Pain. Or Why Runners Who Just Want to Run Should Work on Their Six Pack Anyway

Running hurts. It hurts because you are falling, over and over and over again, striking the ground with one foot and then the other. And then the other. And the other. If there are any weak spots in your body running will find them. 

Since I’ve started running I have had bursitis in both hips, plantars fasciitis in both feet, runners knee in my left knee, a torn labrum in my left hip, an s.i. Joint injury and now a neuroma in my left foot. And various scrapes, bruises and chafe marks. So, running hurts. But there are things that have helped me along the way to stay healthy. 

1. Working on my core muscles. I didn’t really start to work on my core muscles regularly until last year. In October of 2015 something clicked and I started doing a regular core workout in the mornings. And it’s made a huge difference. I haven’t had bursitis since I started. I haven’t had any issues with my knees either. And my back is mostly good too– although sitting for too long does cause me problems. 

2. Rest. I’m terrible about this but I know if I rested more regularly my feet would hurt less. 

3. Slowing down. I’m terrible about this too. But sometimes I do it. I slow down. I accept that pain is my body’s way of telling me to take it easy. I try to remember that I don’t always have to push so hard, in my running and in life. That it’s ok to relax. I spent a lot of time last summer telling myself that it’s ok to slow down. It’s ok to just do what you can. It was really hard for me though.

But back to that short workout I do most mornings. It’s evolved quite a bit since I started. It started on Cannon Beach when I was on vacation with Owen. I couldn’t run like I wanted to, so I decided to work out using intervals. I decided on a mix of push ups, squats and short runs. As I’ve gotten stronger, I’ve added to the number of push ups, swapped out the squats for clam shell exercises and added in planks. The workout takes me about 10-12 minutes and I do it 4-5 times a week. And I have seen a huge difference in my core strength and overall stability and balance. 

My morning workout right now:

  1. 30 push ups
  2. 30 second boat pose
  3. 10 push ups, with 5 pound weights
  4. 20 press ​ ps, 10 each arm, with 5 pound weights
  5. 10 arm raises with 5 pound weights
  6. 20 clam shell leg raises, each leg
  7. 20 push ups
  8. A dynamic plank: 45 seconds in high plank (last 10 seconds with a leg raise), 45 seconds in a left side plank (last 10 with a leg raise), 45 seconds in high plank (last 10 seconds raising the opposite leg), 45 in a right side plank (last 10 seconds with a leg raise.)

This workout is constantly evolving but I would really encourage you to consider finding a short workout you can do too. It’s a good way to start the morning. 

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