Is there anything better than running? How about getting better at running? One of the great things about being a runner is competing with yourself and to get better than you were cross training is a must. Including yoga for runners can help you gain strength, endurance, and stamina to help nail your next PR.
Take a look at these top three benefits of adding yoga to your workout rotation.
- Strength. To run faster, you need more strength. Running does build leg muscles, but building strength in the supporting muscles will go a long way toward improving your time. Yoga focuses on core strength, bringing stability to the hips through making the ab muscles, and back and glute muscles stronger. Hip stability is key to having proper runner form and, with proper form, your chance of injury is reduced and your speed will increase.
- Breathing technique. Yoga introduces the importance of breath awareness through conscious breathing techniques. When you run your body and breath are put under a tremendous amount of stress. Being aware of your breath leads to stress resilience. Focusing on the depth and speed of your breath will help create a steady breathing pattern to propel you forward faster, bringing you closer to your next PR.
- Mental endurance. Often your brain just wants to stop running. How do you power through those last few miles when your legs are tired and your lungs are on fire? Your mind has to be tough and just like the rest of your muscles, mental strength is something that must be exercised. Mental endurance is increased through the practice of yoga. It releases stressors, increases confidence, and boosts self-image. And when you feel better, you run longer and better.
As a runner, you want to spend most of your time running. Doing anything different is a struggle for all runners – it seems once you’re hooked on the sport, there’s no turning back. But as you can see, there are many benefits of yoga for runners. These are only the top three – give it a try and go get your next PR!