Today, I’m coming at you guys with a challenge.
Stop skipping your cooldowns!
There is a ton of research out there suggesting that a proper cooldown, including stretching, can reduce soreness and improve your overall flexibility (unless you go back to sitting in a shitty position the other 23 hours of the day). If you don’t believe me just Google: “PubMed: Benefits of cooldown”.
So if you’re finishing your training and just going back to work you’re probably not optimizing for long-term health and fitness.
To help get you started my awesome friend Kirsten (Cancer survivor turned CrossFit competitor turned Yoga instructor) from Thryve wanted to help you guys out so she is giving you a whole bunch of reasons yoga & focused mobility/flexibility training port-run can make a big difference in your performance
Check it out!
By: Kirsten Beverley-Waters
Drop the Ego and Start doing Yoga to Improve your Running
Stop being bull headed. Stop giving excuses. Stop spending money and time at doctors offices for visits you do not need. Step off the trail and onto your mat. It’s time you take your running to the next level.
Before you laugh, scoff or tell me you are too manly to do yoga as part of your running program, I would like to point out some of the top male sports athletes including LeBron James, Ray Lewis, Laird Hamilton, Steven Jackson, Sean Burke and Russell Wilson are just some of the few male athletes that left their egos at the door and rolled out a mat to see the athletic difference. What do you have to lose by adding a quick post-run recovery practice to your program? Well for starters tight hips, poor mental focus, muscular imbalance, and inflexibility. Here’s what you will gain:
Pigeon pose is your friend. Most (dare I say all) runners experience tightness of some sort due to inflexibility most likely in the hips and hamstring. Admit it, we all have our arch nemesis spots. My ridiculously tight hips will always be a trouble spot for me while running. I know it affects my gait and causes me to have a slightly shorter stride. While many think yoga is about reaching your toes really for runner’s it’s about what we learn on the way down. Yoga will teach improve your range of motion making your running smoother as well as decreasing your rate of injuries.
Strengthens those “other” muscles
The most common cause of running injury is overuse combined with muscle imbalances. Yoga works the body and muscles in all planes of motion, strengthening those muscles that might not get the attention they need while pounding the pavement or traversing the trail.
Also, yoga looks at the core as the energetic center. Therefore you can plan on plenty of core engagement and development through yoga. Shockingly most happen without lying down or even a single crunch.
Training for a half marathon or marathon can be rough on the body because of the impact alone. Yoga is always a low impact sport. But don’t think that just because it’s low impact that you won’t get your heart pumping a power vinyasa class can still get that heart rate up a considerable amount.
Focuses on listening to your body
Most runner’s I pass on the trail are out of tune with their bodies and more in tune with his/her playlist. We stop listening to our breath, cadence and what our body is telling us by spending more time focusing n the music than our body. Yoga teaches athletes to do the exact opposite. Many are still learning to listen to their body and more importantly honor it. As a runner, it is vital to your performance that you stay healthy and strong. If you lose your ability to listen to your body, you will also lose your ability to stay at the top of your athletic performance.
Don’t take it too seriously
Many people think that yoga is so serious that to even crack a smile would get you a kind “Namaste, and the exit is that way.” Truth is yoga encourages you to laugh, relax and not take the poses so seriously. As a runner, we can learn from this same mentality. If we become so serious that we lose the “fun” in it, we will push past our body’s limits and break down.
Training for a heavy duty race can be both physically and mentally exhausting. Yoga lets you completely shift gears and surrender your mind and body in a totally different way. When you start feeling burnt from running mentally, yoga is a great way to recharge and reconnect with your body. Plus, in yoga, it’s encouraged to lie down and “sleep” for almost 5 minutes.
Who doesn’t need a power nap in his/her day?
Kirsten also provided me with a video of the exact post-run yoga routine she takes her athletes through.
I’ve done it, it helps.
For everyone who has picked up either my Strategic 5k or Strategic Endurance program I’ve added this video to your 5k & Strategic Endurance Dashboards already.
If you haven’t grabbed one of these programs then you probably should if you’re looking to improve your run times, the results people have gotten are pretty crazy (See some testimonials here).
If you’re interested in seriously improving your running then check out one of the programs below: