by Sean Vigue
I have many clients who are runners and they come to me with similar stories: my lower back hurts, I tire easily, I’ve hit a wall in my training, my endurance isn’t what it used to be. Whatever the reason, I can’t wait to get them on the Pilates program to discover what their bodies are truly capable of when pounding the pavement and beyond.
I recently chatted with one of my new regulars, who’s also a pretty serious runner, about what she’s noticed about her running since adding Pilates to her life. The first thing she said was, “I’ve shaved so much time off my runs! I’m running faster, further and easier than I did before starting your class.” Bingo! Pilates strengthens your powerhouse muscles (all your abdominals, lower back, hips and glutes), which drastically improves your posture. When your posture is strengthened because of a strong, balanced core, you don’t have to fight gravity and drain your energy reserves. Now, all that energy is being redirected into your running.
And here are more benefits: practicing Pilates before and after your run will not only reduce your recovery time but will also keep your body more resistant to injury. Pilates connects your mind and body into a relentlessly strong and efficient machine, which you’ll need on those grueling treks through the sun, mountains, wind and snow.
I’ve put together five Pilates exercises that will offer the biggest benefit to your running workouts. These will really get your core fired up while stretching your entire body in a short amount of time.
Summary: Most runners train by, well, running! However, doing only the same workout, such as running, every day, will cause weak muscles to become weaker and strong muscles to become stronger. In addition, the repeated movement of running can wear down the body because there’s little to keep the core strong and balanced, the muscles flexible and the body aligned. It’s time to bring in Pilates to add balance, strength, fl exibility and focus. Pilates will build your body from the core outwards into a much more efficient running machine. You’re going to love the dramatic improvements in your running.