give me some sort of idea what core training to do? To give you an idea, I run 3 times a week (1 tempo, 1 fartlek, 1 long) and finish every session with 100 pressups, 100 situps (routine from old semi pro footy days!)

But is this enough and also is this what everyone is referring to re 'core' training?




  • Apparently, there's a weird exercise known as 'stomach vacuum' that is very effective at working the core.  Google it, certainly looks interesting and doesn't take long, so I'm giving it a shot.image

  • When you said stomach vacuum, I thought you meant this!

  • That was my initial reaction as well when I first heard of it. image

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    Martenkay wrote (see)


  • Wow just watched that Vimeo video - That looks solid.

    My wife will think i've gone mad if i start pretending to swim on the wooden floor lol. image

  • Some of the Core H routine is hard work.  The Vs require balance and the swimming requires coordination, both of which still seem to be be beyond me. 

    Load of altenatives here.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    Lou Diamonds wrote (see)


    Load of altenatives here.

    That's a useful link, not least because it contains some back and glute strengthening exercises, which I think the Core H video is a bit light on, but which are very useful for runners.  Gotta love glute bridges.

  • If you can fit it in it is worth doing a Pilates, Yoga or Body Balance class once a week.  Go along a few times to learn the moves and get the technique right and then you can continue to do them on your own.

    Core exercises are often done wrongly and then they are of no benefit.  Technique is everything and its hard to get that from watching youTube clips

  • Brilliant. Thanks for all the help guys!

  • Excellent links those video are hard "core"
  • Sorry to be negative but none of those exercises will help improve your running. There is quite a bit of research around that shows that typical core training exercises such as plank, crunches using exercises balls etc has no affect on running performance.

    There is no reason why it should, the exercises look nothing like running and dont follow any of the conditions of the basic rule of exercise ie specific adaptation to imposed demand.

    At best they are a waste of time , at worse they are making your core weaker.

    This isn't my opinion is what the research indicates.

    To understand more and read what the researchers have to say have a read of these articles
  • Andrew, I welcome your opinion but runners need strength, look at what Salatzar said about Mo when he first came to Portland.

    "Alberto said I ran like a girl. I didn't use my arms when I was sprinting. When I was tired I was all over the place. I was weak. We strengthened my core, my weight, running on the underwater treadmill, the gravity, the chamber that freezes you. I did all that to get stronger,"

    Like all research or opinion you always get two sides but a quick ten mins a few times a week should do more good than bad.


  • I still argue that it's a waste of time. There is no research to suggest that it has any benefit and plenty of sound arguments it doesn't .

    I agree runners need strength and I argue that core training exercises should be dynamic , three dimensional and performed standing up. In fact the American College of sports medicine in 2010 said exactly that.

    There are plenty of better ways to train the core than the way 99% of people do it now.

    Traditional core exercises do improve core strength ( all the research I have seen agree with this) BUT improved core strength doesn't equal improved running performance.

    In the same way that people who can do a heavy squat in the gym aren't the best runners. There are thousands of people who can squat heavier than Mo Farah in the gym but can't run sub 4 min k's let alone sub 3 minute.

    Improved strength doesn't equal improved performance , improved SPECIFIC strength equals improved performance. Current core training exercises are a long way away from being anywhere new specific.

    Years ago we all thought static stretching was the thing to do before we run whereas now we know its actually detrimental. In a few years time exercises like cruches and plank will be looked upon the same way.

    We can either bury our head in the sand and ignore the scientific research and sound arguments that explain why planks and crunches are a waste of time or move forward or change the way we work our core and make it more effective for runners.

    Just because Mo did core training doesn't mean it's worth doing. It wasn't the only think Mo did differently to make him the champion he is.

    I'll say it again there is NO evidence that planks and crunches improve performance in running and the idea that it would goes against basic biomechanics and physiology.

    One of the fundamental rules of exercise is the specific adaptation to imposed demand , which basically says

    The benefits of an exercise are limited to the loads used, range of movement, joint angles, body position and speed of the movement.

    Planks and crunches use slow movements, whilst lying on the floor not moving arms and legs with very little range of movement.

    Running is performed standing up, dynamically, with arms and legs moving in opposite directions .

    Nothing like each other hence no benefit.

    This is not my view its the view of the American College of Sports Medicine and numerous other researchers.

    There are far more effective ways to train the core and I argue that if researchers show that traditional core exercises don't improve performance then they are a complete waste of time.
  • So, what would you recommend Andrew?
  • JeremyGJeremyG ✭✭✭

    You are right to an extent Andrew in that core exercises will not make you run faster or be a better runner. What it will help you with is that you will be able to maintain the correct posture for running for longer. It is about efficiency while running so the longer you can maintain posture the more efficient you are and can last longer. If you want to run faster or have more endurance then yes you need to be doing running specific training. On a recent marathon talk or talk ultra they interviewed the chap from science of sport (or something like that ) and as far as I understood it this is what he was saying (based on research) and as you say people shouldn't believe that doing a few core exercises is a magic bullet to being a better runner.

  • There is not even any research to show that core exercises enable to maintain correct posture for running longer.

    I agree that being able to maintain good form and posture will help to run faster for longer but there is no evidence that tradional core exercise do this.

    There is actually very little evidence that core exercises improve posture full stop let alone during a dynamic activity like running.

    Core exercises do help but if and only if the exercises are specific to runners. Since most coaches and trainers dont understand how the core works when we run its not surprising they trot out the same old planks , side planks , crunches etc.

    A far better series of exercises that are running specific can be found here
  • Andrew DuBois wrote (see)

    I'll give those a try.  Don't think i'm quite ready to ditch the crunches just yet though. 

Sign In or Register to comment.