Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Brain Training

Last Friday I bought a new book on running called "Brain Training for Runners" by Matt Fitzgerald. I happened to be near the book store so I dropped in to see what was on the shelf; the title jumped out at me... Fact: The brain comprises 2% of your body weight yet uses 20% of your food and energy while at rest and running!

I've read several books on running and racing, you could say I'm a student of running, racing , and training. This book has a lot to offer us. I am truly excited about some of the things I have gleaned from the book. During the course of my current marathon training program I will initiate some on the concepts from the book. I will share what I'm doing and note if it aids in my quest for a sub four hour marathon.

So....core strengthening is now this weeks theme: As I did my 7 miles of rolling hills I concentrated on "Navel to spine". Stanford University did a study that revealed 9 out of 10 runners fail to engage the lower abdominal muscles properly thus losing energy that can help propel one forward. As you are running concentrate on pulling your bellybutton in to your spine.

This is hard! Here's what I learned today, all these years I've been breathing with the belly, diaphragm, allowing the lower abs to relax, you will really have to think in order to keep breathing properly and engage the lower abs, I noticed I could do it....but I would drift off and relax the abs. Does it help? It is supposed to improve your stride so I'm going to keep brain training my lower abs.

Got out early...80 degrees 86% humidity, by 4.5 miles my shoes were sloshing!

I'm very pleased with this run! 7miles in 1:10.19, the last three miles got better and better-9:52, 9:38, 9:29. This is a hilly route so I let go on the downs and pushed on the ups.

Must find some flat land!!! Thinking about Friday and early morning track work out....Peace!


Marlene said...

Sounds like a god book. I'll be intersted in hearing other tidbits. I think I've heard of trying to engage the core while running, but never thought of it as 'navel to spine'. I imagine it would be hard to get used to that and the abs might be pretty aore at first!

kara said...

Sounds like an interesting book. Will try and find it in the library.
I know the brain needs carbs +++ Even while reading blogs : )

Beth said...

Hey, I have that book! I read some if it a couple years ago, but your post makes me want to go back and look at it again. Have you read Chi Running? It talks a lot about the core and running.

Mark said...

Beth, I haven't read that one but I'll look for it next time I'm in the book store...thanks!

Coachhrd said...

Interesting stuff - thanks for sharing, Mark!


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