If you take running seriously as I do, then you know that you want to try everything that will lead you to progress. There are many routines and ways to increase running mileage, lung capacity, stamina and avoid injuries.
Some people swear that some methods are more effective than other, but it’s tough to evaluate the success of the process if you don’t try it yourself. Many people are wasting their time trying different methods each week in the hope of progress.
I don’t want to say that experimenting isn’t right, but you should stick to one method for a longer period. Have you ever tried practicing yoga? This activity has many health benefits and can help the runners long-term. In this article, I will talk about how practicing yoga can improve your running.
How is Yoga Connected to Running?
Yoga is an activity when you’re primary working on your flexibility which is crucial to runners from many points. More flexible runners don’t have so much trouble with injuries and recovery as the pressure is evenly distributed through the body. You know that the breathing is also crucial, especially when you run on longer distances. Practicing Yoga will teach you how to breathe properly during the constant physical stress. You don’t need to invest much time in Yoga practice and even a few minutes after running session will do the work. Here I shared the most important benefits of running I noticed after some time of practicing Yoga.
#1 Improved Flexibility
Flexibility is crucial in the running world and yet some runners keep neglecting a flexibility work. The more flexible you get your body will be able to handle more movement. For example, if you have stiff hamstrings, there is a huge possibility of injuring yourself. Yoga is the perfect activity for making your body more flexible. There is no need for having any special equipment and you can literally do the routine anywhere. Also, yoga is ideal for people who don’t have much time due to their busy schedule.
You only need to invest 10 – 15 minutes doing Yoga and you will soon see the improvements in your flexibility. Increased flexibility leads to many great benefits such as better posture, faster muscle recovery, better running mileage and more endurance.
#2 Better Breathing
You know that proper breathing is crucial in the running. If you don’t establish a proper deep breathing during your running session, you can expect to run shorter as you’ll reach fatigue sooner. Yoga is an ideal activity for improving breath body connection.
During the session, your main focus should be on breath while you’re doing a flexible work. Deep breathing is important not only for running but as well for healthy body functioning.
#3 Fewer Injuries
Running as an activity is very connected to injuries. No runner never experienced an injury either something serious or minor stiffness. The activity is putting much pressure on the joints and muscles, so over an extended period, the injuries can occur. The majority of injuries occur because of imbalance in the body.
For example, if you don’t have developed leg muscles, the majority of running pressure will be on your knees and joints. Yoga is just an ideal activity that will keep a balance of your body. The flexibility will improve as well as joint stability and overall balance. These benefits are perfect for aiming the pressure of running to the muscles leaving tendons healthy. I advise you to do a short yoga routine after each running session to reap the benefits of faster recovery.
#4 Yoga Can Motivate You
Yoga is a sort of meditation with physical stretching included. Your focus should be to achieve a proper deep breathing and you must concentrate on the body parts you’re stretching. After some time of practicing you will reap massive benefits of Yoga that can motivate you to reach another level in the running. It’s evident that Yoga promotes a joint and muscle health which is crucial for running.
You can avoid injuries that way and also you will feel much more healthier and energized that will have an impact on your running. Yoga will improve your endurance and stamina, which means you’ll be able to train and compete in longer races. The motivation is crucial here, but what could be a better motivation than seeing yourself progressing each day? Once you become more advanced in Yoga practicing, you can work on the motivation directly. To do it, you should choose a mantra (the sentence you’re focusing on during the session) that is connected to running and your motivation.
That way, you’ll get your mind straight on the goals you want to achieve as a runner, so it will be much easier to chase them. My advice is to start with two to three yoga sessions per week to see how your body responds. After that initial period, you can easily increase the number of sessions, depending on how you feel.
Do you combine running and Yoga practice? Do you have any Yoga routine that has a positive impact on your running progress?