Improve your running speed at home with this 10 minute core workout

 Core exercises for runners: Runner performing the plank.
Core exercises for runners: Runner performing the plank.

Alongside your sprints, having a decent pair of running trainers, interval training and strength work, your core is also key if you want to improve your running speed. Why? Because a strong core leads to improved posture and stabilisation of your torso, which helps you move more efficiently and maximise your power. You don’t have to spend hours working on your midsection either, this 10 minute routine is perfect for slotting into your training a few times a week, and it requires no equipment.

But it’s not just speed that boosting your core strength can benefit, it can also reduce the likelihood of injuries and improve your running economy (the amount of oxygen your body needs to run at a certain pace). A 2019 study that looked at two groups of college athletes found that those who added three core workouts into their training, over an 8 week period, saw improvements in balance, core endurance, and running economy. While the group that carried on with their regular training and didn't add in any core exercises saw no improvements.

For this workout, do each of the five exercises below for 40 seconds, followed by a 20 second rest and complete two rounds in total. Not sure how to do them? Follow along with the video above. Also, don’t forget to breathe, it’s one of the most common mistakes people make with core exercises (especially when things get tough), but it will make it significantly easier. Here’s your workout:

  • Hollow holds

  • Russian twists

  • Shoulder taps

  • Superman crunches

  • L-sit holds

As well as working on your core, don't forget to spend some time focusing on your strength training too. Studies have shown that incorporating strength exercises into your training can increase running speed. Here's seven exercises from former sprint champ to get you started. If you're also prone to knee pain during your runs, a triathlon coach shares five tips that will help protect them.