Although yoga and running may not sound like a natural fit, they complement each other perfectly. On the physical side alone, practicing yoga helps develop muscle strength, balance, and flexibility, while reducing the risk of injury. It also enhances the breathing efficiency needed for a good run.
On the mental side of things, yoga aids in improving mental focus.
If you are an avid yogi, regular runs will boost your cardiovascular fitness, respiratory health, as well as leg strength.
Whether you are passionate about running or yoga, adding one or the other into your current exercise regimen can be tricky.
The first thing you need to accept is that you will need to do a little less of your primary activity if you want to include cross-training into your schedule.
There is no “one size fits all” approach. The trick is to find what works for you. It will require patience, trial, and error until you get it right, so don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes some time and effort.
Also, for avid runners, including yoga into their tight workout schedule can be a challenge. Many runners are motivated to make time for yoga after learning that incorporating just 10 or 15 minutes can help them stay healthier and stronger overall.
Practicing yoga comes with numerous benefits, and most of all: fewer injuries, faster running times, and longer and healthier running life.
Mix up the levels of intensity for running and yoga within a week. For instance, you can have a slightly more challenging run and easy yoga. If you are feeling especially strong and enthusiastic, you may go with a vigorous vinyasa after a run.
It’s all up to you: listen to your body and find what works for you.
A general guideline recommends practicing at least 60 minutes of yoga per week. Make sure to do this on a non-running day as it will help you build strength and get a good stretch.
One more important thing to note when gearing up for the runs: choosing the right running insoles is critical as they help in absorbing the impact while providing arch support.
Include three yoga classes per week, like Power Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, or Yoga for runners. These classes should be high-intensity ones, stamina, and strength-based.
Also, make sure to incorporate three weekly runs in your training regimen. Aim at an easy, yellow-zone pace, since all of your yoga practices are hard-effort ones.
Make sure to use at least one day a week for recovery.
If you are starting with including more yoga into your training regimen, then a post-run stretch is a great place to start. Doing a stretch immediately after the run speeds recovery.
When your primary activity is running, opt for yoga classes focused on balance and stability like Hatha-style classes. Also, yoga practices focused on recovery, like Yin or Restorative Yoga, are quite useful.
If you can’t afford to spend an hour for yoga practice, start with 10 to 15 minutes of stretching after your run, and build up from there. If you are short on time, even 5 minutes of yoga after a running session can help you yield great results.
Squeezing in a 20-30 minute yoga session in your day will pay off in your flexibility, strength, faster recovery, and a more balanced state of mind.
Combining yoga with running will help you take your fitness abilities up a notch.
Bear in mind that finding the right amount of each activity that works best for you may take some time, but the benefits you will gain are worth the effort.