Why Pilates is So Great for Runner’s
Pilates may not be the obvious choice for most runners when planning their weeks cross training but here’s why it should be:
Running is a high repetition sport which, as a result, can highlight any muscle imbalance through the body consequently leaving a high potential for injury.
Many seasoned runners suffer tight hamstrings, quads and IT bands as result of the high impact of each stride. As the body tries to correct these muscle imbalances, tension
builds around the joints such as the knee resulting in unnecessary torsion and strain.
In comparison Pilates promotes a balance of muscles, in both flexibility and tone. The breathing techniques help to teach more effective breath patterns essential for maintaining good a running pace. Also, a fact often over looked by many, Pilates is a great source of strength training particularly for the core muscle groups which are really essential for a good running technique.
Using Pilates techniques to stabilise your trunk when running will minimise side to side movement and excess rotation and ultimately significantly reduce the amount of wasted energy which can then be used in forward projection.
CASE STUDY with Georgie our Pilates Teacher
This April, Georgie, will be running the Brighton Marathon. She has dedicated months of training and is now on the final straight before the start line. Last Sunday was her final long run training session before tapering for the big day.
So, how has she found it? Has Pilates really helped her keep in shape and prepare for the 26.2 miles?
Caroline: Overall how has Pilates helped / been included in your training?
Georgie: Pilates has been fantastic throughout my training, I have used sessions both for strength and flexibility. After the long Sunday runs it has been great to jump on the studio equipment and get my body stretched out in ways I couldn’t do myself.
I’ve also used the apparatus like a strength and conditioning session, creating a mini circuit with squats, lunges, upper body, and core.
Caroline: Do you think Pilates has helped you limit your injury risk?
Georgie: Massively so! What Pilates brings to you more than anything else is body awareness. Through my Pilates practice I have picked up where weaknesses lie and then have worked hard to correct them. It means for me when a niggle comes up in my knee, foot, back etc, I can focus on good movement to keep me on track and avoid injury.
Caroline: Has Pilates helped with recovery after your training sessions?
Georgie: Yes hugely so. It has been invaluable knowing how to properly stretch out the body. I have kept quite a strict routine of coming home, having ice bath, and doing some gently stretches and mobility. You can tell the power of Pilates and its brilliance as the next day I am walking normally and not hobbling about in pain!
So, if you are a keen runner and want to get the most out of your running sessions and perhaps smash those Personal Best’s you’ve been chasing, come and give Pilates a try.