Running minds and running feet, whether on the run mentally or physically, yoga can have a positive effect cope with the pace. With the London Marathon fast approaching, what better time to use yoga deal with the mental struggles and the physical aches of running a marathon!
Here, I break down some of the most important stretches to do pre and post run. Who am I to make these suggestions? I was once a long distance runner, and in fact once ran 4 marathons and one ultramarathon in 28 days: the below helped me survive!
(take as long in each as you need to wake up)
1. Downward Dog Freestyle - pedal out your legs and freestyle some movement here, to wake up your legs, spine and upper body. To engage the whole back of your legs, angle that sacrum up to sky.
2. Crescent lunge - like caffeine for your nervous system, open up the hip flexors, energise the back leg and begin to lengthen the whole spine.
3.Wide leg adductor opening - push the inside of that bent leg away from you to wake up the area where you’re probably the tightest
1. Cow-Face - you don’t need to be these deep; as long as you feel it in outer leg/hip muscles of the top leg, its working. Pull you chest forward and down…not jut down.
2. Cow- face twist - as above but add a twist to make it a little more juicy. Start off with just taking the palms together and the elbow to the knee.
3. Pigeon - To you best to keep the hips square then stay upright for more of a challenge or make restorative by taking your torso down. You hips will thank you tomorrow.
4. Forward fold - treat this as a lengthener for the whole back of your body from Achilles tendon to the back of the skull: it's not about head butting your knee.
When you sink and spend your time in all of these post race postures, make the most of it. Take some time to calm your heart rate and try to slow down that internal narrative that has been so wild for the last 24 hours. Begin to notice your breathe, without trying to control it.
Observe the physical sensations associated with it; from the air flowing across your lips to the movement of your chest. Every time your mind wonders, bring it back to the breathe.