We all know that running is a fantastic form of exercise. Running not only boosts cardiovascular health, but also enhances overall well-being. Runners love nothing better than lacing up those trainers and heading out.  However, to become a better runner and prevent injuries, it’s essential to complement your running routine with targeted strength training. This is something we know we should be doing! An effective and increasingly popular method is Pilates for Runners.

The relationship between Pilates and running can help strengthen your foundation for better performance.

The Core Connection with Pilates for Runners

At the heart of both Pilates and running lies a strong emphasis on core strength. The core muscles play a pivotal role in maintaining proper running form, preventing fatigue, and reducing the risk of injuries. Pilates has an emphasis on core engagement and controlled movements. For this reason, Pilates is a great place for runners to build a stable foundation.

Strengthening your core doesn’t need to take long. It is easy to fit in before or after a run. 

  1. Improved Posture and Alignment: Pilates for Runners places a strong emphasis on posture and alignment, essential elements for any runner.  It’s not until injuries occur that most runners even think about this. Practicing Pilates, runners can correct imbalances, strengthen postural muscles, and enhance their overall alignment. This contributes to more efficient running mechanics and reduces the risk of injuries associated with poor posture. Whatever your running ability, this is so important and can make a huge difference.
  2. Targeted Muscle Engagement: Pilates for Runners targets specific muscle groups, including the deep stabilising muscles that we might not adequately activate during running. A common area for weakness in runners is the glute muscles, which are a major part of the running movement. Pilates targets, and helps runners build strength in, areas such as the pelvic floor, hip stabilisers, and deep abdominals – crucial for maintaining stability during the repetitive motions of running.
  3. Flexibility and Range of Motion: Pilates involves a combination of strength and flexibility exercises. This is particularly beneficial for runners, as it helps improve joint mobility and increases range of motion. Enhanced flexibility can contribute to a more fluid and efficient running stride.

Injury Prevention

Runners are no strangers to the risk of injuries, and this increases as we age.  Strengthening is even more Important the older we get. Pilates for Runners sessions are a great place to start. Pilates is low impact, and can be a great rest day activity too.

  1. Fixing Muscular Imbalances: Running can lead to muscle imbalances, as certain muscle groups work more than others. Pilates helps balance these asymmetries by targeting specific muscle groups, ensuring that all areas of the body are strengthened and toned.
  2. Building Resilient Joints: Pilates exercises often involve controlled movements that are gentle on the joints. This helps to build joint resilience, a crucial factor for runners who subject their joints to repetitive impact. Strengthening the supportive muscles around the joints can alleviate stress and reduce the risk of overuse injuries.

Performance Enhancement

Pilates for Runners exercises can contribute to enhanced running performance by addressing weaknesses and optimising muscular coordination.

  1. Increased Power and Efficiency: Pilates focuses on improving the mind-body connection, promoting better awareness of movement patterns. Body awareness increases as you gain more awareness of the Pilates for Runners moves and leads to improved muscle recruitment, leading to increased power and efficiency during running.
  2. Breath Control: Breathing is fundamental to both Pilates and running. Pilates teaches controlled breathing techniques that we can apply to running, helping us to maintain steady breath and optimise oxygen intake during our workouts. This is essential, particularly as runners tire.

Incorporating Pilates for Runners into your training can be a game-changer for runners looking to improve their performance and stay injury-free. Pilates can help you build a strong core, address muscular imbalances, and enhance your overall body awareness. Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or somebody who runs for fun, consider adding Pilates to your routine and experience the transformative impact on your running. Strengthen your foundation, enjoy the run, and achieve your personal best with a blend of Pilates and running.

Pilates is a major part of the Get Stronger: Run a Faster 5K Course. Over 11 weeks, you learn the basics and start to see how incorporating Pilates into your weekly routine can help you to run faster.

Check out the latest dates of the next course and join us before it’s too late and the niggle turns into an injury. 

Louise x