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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Health and Human Development

First Advisor

Brilla, Lorraine R., 1955-

Second Advisor

Knutzen, Kathleen

Third Advisor

Suprak, David N. (David Nathan)


Training the core has become a topic of interest to athletes, health professionals, coaches and researchers. Core training may be an important supplementation to exercise programs. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of an eight week core exercise program on core function and half marathon run time in long distance runners. METHODS: Twenty-four well-trained distance runners were recruited from local running clubs to participate in this training study. Participants ran an average of 20 miles per week and were randomly assigned to the treatment group, receiving core exercises or the control group. McGill's four core tests, the Lafayette Stabilizer Platform and a Pressure Biofeedback Unit were used to measure core function. A simulated half marathon race was conducted to evaluate run time. All tests were performed before and after the eight week intervention. RESULTS: Results showed no significant interaction between core strength and running performance (p<0.05). A 1.76% ± 3.79% reduction in time for the treatment group versus a 0.79% ± 1.66% increase in time for the control group was observed, however, there was no significant main effect of the eight week training program on run time. A significant interaction was observed for the Lafayette Stabilizer Platform (p<0.05), Pressure Biofeedback Unit (p<0.017) and right (p<0.025), group on any of these core function variables. All other variables showed no significant interactions. CONCLUSIONS: The data indicate that eight weeks of core specific training does not result in improved half marathon run time. Core exercises increased strength and stability of the core musculature, however, this increase does not necessarily indicate a subsequent improvement in performance.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Long-distance runners--Pysiological aspects; Exercise--Physiological aspects; Muscle strength




masters theses




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Kinesiology Commons