HR - give 10 runners steroids and you'll find 10 much better runners, give 10 recreational runners an 80 mpw training programme and you'll find 10 much better runners.
Core training? If it's as essential as people claim, why is it not easy to demonstrate the benefits with 10 runners on a few small scale experiments before doing something more significant? we invest millions in sport and our top athletes, how about working out how best to train?
As stated before, if you've done everything else (especially specific strengthening training on hills) then core training probably won't harm you (although I have seen counter claims that too much can) BUT my big issue is that people will do core training INSTEAD of much more useful training. (Yes, it's anecdotal of me to claim this but I see people being seduced into it).
People would not do core training instead of proper training if there wasn't this mass spread of false information about it. Why not glamourise running up hills and running long distances? It doesn't sell books or keep people in jobs?
Sogswash - "could"? they all say "could improve" but are then unable to prove it. In any case, the real test should be core versus hill training and then whether core on top of hill training is better than hill training alone.
Are people who do core training doing it at the expense of proper strengthening on't t'ills?
Wardi - speaking of hills, I was quite jealous of the people i saw out running solo on the hills on saturday. Bet they covered 20+ miles whilst I was forced to stroll along at 1mph, stop to pick up heart shaped rocks, carry a rucksack full of clothes we'd only need if it was minus 10 and eat green Opal fruits.
Wardi - Seatallan eh? Never heard of it. We did the Coniston horse shoe on saturday. Cloudless sky. I did it in lightweight trainers instead of my hefty 20+ year old Brasher Boots and the difference was significant. I found it very easy going over 11 miles.
Think I should get a trip to Decathlon for some lightweight boots.
HR - Just take 20 consistent runners that already do strength training by running hills in the conventional way, have 10 of them doing additional core training. Then get the other 10 to add core training. Repeat the experiment. etc etc If core training is as good as it is claimed you would soon see significant and consistent evidence that is impossible to ignore coming from every university's sports science dept.
Instead, we have hundreds of headline screaming web sites mis-using scraps of insignificant research to paint a rosy but false picture.
Yeah, I know it's boring, but it's also potentially important. This epidemic of misinformation probably causes damage to the sport and our chances of a decent crop of young runners (and even death to some overly hydrated runners). People are given an easy but false choice.... a few sit-ups in front of the gym mirror with a bottle of caffeinated lucozade thinking about your xbox or a bloody hard hill session in the freezing cold dreaming of beating kenyans.
(I see all this with my daughter's rowing training by the way - yeah, doing well with lots of cycling, core and eating egg whites, but not that much rowing).
Lydiard had it all pretty much sussed 50 years ago. Before we look for an unlikely edge from core training, are we doing our 100 miles base training this week?
Actually, on the subject of elites, core training, expert advice, and the fells etc.......On saturday, whilst strolling on Coniston Old Man (obviously not the shitty tourist route) with my friends (a consultant anesthetist and a nurse) we chanced across one of their colleagues who is an orthopedic surgeon.
the surgeon runs a lot of alpine marathons, but claimed to do no training other than "cardio work in the gym each night. That way I avoid chronic joint injuries".
I was taken aback, since that seemed to contradict what I believed (ie, running was good for your joints). My friends (especially the nurse) sided with him when we discussed this later.
So last night I blew off the dust of the Noakes book to see what the situation was with regards to research in the matter. Seems that (according to Noakes assessment) unless you are an elite long distance runner that has been running for a lifetime (ie, not an orthopedic surgeon) there simply is no risk of chronic injury. Even elite athletes just have a slightly higher incidence of hip damage.
It made me also think of my mate who was advised six months ago (by another surgeon) to do lots of core strength work as it will not only help him with a pubic bone injury, but also make him run much faster. Six months on and he is running 30 secs/mile faster in training than before core work....AND YET when it comes to a race he has yet to get close to his pre-injury times. (He also, I may add recovered quite slowly from his injury and has had other injuries since). Time may tell for him, but I really do wonder where the advice of surgeons comes from. Is it research, or from assumptions that may be very mistaken?