Yoga Practice & Running/Marathon Training
As the snow slowly begins to melt into spring, many of us are digging out and dusting off our old running shoes, getting ready for that spring half-marathon. If you can’t wait to get out and start training there’s just one thing you should do no matter what: keep up with your yoga practice! One of the biggest mistakes you can make when prepping for a marathon or half-marathon is stoppng your yoga practice while you train. Practicing yoga while training for a marathon, half-marathon, or any other athletic activity is more than recommended.
Some people think that yoga might sap the energy right out of their muscles. Others wrongly assume that practicing yoga while training will lessen their stamina. The truth of the matter is that yoga’s a team player. Practicing yoga while you train will greatly improve your results. Here are three key ways that practicing yoga while training for an event will set you up for success while reaping some impressive physical benefits:
When we run our hips tighten up, yoga will keep the hips nice and fluid. Hip openers like warrior, lunges, and pigeon will also help increase your endurance. Hip openers are especially effective when used in conjunction with running, skiing and ice skating.
Yoga breath— or Ujjayi breath— is key to yoga practice and doesn’t just help you remain present in the moment on your yoga mat. Incorporating an even, relaxed pranayama into your athletic training across a variety of intensities will increase your lung capacity, improving your stamina and endurance.
Practicing yoga regularly also increases your muscles’ flexibility and strength which can lessen aches and pains. One of our strongest muscles (and an integral one when it comes to running) is the hamstring muscle. So many yoga poses, from down-dog to triangle, focus on stretching out the hamstring and are perfect for it keeping long and loose. Hamstring stretching doesn’t just make for a better run, it will also alleviate lower back pain. So the next time you’re signing up for that 5K or mud run remember, whatever you do, keep up with your yoga practice!