Yoga for Runners. Tell a running coach you are training for a race and you can expect to receive a plan that includes yoga. Many elite runners are now crediting yoga with improving their flexibility, stride length and mental focus. Tight hips flexors, and poor technique are all too common within the running community, yoga can help with both of these.
The importance of your Core. Yoga can help you to engage your core muscles, which in turn helps your technique, improves performance and prevents injury. A weak core does not just ensure a bad posture but will also waste energy when running.
Running is about conserving energy and a strong core will help improve your posture, gait and save energy. A bad posture is not always something you or your coach will be able to see. Your body will however feel it, and try to make adjustments. At best you will feel a little dis-comfort or not be training the following day, due to a bad back, ankle or calf…!
Breathe. Yoga improves your leg strength, stride and posture, keeping your body in a strong, upright position for longer. This makes breathing easier as your chest is more open.
Yoga helps you to become more aware of your breathing and accelerates the cardiovascular fitness. Most of us breathe a little shallow, in yoga you are taught to take deeper breaths from your abdomen and use your lungs to their full potential.
Faster Recovery. Many runners report less soreness of joints and muscles after a hard run. This is because yoga helps to flush away waste products, such as lactic acid, which build up under strenuous anaerobic exercises.
The Winning Mind The mental benefits of yoga are hugely significant for runners, as the mind plays a large part a runners performance. Negative thoughts produce a negative performance. If one is to win, a positive mind is necessary. If you think you will come second, then chances are you will come second. Yoga will help you to relax and think positive thoughts or mantras.
You need to have a winning mentality in order win. My mantra, ” I believe I can win, I am fit, I am strong.”
FOR CORE STRENGTH
Cat Pose >>strengthens the triceps and shoulders.
A Start on all fours, hands under shoulders and spread your fingers out. Gently move your tailbone to the ceiling, concaving your back but working your abdominal muscles.
B Exhale tuck your tailbone under, so your pelvis moves towards your chest. Round your back, tuck your head in and look at your toes.. Repeat A & B 5 times.
Downward Dog to Child Pose >> strengthens the hamstrings, calves, achilles, adductors, quadriceps, triceps, biceps and spine.
High Lunge >> Strengthens the hip flexors, hamstrings and calves.