I started running a year and a half ago after I finished a 2 mile race that I mostly walked. I sprinted to the finish, and crossing that finish line changed me. I decided then that I wanted to be able to run more than just a final sprint, so I started C25K. Since then, I've lost almost 30 lbs and finished over two dozen races: countless 5Ks, 2 10Ks, 2 half marathons, a duathlon, and a few triathlons. (You can read all about these experiences in my race reports.) I am now training for my first full marathon at the end of February 2010. I've been lucky to have a boyfriend and parents that not only support me, but run along with me :) We'll be doing a marathon relay in February.
For more details of my running journey, read My Evolution as a Runner. And check out the slideshow of my running milestones below, from my first race, to running with my parents, to my first half marathon, to my first duathlon and triathlon. You can also view the photos on flickr with commentary.
Today's Topic: Yoga and Running
I find yoga to be an excellent companion to my running to avoid injury, improve flexibility, and help relieve sore muscles after a hard workout or race. Tell us about your experience with yoga as it relates to running. If you have not tried it, why not? If you have, did it help? How often do you feature yoga in your weekly workout regime? What are your favorite yoga poses and routines? Pass on your recommendations for your favorite yoga DVDs, instructors, podcasts, online resources, etc.
I've written about this topic before, but I am curious about other's take on it. I try to do yoga whenever I can, at least once a week, on my rest day, but I often follow most hard workouts with a short yoga session, or whenever something aches I try to target it with yoga. I find it helps me recover faster.
I've been mostly doing Chaz's podcast from http://yogamazing.com and I love them. They are easy to follow, only 20-25 minutes, and targeted for specific needs -- such as yoga for runners, for knees, etc. You can download the last 20-25 for free from iTunes, or purchase older episodes from the archives for $1.99. I highly recommend them.
In addition to these, I still also use Rodney Yee's Yoga Conditioning for Athletes. This DVD includes a 1 hour practice geared towards athletes with pose modifications for all levels. It also has several sport specific mini workouts (cycling, running, golf, swimming, and tennis), about 5-7 mins each, that can be used as a pre/post run stretch. I also own several of his other DVDs, and I've yet to find any I did not like.
Below is a list of some of my favorite yoga poses for runners (I'm sure I am forgetting many). Most of these are featured in the YOGAmazing for runners podcast. For details on these and other poses, check out http://www.iyogalife.com/poses/. This site is a great source for yoga poses, sequences, and specific yoga needs. Be sure to check out their Yoga for Runners section.
- child's pose - this is a great pose of surrender and a nice back stretch. Chaz starts most podcasts with this to focus on breathing
- downward dog - a great full body pose, and it feels great to stretch the legs and back
- pidgeon - great pose for runners, and especially the hips
- thread the needle - great twisting pose
- runner's lunge - the name says it all :) There is a variation that is also a great hip opener
- butterfly - another hip opener
- cat-cow - great to stretch out the back
What's yours favorite pose?