Real Runners Do Yoga

Real Runners Do Yoga

Right off the bat, I want to establish that I am a runner, not a yogi. I can barely touch my toes, I cannot stand on my head, I have little to no upper body strength, I can’t do boat pose to save my life and I have chronically tight hip-flexors! Regardless of my shortcomings, I still make a conscious effort to incorporate yoga into my exercise regime.

It is no surprise that running is hard on the body and runners have a high injury rate. As a runner, I feel that yoga is a great counter to the harsh physical impacts of running:

  • Low impact
  • Strengthens muscles using body weight
  • Incorporates movement from multiple planes of motion: frontal, sagittal and transverse.
  • Increases flexibility

It is often an effort to make time in my schedule for yoga. To be honest, if I have the time, I would rather go for a run. Therefore, I strategically plan my yoga practice during off days. I like to follow up a long run on Sunday with a yoga class on Monday. Currently, I find that 45mins to an hour are optimal practice times for me. I prefer a class that incorporates stretching and strength to help increase my range of motion and help strengthen my often neglected core and upper body.

For those of you, who would appreciate the convenience of a practice of home, a great website is YogaGlo. It offers a range of levels, teachers, and styles as well as lots of new videos every week.

Here are some tips to help motivate you for at home yoga practice:

  • Do it with a friend and keep each other accountable
  • Set a time and stick to it
  • Choose a playlist to accompany your practice
  • Treat yourself to a new yoga mat or pants to get you excited for your practice

I now look at yoga as a part of my training. It can help prevent injuries and increase recovery after a long run or hard workout. After every practice, I am refreshed and I feel like my body and mind have been reset for another week of training.

Happy Running!

Meredith Cale
Kintec Race Team

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