This morning I met up with Tom, friend and trainer with whom I ran the Tokyo Marathon. It’s the first time in months that we’ve done a Sunday-morning run, but perfect timing for the start of a 5 month training program leading up to next February’s Marathon (which I hope we’ll get into – the lottery will be held soon).

Returning to the park that had been our start point, Tom introduced me to a new core-body workout [You Tube]. Whilst running of course is an important part of training for a marathon, it doesn’t do much for core body strength.

Q: Why is core body strength important for marathon runners?
The “core body” refers to the muscles of your torso that help you maintain your posture, whether you are running, standing, or sitting. Strong abdominal and lower back muscles will combat fatigue during the marathon and during long training runs.

So there we go. This morning we went through all of the exercises, although skipped the repetitions (which are an important part of the program). Despite having only done 25% of the overall program I found myself totally knackered at the end – I am so unfit!

Still, I’ve committed to doing this routine 3 times a week. The thing is, I don’t want the marathon to be the struggle it was last time. I don’t want to feel so exhausted I just want to give up. I want to be strong enough to, erm, carry a video rig perhaps…

I also have this idea that I’m going to end up running ultramarathons or compete in triathlons, and need to prepare for that. I’d like to do the Oxfam Trailwalker again – running.

Another motivation for doing this is that I tend to spend most of my waking hours sitting down in front of a computer. It’s not healthy, and I need a balance. I’m aware that I have poor posture too. These exercises will help with that, and I hope will also lead to a generally healthier, more energised Joseph.

Today’s run stats

Oh, on a side note, I’m still loving Runkeeper. I feel it really is the best app on the market for tracking your progress – so much so that I’ve just signed up for their Elite program. The key feature of the elite program is the ability to live-stream your run – not in terms of video, but in terms of GPS coordinates (and thus speed etc).

I’ve experimented with the NIKE + GPS app that was recently released, but have been pretty disappointed. The two issues I have with it are a) accuracy – recorded distance seems to differ considerably from actual distance run, which is odd considering it’s using GPS b) the all-flash website it connects to, which I find suffers from slow response times and is lacking in the features I want. Nike have said themselves (in a Twitter reply to a tweet of mine) that it’s very much a ‘work in progress’. Let’s hope the team behind it get the support they need to bring it up to the standard I’d expect.

If there’s anyone else out there on Runkeeper (or Nike running for that matter) feel free to friend me 🙂

3 Responses

  1. Okay, you’ve got me on RunKeeper now, and I’m feeling motivated to unlock some badges. Just wish I could plot 10 laps of the 200 meter track at the sports center, but that’s one for their support desk.

    Funny you should mention “core strength”. It seems to be the new buzzword on all the fitness forums. I’ve just started the Stronglifts 5×5 program to turn my torso into a tree trunk. It’s good stuff. Just a few exercises three times a week, starting light, but incrementing the weight 2.5kg per workout. I’m keeping up so far, but I started really light. Take a look if you’re interested.

    1. Excellent, glad to see I still have *some* influence around here!

      Runkeeper has really come on a long way this year, and like you say really does help keep you motivated!

      So what happens if you do 10 laps? does it just not track it at all or what?

      That 5×5 program looks pretty good. I must admit, I find the core body exercises the hardest to maintain due to the fact that I can’t track my progress via GPS. Guess I’ll have to create a Google spreadsheet for myself so I can update that and ‘see’ just how much training I’ve done. Include belly measurement or daily photo upload perhaps…

      Thinking of organizing an unofficial marathon next March – so many people I know didn’t get in.

      1. Another helpful user told me if I skip the map I can manually put the distance in so all’s good now.

        Not with GPS, but you can track your muscle-building progress with a mirror! 😀

        You could probably pick a more attractive route for your unofficial marathon, maybe even hold off till the cherry blossoms bloom. Now wouldn’t that be lovely?