When I missed the coveted Nike Finisher T-Shirt in the 2014 TCS 10K, Pani Sir (my beloved & most respected coach) took me aside and told me that my family vacation three weeks before the TCS 10K could be the major contributor towards my sluggish run at the 2014 TCS 10K. And, as always, he was right. I had taken a full week off and gone to Munnar with my family for our annual summer vacation. That put a big dent into my consistency and training schedule. When I returned, I couldn't catch up with the rest of the PaceMakers. One of the resolutions I made after the 2014 TCS 10K heartbreak was to be consistent in training. I hardly missed training after that. I also made it a point not to miss my weekly strengthening sessions in the gym (more about that a bit later). More importantly, my wife & I planned our annual Summer vacation for the year 2015 -- after the TCS 10K this year!
That brings me to the next point, which is Core Strengthening. When I started running back in 2010, nobody told me anything about core strengthening. Many of my running buddies asked me to build up more mileage than strengthening. Last year, during a visit to Dr. Gladson for a minor backache is when Gladson made me realize how important it is for a runner to concentrate on Core Strengthening and Circuit Training. Without going too much into an Anatomy Class, the core can be thought of as all the muscles minus the arms and legs. The major muscles of the core reside in the area of the belly and the mid and lower back (not the shoulders), and peripherally include the hips, the shoulders and the neck. (Source: Wikipedia). For long distance running, the core strength of the runner's body plays a vital role in maintaining the running posture and thus ensuring a strong finish of the race. If you want more information on Core Strengthening for Runners, please google it. There is plenty of reading material available online on this subject.