I’ve recently signed up for my second ever half marathon!
Do I like running? Well not really… I find it exhausting and quite painful to be honest. However, once I get into the routine, I kind of enjoy it (the warm weather and longer days really helps here!)
Aside from my personal preferences, I do think running (in moderation aka no marathons) is a great and very effective form of exercise. Out of all the workouts I’ve tried, yoga included, I think running is the one that helps you get fitter quicker. Less time and bigger results. Good combo, plus running also helps to work out our hearts with cardio work, which is something that yoga (the only exercise I do) might lack a bit… although some flows or inversions can definitely make your heart race to sprint levels!
My friend asked if I’d do the Windsor half with her, so I thought: why not? Challenge accepted! My first half was in Cardiff, a city where I lived for almost two years when I first arrived to the UK. So I reckoned that doing the Windsor half would be a nice tribute too, since I’ve lived there for four years of my life.
Plus, sharing the excitement/pressure with a friend really helps. Even if we cannot train together, we can motivate each other and share tips. And also… the reality is that if you do train enough, doing a half is possible even for a beginner like me (as long as you take it easy). And of course, a great achievement that fills you will personal satisfaction. I remember when I was finishing the Cardiff one, I felt very emotional receiving all the cheering from the public, it was such a beautiful moment with a big feeling of union 🙂
Now that I’ve signed up for this one, I’m thinking of setting a trend and run halfs in the cities where I’ve lived for a (long-enough) period of time. Cardiff in my 20s is done, Windsor in my 30s on track… would the next one be London in my 40s? Who knows!
The yoga+running combo
Anyway, this post is not to go on about my reasons to run half marathons, but to share some yoga positions that mix perfectly with the muscles that get drained the most from running. For me, that is the hamstrings.
With yoga, we work on our muscle flexibility, stretching and strength, whereas with running we work on aerobic exercise and strengthen on our lungs and heart. Therefore, I recommend the yoga+running combo 100% to give our body everything it needs.
Below are a few poses that do help to stretch our sore muscles before/after a running session.
Remember that stretching is super important to avoid injuries so make sure you do it and, even better, fit a couple of yoga classes a week within your running training. Your muscles will thank you!
The postures above are more intuitive than anything for me, based on my yoga experience and what my body feels before/after a run. However, if you want to do it properly, I’d suggest following the standing sequence of the Ashtanga Primary Series: