Yoga and running

Yoga and running

I love yoga. I love running. But until recently I’d seen them as two quite separate beasts.

Though both help me to de-stress, yoga to me was all about relaxation and finding a sense of peace, whilst running involved pounding my cares out through my feet and explosive energy. They were both a means to the same end, but the two were mutually exclusive.

Then I started running on Saturday mornings after I’d done 15 minutes of yoga, and I realised that an energising yoga routine makes a great warm up for a run (better than boring static stretches, yoga is much more dynamic).

Not only that but I find that yoga actually puts me in the right frame of mind. Whilst it usually took me a third of a run for my mind to start quietening down and for me to get into the ‘zone’, I have found that I approach a run with a lot better attitude after a really good stretch.

I’ve also incorporated into my 10k race training, as a way of building strength and purpose. It has definitely helped me to increase overall flexibility and fitness – all of which means a better runner!

Here are some of my favourite yoga resources for runners:

Warm up

I recently discovered the Yoga with Adriene channel on Youtube and I am hooked. This warm-up, designed especially for runners really stretches out those hamstrings and I noticed significantly less leg twinges after doing it.

Whilst this video from Tara Stiles isn’t specifically for running, it is a great energy building workout. It especially helps free up my lower back and hips, which is great for running.

Cross training

Yoga can be used as part of training both to unwind and stretch your muscles on rest days, or a more dynamic work out with body weight training to improve fitness and conditioning.

Runners’ World have a great range of yoga videos that are perfect for interspersing with running training.

Plus this one from Tara Stiles (again) is one of my favourites

And, if you’re not too much of a yoga traditionalist, I also like this yoga/cardio workout from Jillian Michaels

Cool down

A short and sweet 7-minute cool down yoga routine to target the back and leg areas that can seize up after a good run.

Do you practise yoga and run? What are your favourite resources? Let us know in the comments below.