You may have read on my social media that my upcoming challenge is a 40 mile (very hilly) ultra run in Scotland – I’m a little bit nervous with it only being 10 weeks away, and the fact that I have never ran further than a marathon.
One of the reasons I love triathlon so much is due to the fact that if you get injured (which tends to happen when you run a lot), then you have another two disciplines to keep you fit for race-day!
Unfortunately with running, it’s pretty easy and common to pick up an injury at some point, especially as mileage creeps up! I am not unfamiliar with quite disastrous running injuries – the most recent being a back fracture that occurred mid Ironman training! Since that injury I have done another full year of Ironman training, and the race, with absolutely no issues with my back what so ever!
I completely put that down to the fact that I practice Pilates 5 days a week, sometimes twice a day – I’m a teacher, not obsessed!
So, why is Pilates so great for runners?
LOOSEN UP THE HIPS
Tight hip-flexors are a common repercussion of running – especially if you are a runner that also cycles! Tight hips can often lead to an unwanted pelvic tilt, which can lead to pain in the lower spine and a bad running form. Most Pilates classes offer some kind of hip flexor work in the stretches – which is essential if you’re pounding the pavements or hitting the trails for hours at a time!
THAT PEACHY BUM
Yes, everyone wants a nice peachy looking bum, but having strong (and activated) glutes from Pilates, helps to stabilise the pelvis and prevent one of the most common bio-mechanical deficiencies out there – the internally rotating knee, aka, runners knee!
BACK, BACK, BACK
Post injury I am pretty obsessive about strengthening and supporting the spine! I used to think that running only really put stress and impact on the knees and ankles, but the spine should be a huge priority. Lower back pain is usually caused from a number of issues around the body (weak core, pelvic instability, tight hips, tight hamstrings) so taking care of all the body’s imbalances will help support the spine! Luckily for you, most Pilates exercises target the whole body and flag these imbalances.
So, runners…. See you in class?