As the London Marathon date draws closer, so does the end of your gruelling training! Whether you are a seasoned Marathon competitor or an inexperienced runner, training can really take it’s toll on your body. However, something as simple as adding a few Pilates sessions per week in to your regime can have a monumental effect on the big day and on your body’s resilience & recovery!
While all runners know to stretch before they run, some runners don’t focus enough on the importance of stretching. They also might not be aware that insufficiently stretched muscles can cause you many problems, slowing you down at best and serious injury at worst!
WHAT EXACTLY IS STRETCHING?
The focus when stretching is on the muscle itself and where the tendons meet the muscles (tendons connect muscle to bone). When the muscles are stretching you are improving the muscles’s felt (elasticity) this achieves flexibility, increased range of motion, muscle tone, pumps the blood/oxygen evenly around the body for recovery, better performance, and decreases soreness (alleviating and preventing cramp).
SO WHY PILATES?
Studies suggest that one stretching exercise may not be enough to prevent all types of injury, and that, multiple stretching exercises should be used to gain the full effects of stretching. Pilates offers all of the benefits of stretching for runners and can be performed safely. Stretching can be dangerous and detrimental when performed incorrectly or may just seem ineffective and a waste of time. Stretches should be gentle not only for the sake of the body but also for the mind. Flexibility work, if done properly, has a calming effect.
EVEN BETTER… EQUIPMENT PILATES!
Joseph Pilates designed his exercises to be performed on specialised apparatus, and later developed mat exercises to allow his students to practise at home. The benefit of visiting a fully equipped studio like EPL is guaranteed attention to your specific needs as a client and to perform the workouts and stretches safely. You will be introduced to small pieces of equipment such as stretch bands and gym balls or the larger apparatus such as reformers and tower units to help challenge and support your body, depending on your needs!