Friday, June 12, 2015

Tame The Monster Within – Step 3

Core Body - Relax the Hips

    As we continue with our series Taming Your Monster we move our body scan from upper body to your core body. This is where many runners take things for granted. Problems here start with being over your BMI Body Mass Index and carrying an extra 10 or more pounds, not developing core muscles to maintain good running posture and bending from the waste versus leaning forward from the ankles.

Let’s take a closer looking at these principles and one additional as they relate to your core body:

  1. For a really great run you’ll need to keep your weight down. For this I’ve setup a site called MyCarbBuster. Carbs are the main ingredient to that spare tire around your core body. When I started running I thought I could carb load at will and would burn them off with my 40 to 55 mile weeks. However, it wasn’t till my type 2 Diabetes lead me down the road of carb busting and losing and additional 25 pounds that I saw my PR’s Personal Records start to drop in a big way. If you want more information check out the site on Know your BMI. Also, check out the great ways to do some of your own CarbBusting and cut into your PR’s by leaving the spare tire at home. 
  2. Without developing your core body you can’t help but bend at the waist as you get deep into your Marathon Run. Yes, this is where the crunches come in as well as a few other floor exercises. I put in 30 minutes, 5 days a week for my floor exercises; avoiding core work outs on long run days. The floor exercises address the strength side of the core body. However, there also is a mind side to the core body; this is where I take the monster out of my head and put him to work. Strap a rope around your monster and let it pull you from the waste and open up the road ahead of you. This little mind trick works great when your deep into a Marathon Run. The Monster pull should be just enough to ensure you’re not bending at the waste. 
  3. Straightening up your body to give yourself a clean lean starting at the ankles can also come from a couple other tips. For me; one is how I keep my arm swing back along my midsection; avoid getting your arm swing especially the elbows out in front of your body. The second, is stretching out from the head and neck upward. Extending you head and neck upward naturally pulls your waste forward and straightens out your body. With your tummy pulled in you will have the ability to control your pace by simply leaning in over your feet. 
  4. Do you have some swagger in your run? If you perform your body scan at around 6 or more miles and you identify some lower back pain; I doubt you have swagger in your run. I learned this the hard way. After struggling with lower back pain for several years of during the long runs I came across “Chi Running” by Danny Dreyer. After making some minor adjustment and relaxing my hips; allowing some swagger in my run, the back pain was history. The “Chi Running” by Danny Dreyer is a recommended read; here it the Amazon link just in case you are interested (Chi Running Link).
    Of the four areas we are addressing in the Taming Your Monster series the core body is the most straightforward and simple. As I went after better times, it also had the greatest impact on my run times.
    As you get out and run don’t forget your body scan. Remember, the core body points; bending at the ankles not the waste, body extended up, imaginary monster pulling you forward from the waste and put a little swagger in your hips as you run.
 Next week we’ll be discussing the lower body. This is were we talk about your body's defense against the day and day impact of running.

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