As much as I love doing yoga, I have a lot of other fitness goals for myself as well, one of which is running a half-marathon this year. I recently started training for a qualifying race, and thought that I would share with you what I use to help me stay balanced between two loves. It’s hardly possible to take a ninety-minute yoga class while training for a race, and even if it were, there aren’t studios that offer yoga specifically for athletes and runners.
Last year, in order to train for the Peachtree Road Race, I quit yoga entirely for that very reason. What resulted wasn’t great for my body. I ended up straining my knees and hips, and I developed a habit of hunching my shoulders up. The race was painful, and although I finished, I was too focused on the pain in my IT band to celebrate the accomplishment.
Despite my one painful experience, I don’t want to give up running entirely. I’m giving it another shot this year and I’ve added a very important component into my training–Runner’s Yoga.
Runner’s Yoga is a program developed by founder of Mind-Body Fitness, Van Clayton Powel, a pro who uses the program with the likes of the Canadian National Snowboarding team, Olympic athletes and coaches. He has also studied yoga for decades, and was the first person to bring Ashtanga yoga to western Canada.
He developed Runner’s Yoga after seeing the need for runners and other athletes to have a program tailored to their specific needs. He noticed:
- They have less time to do cross-training exercises
- They strength, balance and agility exercises as well as flexibility exercises
- Yoga and running require the same mental discipline and focus
- Breath work is an essential component of both activities
From this, Van Clayton created a top-notch, full-body yoga program that takes only 30 minutes a day. Included in his program are instructional manuals, a pose guide, audio recordings, video recordings, practice cards and more. Although the videos are not the best quality in the world, they are extremely helpful and useful tools that allow me to fit yoga into my life. It’s also making a difference in the way my body feels after running. Already I feel more balanced and relaxed, and my knees don’t hurt nearly as much.
I’ve also found myself doing this on days that I don’t run, just to have a short but effective yoga practice.
I highly recommend that if you’re training for a race like the Peachtree Road Race, or if you know someone who is training for a race that you try this out. Van Clayton has some great trial practices and countless testimonials up on his website that you can use to see if this would be something you could apply to your training routine.
Click here or on the logo below to check it out!
Do you use yoga to train for athletic events? If so, what products or classes do you recommend?