Preparing for a marathon is no easy task. All those hours training and preparing are tough enough, but add injury to the mix and have your hopes and dreams of crossing the finish line taken away because your body has let you down, is even harder.
Don’t worry, its not all doom and gloom. We’re here to let you know that injury doesn’t mean the end of the road. We see long-distance runners every day in our clinics, and we can say with safety that we can get you back on track.
There are many routes to recovery and which one you take is always dependant on your individual injury, body, and goal, but one treatment recommendation that seems to surprise people, is Pilates.
It’s true, you can use Pilates to help you find out why something is hurting, and even prevent it from happening again.
You may have heard people recommend Pilates for runners before, but perhaps you’re unsure why or how it can help runners. Let us explain…
Pilates is not necessarily associated with running, but actually once you try it you will realise why it is a perfect strength training habit for every runner. Our Physiotherapists, who work as part of a multidisciplinary team, alongside Pilates Instructors, incorporate aspects of Pilates to their treatment plans every day in their clinical practice with sports people from all fields but particularly with runners.
If you have a race coming up soon, your focus is likely on your that marathon or event and it might not be the time to start adding Pilates exercises to your well thought out preparation plan, but in the future, we highly recommend that it is incorporated in to your training program from start to finish, including for recovery and beyond!
The fundamental aim of Pilates is to emphasise strength in balance along with mobility and breath control. With a regular Pilates routine, your muscles are in better condition, so can tolerate longer runs with less fatigue, soreness and tightness.
Our Pilates Instructors are experts in analysing posture and movement and can help you to ensure your body stays in the best possible condition throughout your running career.
Pilates helps you to connect to what your body is doing through each step of every run. Have you ever had a coach or your Physio speak to you about managing your cadence, or how many steps you take per minute, but been unsure how to practically do it?
This may be due to the difficulty that many of us have with our breathing, once you have better control of the relaxed breathing required for distance running you can start to time your steps to your breathing and gain important focus. Breath control is the first key element of Pilates and you’ll be amazed how much difference this type of training can make.
As a long distance runner, you’ll be familiar with distance training, and learning how to run further. As this is not an easy challenge, you’ll be pleased to know that Pilates can help to improve the economy of your running technique, meaning you will use less energy to achieve the same distance by reducing wasted energy on poor posture or less efficient limb movement.
Pilates also trains your neural connectivity to the muscles and movement patterns so, as well as the actual strength, your new, more efficient, movement patterns become automatic and ‘easy’. This increased activation and strength will help protect you from injury as the muscles are able to tolerate the increased demand required as your mileage ramps up.
Stretching and mobility work that is very typical to Pilates, can help find areas of tightness that may be troubling you, causing restriction or preventing you from effectively activate your muscles.
Have you ever had low back ache after running a certain distance? This could potentially be because your hips are tight and not giving you the full extension you need through your stride. That load, or weight, could be being transferred to the lower spine area which, step by step, mile by mile, starts to feel aggravated and eventually, cause you pain.
Of course Pilates stretches can also be used as part of your recovery plan to ensure that you are ready for that next training session and in the best possible condition for your next challenge ahead.
It’s simple really, Pilates is an incredible form of exercise, and it makes you a better runner by:
As the saying goes…”If you always do what you’ve always done then you’ll always get what you’ve always got”.
This is your sign to try something new and make a change to get rid of those niggles and injuries and run further and faster by incorporating Pilates in to your marathon or long distance running training plan!
Whether you are looking for a flatter stomach, tight glutes, shapely arms and legs or just to lose weight & feel energized, Pilates can help you achieve it.
For our Instructors, Pilates is about quality not quantity. Classes are structured for smaller, more intimate group numbers and private 1:1 sessions are focused and goal driven; so every session is tailored to your requirements.
Learn how to prepare for your marathon training schedule safely and effectively.
You’ve done it, you completed the marathon! You’re feeling that runner’s high and want to sign up to another straight away! But you feel those post-race aches and stiffness coming on. Find out how to give your body the best chance at recovering so you can keep running, pain-free.