If you’re like me, most days include the essential activities such as going on my run, eating and going to work. Or as I like to say, “eat, sleep, run, repeat“. So why add another activity into your training program and how do you even find time for it?
Why Add Yoga?
Ok, so you already love to run. Why add in a new yoga practice? To be honest, I was not a fan after my first class. It was slow and I did not get the sense of accomplishment that I get from finishing a run. A friend recommended that I test out other types of yoga classes until I found a good fit and I am glad I did! As an avid runner, these are my favorite benefits of yoga:
- Mindfulness – As you learn how to bring awareness and focus to your practice, you also bring awareness and focus to the other aspects of your life.
- Strength, Balance & Core – Yoga teaches you how to use different muscles to balance your body in various poses. You might not even know you had some of these muscles!
- Flexibility & Stretching – As a runner, you probably have tight hips or hamstrings… not to mention that IT band. Adding yoga to your current training program can definitely help, there is hope!
How to Add Yoga to Your Current Training Program?
Before I moved, I made a habit of going to vinyasa and/or hot yoga classes on weeknights after work or on weekends after my long run. This allowed for my yoga practice to best complement my running. Here are a couple things to remember when starting out:
- Start out slow – This is important when starting any new activity but especially when practicing yoga. No matter how fit you are, yoga is a humbling practice and it takes time. Start by adding one class in addition to your running days and then you can begin to add more.
- Every day is different – Similar to running, know and respect your body to stay injury-free. When I began my yoga practice, I found it is easy to get caught up in the mental and physical challenge. I immediately ended up overdoing it and was forced to take time off from both running and yoga.
If you’re considering adding yoga to your running routine, I would also recommend checking out this article from Runner’s World, 6 Reasons Your Yoga Instructor Needs to Know You’re a Runner.