As I trudged my way through a wet and windy 11 mile training run in preparation for a half-marathon at the beginning of March, I began thinking about the benefits of Yoga for runners. There have been a number of articles written over the years about the positive impact practicing yoga can have for runners.
Back in 2008, Runners’ World ran an article about the benefits yoga can have for building strength and flexibility, and in December 2012 another article revealed that 73% of runners they surveyed did not do yoga. This most recent article goes on to suggest that while there are plenty of different styles of yoga to chose from, it is consistency of practice which is more important than the style and that you should “Find a place with teachers you can connect with who understand your needs as a runner.” The magazine now has a specific section of its website dedicated to Yoga for Runners.
Alberto Salazar is a running legend, having been a world-record marathoner and now coach to British Olympic Champion, Mo Farah. Salazar recently shared his “10 Golden Running Rules” (highlighted in episode 210 of the “Marathon Talk” podcast). His sixth rule is “Strengthen your whole body”, in which Salazar suggests runners should stay away from weights machines and “stick to Pilates, climbing, and dynamic flexibility work like yoga.”
But I have to warn runners: yoga can’t help every aspect of running. Though the core strength and flexibility built through yoga should help maintain a consistent running style, it won’t prevent you feeling cold, wet and tired at the end of a long run in the British winter!