Roll out of bed and you feel those aches and pains. Standing upright is unreasonable to ask and as your shoulders are turned in and back is hunched. With every step (especially down the stairs) muscles and joints have a slight soreness to them, just to make sure you know they are there. The thought of movement and stretching makes your cringe, but you know you have got to do it!
If you have ever completed a race of any kind or pushed your body to the limits than you know that “pain” I am talking about. Whether it’s your first 5K, 1/2 marathon, Tough Muddder, marathon, triathlon etc. Your focus and training can often become so one dimensional that it can throw your body’s balance out of whack.
Running has been a big part of my workouts recently, I completed Hampton’s Rockfest 2 weeks ago with a group of friends and have plans to run one more 1/2 this fall. I use to think distance runners were crazy! But is it true, there is nothing better than completing a race with a group of friends, grabbing a few beers and swapping race stories where you have triumphed all the evil demons in your head to cross that finish line. I know for me and many of my running friends, the worse part of a race is the days to follow.
Ironically after this race, I had signed up for a Yoga for Runners event by Athleta and Bare Bones Yoga! Karen Fabian the founder of Bare Bones Yoga and an avid marathoner herself reminded me of the importance yoga can play in my training and recovery. The pain most runners feel is not from the running in and of itself, but from imbalances that running causes and exacerbates. Karen was excellent with explaining the anatomy of running and the yoga moves to counter balance our bodies. She created a 10 pose routine for runners, to help bring our body back into balance so that you can run long and hard for many more years to come.
I had to share Bare Bones Yoga‘s video because I have been taking 10 minutes to incorporate these moves and it has made my recovery much more pleasant, this go around. Although yoga and running lie on opposite ends of the exercise spectrum, this yoga routine reminded of the importance strength and flexibility play when it come to running. Yoga has some wonderful benefits, but the top 5 for me are:
(1) Provides balance by counteracting the strains of running and thus injury prevention.
(2) Improves body wisdom. You become more in tune with what your body is telling you as train, so you know when to push and when to back down.
(3) Improves balance and provides the body with more power.
(4) Elevates the heart rate to help maintain cardio-respiratory fitness.
(5) Yoga and running are mentally enduring sports, yoga can be used to train the body and mind to help with that mental toughness needed to complete races.
It is important no matter what sport, race or exercise you do, to not become one dimensional with your workouts. Cross training, stretching and yoga although often can be underrated, can bring an equilibrium to your workouts and your body!
My Challenge for you this week is consider adding a yoga practice to your exercise routing and training, even if it is just 10 minutes!