With the lighter nights rolling in it means only one thing to some… marathon training season! Even if your less keen for the whole 26.5 mile run but are still considering a shorter race to challenge yourself, we’re going to explore the importance of conditioning and preparation for training. The good news is Pilates can help runners in a number of different ways. If you’ve regularly been doing Pilates you’ll likely feel the benefits of using Pilates as an additional form of training, but if you’re new to Pilates its never too late to start getting the benefit. Pilates is a form of exercising which focuses on strengthening the core muscles. When we look at the core we don’t just consider the “6 pack muscles” -Rectus Abdominis the focus is on the deeper more powerful core, Transversus Abdominis, Obliques, lower back and muscles around the hips mainly the Glutes. Pilates aims to bring balance and strength to your running technique. Although fitness in general is key to long distance running, the body works as a complete chain and Pilates helps to ensure this is efficient and strong. Running puts high demands on the whole body and having a strong core will help you to perform better. If you’re exploring different styles or terrains then Pilates can help to make your running more efficient.
Incidence of injury in training has been reported as up to 90% for those training for marathon distance. So how do you go about finding what the perfect combination is for you? In preparation, you’ll no doubt be reading advice on best pacing strategies and training regimes and likely trying to then fit this on top of your everyday life. We have successfully worked with those training for marathons by providing them with a personalised programme following a 1:1 Pilates assessment which will explore any imbalances in your body. We can provide an involved programme to address these imbalances- which you work on at home or under supervision. This will help prevent those injuries and niggles occurring. If you are interested in booking a 1:1 get in touch with us today on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Currently we offer a wide timetable across the city designed to offer flexibility and a class that suits your needs best. This may be a beginners class or intermediate and advanced for a higher level challenge. Our classes are mat based and the classes are all led by qualified physiotherapists who are specially trained in Pilates. Our classes are small which allows the instructor opportunity to correct your technique or provide any alternative exercises for your needs. Classes will focus on the body as a whole so this can also be a useful way of working on your flexibility, posture and on other injuries such as back pain arising from sitting at a computer desk too long. The benefit of a physio delivering your class is that any ongoing injuries can be catered for and exercses can be adapted by our physiotherapists who have specialist and up to date knowledge.
Our timetable to available online Pilates Plus Class Timetable.
Key ways in which Pilates can improve running:
Greater core strength
Improved spinal flexibility
Lengthens muscle and creates better flexibility
Better pelvic and hip control
More efficient breathing and diaphragm control
Of reported injuries in running a high majority happen around the foot or the ankle. If you are concerned that your running technique is causing pain or are unsure about footwear, then an appointment with a Podiatrist can be very useful. We are very lucky at Physio Plus to have Alistair Dall our resident Podiatrist from Sports Podiatry Scotland working along side us. Physiotherapy and Podiatry can really complement each other and a combined approach can really help in combating lower limb issues. Both as physios and Pilates instructors we often get asked a lot about pronated or flat footed postures, so who better to listen to than the expert! If you’d like to book an appointment with Alistair then just get in touch with the clinic for an appointment. Alistair can advise on footwear, insoles, exercises and treatment for conditions of the foot and ankle.
Overall Pilates in an excellent way of conditioning the body and preparing your muscles for running and is widely used in sporting environments and by elite athletes. If you experiencing injuries when running or just want to improve your running performance why not consider Pilates as part of your training?
Pilates – Strengthen those Hips!
More often than not with running injuries related to lower limb biomechanics there is some degree of weakness or instability around the pelvis/hip therefore it is important to strengthen. Use the following exercises to help strengthen around the hip.
1. Side leg kick – level 2:
Side lying make sure you are in neutral spine, bend the bottom leg and lift the top leg out straight, float the leg forwards pointing the toes and then float the leg back in the same plane of movement flexing the foot. Repeat x 15 (both sides)
2. Squat with magic circle/resistance band:
Standing with your feet approx hip width apart, imagine you are sitting on a chair. As you squat gently press into the circle/resistance band and you should feel your gluts working as well as your quads. Repeat x 10
3. Single leg Scooter – standing on one leg only extend the other leg behind you – focusing on your deep abdominals and keeping your lower back and pelvis in alignment. Push the leg back behind you as if you are pushing into the wall. Repeat this x 10 on one side then do the other side.
This exercise is great for hip stability, core and balance control – a real winner!
As all professional runners will tell you injury prevention is as much a part of the training programme as running itself! Everyone is individual too and we all have very different lower limb biomechanics so what works for one won’t necessarily work for another. A consultation to get to the bottom of your specific issues is always recommended so your physiotherapist or podiatrist can devise an individualised home exercise programme or intervention just for you. For further information or appointments visit our website: www.pilatesplusphysio.co.uk.