Developing routines can provide a significant return on a relatively small investment. For instance, I’ve gotten in the habit of doing 20-30 minutes of push-ups and core strengthening every morning. My running has definitely benefitted from this routine.
Routine implies doing something similar and that is only true to a degree for me. Lori gave me the P90X workout several years ago and I absolutely believe in the premise that you benefit more from confusing the muscles by doing something different each day. While being creative or doing something new every day with core strengthening is challenging, I try to incorporate as much variety as possible.
There are many benefits to having a strong core and upper body; in running and beyond. I undoubtedly run hills better, breathe easier and become less tired at the completion of my runs because I’m able to sustain my form throughout each run. Beyond running, having a strong core and strong upper body ensures I have better posture and become less fatigued. I’m also able to accomplish tasks like shoveling snow or carrying 40 lb. bags of pellets from our basement to our stove upstairs without any difficulty. Limiting or preventing back issues can also be attributed to a strong core.
I recommend assessing your overall fitness to identify areas requiring improvement. Develop a plan to improve these areas and you will not only feel better but you will be more likely to achieve your running goals, particularly on April 18th 2011.
That will be a small investment of time and effort that you’ll be happy you made!