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Pilates for runners: A guest post for Fit Milwaukee

Posted on May 25, 2011

Guest blog post for Fit Milwaukee by Patty McNichols

As a competitive runner for almost 25 years, including more than 20 marathons and the Hawaii Ironman Championship, I wish I had discovered Pilates long ago. After constantly suffering from foot injuries, tight hamstrings and even a surgery, I had to stop running. However, after my Pilates training, I was surprised at how easy it was to run and race again. My flexibility and running posture improved as did my breathing, and I haven’t experienced any injuries since.

Now that the weather in Wisconsin is getting warmer, I hear many of my clients say they are hitting the pavement and picking up running again. Here’s what runners should know about how Pilates can help your running performance:

Top reasons runners don’t do Pilates.

I hear many people say there’s not time for anything else outside of running, especially if you’re following a strict training routine. I also hear runners say that Pilates won’t improve their time. Last, runners are a tough breed and when they feel pain, instead of stopping, they will run through the pain in hopes of it going away.

Benefits of Pilates for runners.

Pilates will loosen your tight muscles and prevent injuries. Pilates exercises are done in a way that balances your muscles, especially those that are chronically tight when you run; hamstrings, quads, IT bands, calves and lower back. At the same time, Pilates increases flexibility, improves your stride length and strengthens your core. After I completed my Pilates training, my core was stronger, therefore, my body functioned efficiently for the first time the rest and running became easier.

Getting started.

I tell my running friends to come in for a few classes because you can strength train at the same time that you’re stretching. With the new arrival of CoreAlign to the studio and the warmer weather, this is a great time for runners to add Pilates or CoreAlign into their training.

To help get you started, The Lift Pilates Studio is offering a free 30-minute CoreAlign session by appointment or a free Monday Mat class at 12:30pm if you mention that you saw this article on FitMilwaukee.com. There is limited availability (but plenty of room for friends) so please contact Rachel at [email protected] to reserve your spot before June 30th.