By Han McKimm.
Running is my favourite form of exercise. I love getting outside, clearing my head and feeling satisfyingly exhausted by the end of it. I’d happily run every day; in fact, that is what I used to do until I discovered that I could actually run further and faster and feel less sore if I replaced a couple of my runs with Pilates.
Adding Pilates to your running routine can help improve your technique and efficiency, leading to improved performance and reduced risk of overuse injuries. Pilates and running go hand in hand; it’s such a perfect way to balance out the intensity of running. By using exercises that specifically relate to running, you will see a big difference after just a few classes.
So exactly how does Pilates help with running?
- Core stability
- Trunk control
- Lateral hip strength
- Pelvic stability
- Hip extension
- Knee control
- Body awareness
- Ankle stability
By working on the above, you will see the following:
- Reduced risk of injury
- Improved running efficiency
- Improved biomechanics
- Less soreness post-run
- Increased running speed
- Increased running distance
- Improved breathing control
Building strength, control and awareness in all these areas helps to reduce the load going through your hips, knees and ankles, making you less likely to sustain an overuse injury. You will gain body awareness, stability and flexibility where you need it, helping you to run more efficiently. With less energy wasted on poor biomechanics and posture, you’ll feel lighter and less tired while you run.
But it’s not just physical benefits you will notice. Pilates strengthens your mind/body connection and helps you to exercise mindfully. You’ll become more in control of your breathing and let go of tension where you don’t need it, leading to mental benefits as well.
Pilates isn’t the only option for balancing out your running program. For me personally, it has been the perfect addition, but you may prefer yoga or a gym program. The most important thing is that you enjoy what you’re doing enough to stick with it.
Our Pilates offers 3 x 8-week running programs (5km, 10km and 21km), with 3 running-specific classes per week as well as a pre-run warm up and post-run cool down. These programs are available to all subscribers. Sign up today to take your running to the next level.