Written By Barefoot Dawsy
When learning to run barefoot, most newbies tend to focus on their feet and lower limbs (rightfully so). There’s a heap to learn in this area, and doing it this way is a necessity. Once you’ve progressed beyond the basics and start seeing the distances you run increase, it’s time to shift to other parts of your body.
One of the most important non-leg areas that needs attention is your core. Your core is the base from which you can derive strength and endurance, and without it, your running may plateau and even falter early in the game. The secret to getting around this is to add exercises that will strengthen your core, yet not interfere with your running training. An ideal exercise for this is the Plank.
Planks are a deceptively simple exercise that work your entire core, as well as your legs and upper body. They involve lying face-down on the floor then raising your upper body up onto your elbows and your lower body onto your toes. Everything in between should be rigid and stiff as a board. The first time you do it, you may find yourself unable to hold the position for more than a few seconds. This is fine, and we’ve all been there. Keep at it, and you’ll see your times and your core strength increase before you know it.
One great way to add in planks to your routine is to join #PlankADay on Twitter. It’s a very simple program where (you guessed it) you do a plank a day. Post your times to Twitter with the #PlankADay hash tag, and join the hundreds of runners out there who are already benefitting from the program.
Good luck, and happy planking!