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Core, mobility and weight training - 4 tips to help your running in 2019

Personal trainer David Last has worked with runners of all ages and abilities.

Running is enjoying huge growth in Ireland.
Running is enjoying huge growth in Ireland.
Image: Shutterstock/Mooshny

THEY SAY ONCE January passes us by, so too do our New Year’s resolutions — but that doesn’t mean you’ve to completely abandon your healthy lifestyle choices moving forward in February.

I’m a big advocate of getting outdoors and running has become a hugely-popular mass participation sport, whether it’s the weekly Parkruns or the Dublin Marathon. 

In this week’s article, I’m going to look at areas you can concentrate on to compliment your running routine, regardless of your goals and aspirations. 

I train clients who are looking to complete their first 5km race, their first marathon or even an ultra marathon, but the same principles apply no matter your fitness level or the distance you’re hoping to run. 

Are you mobile?

The big thing I notice when working with a new client is their mobility and flexibility. Having worked with many runners down through the years, I cannot emphasise how easy it is to pick up silly niggles during your training. And a lot of this comes down to mobility and stretching. 

Of course, you are always vulnerable to this whatever training plan you follow but you really shouldn’t be picking up anything too serious once you look after your body the right way.

People who run a lot really need to assess their mobility and then go work on areas that are tight or inactive. Mobility work isn’t generally seen as cool and a lot of the time you won’t see the fitness industry focus on this — but it’s just as important as anything else.

If you are unsure on how to assess yourself with a basic mobility screen then go check out the video below or go source a trainer who has the knowledge to do so.

Running with a limited range of motion, tight inactive or stiff muscles is like driving your car with your handbrake on. Down the line, it’s going to lead to an eventual stop with an injury.

Source: David Last/YouTube

Incorporate some weight training

If you are running at least twice a week then this is something I would suggest for you to consider bringing into your plan.

It’s only going to help you stay strong during those runs along with keeping your bones, joints and muscles in good condition as you continue to clock the miles.

Lower body unilateral movements are perhaps my favourite to add to my weight training programme — so they’re exercises like lunges, step ups or bridges.

Below, I have included a video of my favourite drills for both beginners and advanced runners.

Source: David Last/YouTube

Add core work into every session

Core work is essential. In all of my clients’ sessions we will generally add in core work at some stage of our session and if you are out running then it really should be at the top of the list as it will compliment your overall performance.

My top tip here is to have at least one core block of 2-4 exercises paired in with your running session. This doesn’t have to be a 10-minute routine of sit-ups. I would advise something a little smarter like a 10-minute routine consisting of planks, holds and variations of twists and rotations.

Below is a video of my top five core exercises you can slot in easily after your running session.

Source: David Last/YouTube

Look after your body

Running will take its toll on our body and that is just something we have to accept.

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However, it doesn’t mean every time you step out with the trainers on you should be struggling with shin splints, muscle pain or overall fatigue as the sessions go on.

When you train it’s pretty normal to be sore every now and then with some delayed onset of muscle soreness but it’s how you manage it that can make things a little easier.

Simple things like drinking adequate fluids, fueling your body the right way and getting enough recovery in is what is best.

If you are someone who is constantly tight and sore then you should look at incorporating some basic stretches, Epsom baths, recovery walks, yoga or even a simple body maintenance plan just like the video below.

Source: David Last/YouTube

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information, you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send me a direct message here.   

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David Last

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