Running is great, but occasionally comes with muscle tightness, soreness, and the odd injury, add to this a desk job where you spend most of the day sitting and your hamstrings will naturally shorten and tighten.
If you’re a runner then yoga is a great option for increasing your flexibility, improving your strength and ultimately improving your run. Although you might spend a little time stretching before and after running if you’re only doing the bare minimum, it’s unlikely you’re seeing the benefit.
That’s why taking up a yoga class is a great idea if you’re a runner and is an ideal activity to add into your cross training. Here’s why:
Yoga is a great way to improve your strength as it works all your key muscle groups. From your core to your hip flexors and hamstrings yoga will help you strengthen these muscle groups which will help you to run stronger and faster. If you have weak muscles particularly if they are muscles such as your hamstrings you will put yourself at risk of injury and be a slower runner. Likewise improved strength in your core will make you a more efficient runner.
Tight hamstrings are a common problem for many runners and often where injuries develop from. By flexing, stretching and loosening these muscles off the risk of injury is decreased, your running becomes more efficient and your stride length can be improved.
Your lower back also benefits from the stretching in yoga and can help lengthen your posterior chain and open up the hips what relieves tension and reduces the risk of injury.
Most of us, no matter how good our intentions don’t stretch enough before or after running. Yoga ensures that you are getting those stretches in to keep lengthening those muscles and it can just become part of your routine.
Yoga classes help with your flexibility, balance and improve overall strength. This will help you improve your efficiency of movement and reduce injury, which is great if you’re a runner as you don’t want to be out of training for too long because of an injury.
When you’re holding poses in yoga you are also taught to control your breathing and to breathe as deeply as you can. Runners’ breathing often becomes fast and shallow when under strain so practicing yoga can help improve that breathing control when you’re out on your run. This will help you increase lung capacity under pressure, so will make it easier to run efficiently.
If you would like to learn about our recommended poses for runners please visit our blog post here.
If you are a runner that takes up yoga then you might be wondering what to wear and if you need to buy more workout clothes, but actually yoga clothes and running clothes are interchangeable to some extent. Both practices ask for comfortable clothing that is breathable and practical for taking part, and many yoga clothes will be just as appropriate for running. The best example of this is yoga leggings, which are essentially the same as running leggings, so if you buy yourself a pair you will be able to use them for both types of training. Here are some of our top tips for clothes that work for both yoga and running:
For both yoga and running you are going to want clothes that are made from breathable fabric. Breathability will allow you to feel fresh and wick away any moisture build up while you’re taking part in your chosen sport. Comfort is also important as you want to be able to move with ease. Chafe-resistant and stretchable fabric will help you relax and allow for easy movement.
Cotton and lace underwear are not going to be a good idea for either yoga or running, so you’re better investing in some underwear that will wick away moisture to keep you feeling fresh and clean.
Your Sports Bra is also a very important consideration too, especially for high-impact sports such as running. You need something that is supportive and will keep everything in place no matter what you’re doing. This is true of yoga too, as you want to be sure that whatever pose you’re in your bra holds everything in place. One sports bra that is suitable for high impact sports can be used for both yoga and running.
Yoga leggings are both fashionable and practical for yoga, running and day to day wear. With styles ranging from cropped to full length and in every colour imaginable, Yoga Leggings are as much as a fashion statement as they are a great piece of fitness wear. They’re well fitted, keep your bottom fully covered and because the material is generally figure-hugging it can help absorb sweat.
Buy a good quality pair made with good fabric to avoid them being see through or wearing out too quickly and avoid light colours if you sweat a lot and it will be more noticeable.
For yoga so long as your clothes are comfortable, allow you to move freely and aren’t so loose that they are falling over your head then you’ll be able to practice easily. This is similar to the requirements for running clothes which means buying yoga clothes to run in or wearing your running clothes to yoga will work just fine.
The most important thing is that you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing as that will give you the confidence to practice well and feel good doing it. With yoga, as with running, you don’t really want to be bothered about your clothes, you want them to be there and do their job so you can practice on your breathing and movements.
vWhile yoga and running may seem like very different exercises they are actually extremely complimentary to each other and adding yoga into your running cross-training can be really beneficial. Yoga and running clothes have many of the same requirements meaning that they are interchangeable, so you could easily run to your yoga class and then practice yoga in the same outfit.
If you’re looking for some new inspiration for your running wardrobe then why not check out our collection of yoga clothes here. The styles and designs will work for running too and give you some more options to try out.