Louise Humphreys is our Pilates expert for the Run Mummy Run Community Run Club in association with ASICS. Louise provides some wonderful advice and practical tips as part of the RMR CRC. These blogs are exclusive to RMR CRC members for a few months before being made public, so if you do want to get expert advice on your running, as well as a training sessions, expert Q&As, access to exclusive kit and much more, join the club today! In this detailed blog, Louise explains why women runners should do Pilates and the key benefits you can experience.
There are many reasons why it’s beneficial for runners to do Pilates:
- Low impact
- Strengthen the core stabilising muscles
- Focus on body alignment
- Improve flexibility and mobility
- Reduce your risk of injury
- Doesn’t need to take long done regularly
Yes, all this from doing regular Pilates!
Are you a runner who puts on your kit, heads out the door to fit your run in and then has a quick shower when you get back and carry on with your day? You’re not alone! Just getting out for a run sometimes is all we can fit in with our busy lives. Until we get injured and we can’t run at all…
I know you know the importance of adding strength and flexibility training into your workouts.
I know you know that as we get older our bodies start to change and lose strength and flexibility if we don’t work at it.
I know you know this – so why don’t we help ourselves?
Make time for Pilates as a runner
Research has shown that forgoing a run for a strength workout will help your running, reduce your risk of injury and potentially keep you running for longer. But the thought of not running, not getting that runners’ high is too much to ditch a run and strength train for most. So why not just add 10 minutes of Pilates into your day (or at least 3x week)? We can all find 10 minutes, can’t we? Less time on social media could be all you need to keep you running.
Has that got you thinking?
Pilates is a low-impact exercise that focuses on core strength, posture, flexibility and mobility. Focusing on all the areas that will help with your running. Perfect to complement the impact of running and give your body time to recover.
Here we explore the areas where Pilates can help you.
The core is the centre of our body; it helps keeps us upright, stable and moving. Pilates works all the muscles of the core; these muscles include the deep stomach muscles, the muscles up either side of the spine and muscles around the pelvis.
Keeping your core strong helps with:
- Balance – we need good balance as runners
- Posture – having a strong core helps us stand taller
- Injury – reduces our risks of injury
As a runner the pelvis is KING. The alignment of the pelvis during running is so important and helps with our running motion. We need to maintain this alignment throughout our run. Any problems with the alignment of the pelvis means other parts of the body have to compensate and can lead to niggles or injuries. A strong core will help to keep our pelvis aligned.
Good posture for runners helps you to run efficiently. It’s important as you tire to keep good posture. It will help you keep good running technique and help with your breathing if you stay tall. Losing your posture as you tire can really affect your running technique, your pace and more.
Your day job might not help with your posture if you sit for long periods, weakening your postural muscles(back, glutes and chest). Find out more about what happens to your body when you sit for long periods here.
We spend half of our run on one leg so balance is really important. It’s an area that, if we don’t work on it, will start to deteriorate as we age and lead to more falls. Not great for a runner (especially trail runners)
A strong core help to improve your balance!
Flexibility and mobility
Being able to move your joints and muscles through a good range of motions will lead to better running technique and being able to run more efficiently and reduce your risk of injury. Pilates makes you more body aware; you know when things don’t feel right when running. Pilates gives you the tools to focus on the areas that have weakened, are not moving as well, or just the fact you don’t feel as strong as you’d like.
Pilates helps you reduce those risks of injury and keeps you running!
Louise is the founder of Studio 44 Pilates. She offers a 10-minute Pilates membership that allows you to do Pilates daily in your own time with one of the 10-minute Pilates videos. Or for more accountability joining one of the live 10- or 30-minute Pilates classes online. Louise, who is 56 years old, a mum, a wife and dog mum, has been teaching Pilates for over 20 years. With her Pilates experience, she is able to combine her Pilates knowledge to help runners stay strong, flexible and reduce the risk of injury. As we age, we need to change the way we train to help our changing bodies. Doing Pilates regularly allows Louise to get out of bed in the morning not feeling stiff and be able to carry on doing the things she likes, such as running.
Want to find out more about the Pilates for Runners online membership with LIVE online classes for real-life feedback and accountability? Go to Studio 44 Pilates.