Whether you run competitively or enjoy jogging on beautiful days, running is a great way to stay in top cardiovascular condition. The down side is the wear and tear on the joints from repetitive pounding that occurs while running. It’s common for runners to develop imbalances within the body. Certain muscles will take the majority of the load and be overworked while others sit back for the ride and don’t step up to help out! This can lead to all kinds of injuries. While running, the position of your head, shoulders, arms, torso, hips, ankles and feet all have a specific position that will improve your run and protect your body.
Krista Dugosh, Board Certified Pedorthist and owner of Fleet Feet in Murfreesboro, Tn says, “Knowing how to maintain body posture is critical during running. So many runners like to lean into their run through their waist, when really a slight tilt should come from the ankles. I have my coaches get certified in GFR (Good Form Running). All runners need to know how to carry themselves.”
Pilates is a perfect partner alongside your running routine. It develops a strong core, creates a more flexible spine and hips, focuses on control and breathing, and trains the shoulders to STAY DOWN away from the ears! It teaches the body to work efficiently! One of my favorite aspects of training is witnessing my clients gain control over their muscles. Once the core wakes up and starts being a part of what we are doing, all physical movement becomes easier!
The core muscles consist of
*Abdominal muscles – rectus abdominis, the transverse abdominals and the internal and external obliques.
*Hips – 29 muscles that connect to the core, responsible for stabilizing, transferring, reducing and producing force when your feet come in contact with a solid surface.
*Back muscles – all responsible for supporting posture, allowing for motion, coordination, and stability.
By practicing pilates a few times a week, you can make a huge difference in your overall running technique. Posture, balance and stability will improve and shave time off of your run! You will have more awareness of where your head and neck are in relation to your spine and pelvis and all the way down to your feet.
What Pilates will do for you as a runner:
* improve posture through a stable musculature and a strong, balanced sciatic area
* increase flexibility
* improve balance
* improve strength and endurance
* develop a long, flexible spine
* improve breathing by strengthening the diaphragm and practicing controlled breathing, allowing for more oxygen flow to your muscles
* shoulders, head and neck will be more relaxed during the run
* less strain on the body and you will recover faster from injuries
Just adding even one Pilates workout a week will improve your run. No need to use any of the expensive equipment, unless you have access and want to. Mat Pilates will work just fine!