When talking with some of my friends recently the topic of “the runners six pack” came up.  My kids were intrigued and began to ask all kinds of questions. 

Here is a short summary of what they learned.  The muscles that make up the midsection are extremely important to a runner.  The muscles that make the rippled section of your stomach are rectus abdominus (the long muscle extending the length of the front of the abdomen) and internal and external obliques (the muscles running along the sides of the abdomen at an angle).  These muscles provide stability to the pelvis when you run and the stronger these muscles are and the more stamina that they have will make you a better runner over the long haul.  When these muscles are weak, a runner tires more easily, providing less stability to the pelvis and thus making one much more prone to injury. 



Here is what The runner’s 6-pack looks like when it is trained and ready to roll!


So  to get muscles that look like those in the picture, a runner spends a lot of time doing crunches and other strengthening exercises to tax those muscles the way that they are when you run.  It takes time, but by 12 October, the six pack will be ready to roll – Lord willing!

So Monday and Thursday mornings it is not uncommon to hear comments like, “Mom it is Thursday, time for strength training.” (from my youngest son) and “Hey Mom, how many push-ups can you do?  I am up to 25!” (from my oldest son).  Most of the kids have joined me on these mornings to lift weights and work on the runners six pack.  It is a fun morning for me to see my kids joining me in my workouts!

It is beginning to warm up here in Minnesota and that means that as much as I love my running Capri’s, they will need to go for summer training.  My running Capri’s are aerodynamic, sleek, black and way to hot for summer training.  I don’t know how many of you keep up with running fashions, but they leave a lot to be desired.  Most running attire is cropped in order to show off those impressive six pack muscles.  However if I even thought about running in short cropped tops, the modesty police (think 5 children and a husband) would never let me out of the house.  It is sometimes hard to find modest running gear when most are not thinking that way.  They are mostly thinking about how cute and comfortable they will be when running. 

For me, running is not about being cute or fashionable.  It is all about comfort and covering up.  A friend of mine told me about a running skirt with shorts underneath.  I finally found one at Target, of all places.  I didn’t bother to try it on at the store, I knew what size I needed – at least that is what I thought.  I got home, put on the running skirt and it fell off – I have lost weight and toned up enough that I am at least 1 size smaller, maybe two.   So back to the store to get a size smaller! 

It was almost too hot on Saturday for the running carpi’s – so now I am set for summer running!