How my yoga routine helps my run recovery and keeps me moving
As soon as the thermostat consistently hovers above 0 Celsius, I have the itch to get outside and start running again. While I enjoy cold weather running (to a point), I’m more a hibernating kind of bear than a grin-and-bear-it runner. So once Spring beckons, I’m ready to get outside again and switch up my movement routine.
I’ve always found running to be meditative. I like to run alone and have also learned to love running without music in my ears. Instead, I soak up the sounds of the world around me. This presence and the time outside is cherished and relieves my stress. What’s not to love?
In years past, I would burst out the door and to restart my running routine only to be sidelined in a few days by killer shin splints, or low back pain, or knee pain, or all three. I don’t love that. As an easily bored person, quick to change my focus and interests, I would start running and stop other activities, like yoga.
Yoga strengthens and stretches to support runners
The saving grace now is my consistent yoga practice. Yoga helps me to both prepare and recover from running. My muscles are ready to adapt to a change in movement because I can tailor my yoga practice to support me – think core, hips and legs. It helps me to both lengthen and strengthen muscles so that when I ask my body to move in this way, my nervous system knows that I can do so safely. It doesn’t prevent me or try to protect me by tensing up my muscles and tissues to restrict my range of motion. And so, no shin splints. Yay!
Yes, I know there’s more to it than that. I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV, but let’s just say that my experience of the benefits of yoga follows me outside when I hit the road to run.
Do you change your exercise or movement routine with the season? How do you support your body to do that? I’d love to know.
On a related front, I’m starting a 6-week yoga series this Wednesday, March 24 to help shift our energy for Spring. This could be the practice to support your body as it gets moving more with the warmer weather – a way to keep you moving the way you want. More detail and registration info are available in my virtual studio. Any questions, let me know.