Ab Exercises for Runners

It hopefully comes as no surprise that having a stronger core can help you to become a stronger runner. And how does one get a stronger core? You guessed right… ab exercises! Is it time to start adding some ab exercises in after your runs? Or maybe it’s time to change up your current ab exercise routine.

Here are a few of my favorite exercises to do after my runs.

Forearm Plank

  1. Start face down with your forearms on the ground and your legs extended behind you. Align your elbows under your shoulders. Though many people prefer to clasp their hands, it is recommended to try palms up or palms down. That way, you are focused on engaging your core and avoid putting additional stress on your hands.
  2. Ready? Engage your abs, tuck your toes and lift your body off the ground. Check to see if you form a straight line. If you notice that your hips are a little high, you may need to drop your hips and engage your core even more.
  3. How long can you hold this for?
  4. Side Plank Variation – Yup, you guessed it. Choose a side to face, stack one leg on top of the other and balance on one forearm. If you’re having trouble balancing to begin, start by practicing with your knees stacked on the ground.

Glute Bridge

  1. Lie on your back (face up) on the floor. Your knees should be bent (90 degrees) and your feet should be flat on the floor. Your arms will stay at your side, palms down.
  2. Now lift your hips and back off the floor until everything forms a straight line down to your knees. Make sure you squeeze your glutes to keep a strong back.
  3. Hold for 10 seconds then lower slowly to the floor, repeat 10 times.
  4. Single Leg Variation – Same instructions but one leg will be lifted. Remember to keep your quads even and your hips straight.
  5. Twist Variation – Instead of holding for 10 seconds when you get into the bridge, you will slowly dip one hip (keeping the other hip in place), then raise it slowly back up. Then slowly dip the other hip (keeping the first hip in place). Repeat, 10 times on each side. Remember to keep your glutes and abs engaged.

Bicycle Crunch

  1. Get ready. Lie on your back (face up again) and place your hands behind your head for support.
  2. Now extend your legs into the air. The motion will be similar to pedaling a bicycle, hence the name.
  3. Rotate to the left, your right elbow will meet your left knee while your other leg extends.
  4. Keeping your feet off the ground, now switch sides, continuing to alternate or pedal your imaginary bike.
  5. How long can you keep this up for? For starters, try to aim to reach one minute.

Of course, these are only to name a few. It is important to switch up exercises and continuously challenge your body in new ways. What are some of your favorite ab exercises?

Race Review: Bull City Race Fest

  • What: Bull City Race Fest
  • When: October 16, 2016
  • Where: Durham, NC
  • Distance: Half Marathon

Before the race, I heard positive and negative reviews. Runners either loved the beauty of the course or hated the hills of the course. Although I agree with both reviews, this has to be one of my favorite courses. (I’m also biased because I PR’d! And it was perfect running weather.. lol)

Expo: The expo was a lot of fun! I loved that it was not too big and overwhelming at the Durham Convention Center. The race included a bib, shirt and digital race bag so the pickup was pretty simple. I easily found my friends at Fleet Feet Carrboro/Durham and grabbed a few tanks from 73threads. If you haven’t heard of 73threads, you need to check them out right now! LOVE THEM… see my tanks pictured below.


Essentials: The weather forecast showed a low-mid 50s sunny morning so I went with my short sleeve Nike shirt and shorts. My 2XU compression sleeves were a little more for warmth than they were performance – I like wearing a pair for recovery as well. I also packed lots of tape since I’m still dealing with plantar fasciitis and well, can’t forget my Garmin!

Parking/Pre-Race: SUPER easy and really close to the starting line near the American Tobacco Campus. There were plenty of port-a-potties – actually, I’ve never seen such efficient bathroom lines at any other race.


Race: Just like every other race.. decently sized and crowded with anxious runners. At the start line, I found myself stuck behind the 9:00 min pacers when I was planning on starting in front of the 8:30 pacers.. oh well, there was plenty of time for catch up later. The course was beautiful and it was hilly. Runners were guided through downtown Durham and through the Duke campus. The downhills were long and the hills got slightly steeper in the last couple of miles.


Post-Race: Beer, music and food trucks! aka: a lot of lines, but all worth it. Definitely try out this race if you’re in the area for next year! I promise the hills are manageable and you can even PR like me!

Time Trials

It’s been a bit quiet here but I’ll be catching up on blogs and reviews this week!

First, we have this week’s speed workout. Try it out while enjoying all of the pretty fall colors outside!

  • Warm up – 1 mile
  • 4×400 – half marathon pace, 1 minute breaks in between
  • 4 minute rest
  • THE MILE – All out pace
  • 6 minute rest
  • 3×800 – half marathon pace, 90 second breaks in between
  • Cool down