Runners need to spend time building their core to avoid injuries, says Coached’s Ben Pulham

For the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM), Coached has tied up with the Under Armour Run Crew as well as Power 98 FM for a 16 week training programme.

Coached, which is led by founder and coach Ben Pulham, 36, is a heart rate training programme that allows you to track, optimise and enjoy your training.

Core Training at the Kallang Practice Track

And with the 2017 edition of the SCSM scheduled to be taking place in about two months’ time, on 2 and 3 December this year, the training sessions are well in the full swing of things, happening every Thursday at the Kallang Practice Track.

And at the latest training session, Ben hammered us with core training. After a five lap warm up of the track, we spent the session doing plenty of core exercises. These had included planks, side planks, power jumps, sit ups as well as crab walks up an incline.

Based on our performance at these exercises during the session, Ben feels that many of the runners in the group are improving slowly. He said, “You are learning stuff, which is great; you are looking better from a form point of view.”

At the Under Armour x SCSM 17 sessions, we can expect more strength training in the coming weeks, before we then move into the race focused stuff, according to Ben. He said “The more race focused harder running is not in your best interests, considering the current shape of many of you, but we will do it.”

Core and strength training is necessary

These strength training exercise are far from easy especially for those who do not do them all the time, but according to Ben, they are necessary. Explained Ben, “A lot of runners spend time running and not a lot spend time strengthening their core. You need to. Part of our programme is to build core strength so that you can transfer power through the road and lower your chances of getting hurt at the same time.”

He added, “A lot of knee injuries and knee pains come from a weak bum. So when you do strengthening stuff like this, you strengthen your bum, corer and you will then become a stronger and faster runner.”

Include strength stuff into your training plan

So Ben strongly advises all runners to include strength stuff into their training plan. He said, “If you are not doing strength stuff in training, then start to include it. It does not need to be anything fancy. I used to do a lot of what I would call supplementary strength training when I was a professional athlete. I did not do a whole lot of organised core sessions, but I spent a lot of time lying in front of the TV in plank position or I would do sit ups or leg raises or other types of things, a few times a week and that made me quite solid and strengthened my core.”

He added “It it also easy to do squats in front of the TV too. If you like getting outside and doing a core session, then go ahead, but if you would rather do your run and come home, then go home and do your core training in front of the TV; that is also fine.”

Runners would reap benefits from strength work

So thus, Ben feels that a lot of runners would reap benefits from strength training. He said, “Many runners, from what I see, would benefit tremendously from strengthening work.”

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Photos are from Facebook/Under Armour.

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