Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Why I think running and yoga are best friends

Things are good in my running world right now.

I am a little bit apprehensive of how good I am feeling

I just spent the last year with first one chronic injury and then several different small issues.  It felt like a really long year.  Really long year.

I am being pretty good about not running all the miles.  Yesterday I even wore a skirt and sandals to work so that I couldn't run in the time between when I got off work and when we had an evening staff meeting at work.  I went to the new library instead and got my library card for the first time in 20 years.  I checked out a book for each kid and one for me.

This morning even though I had time and was feeling good I cut my run off at 5.61 miles instead of worrying about making it an even 6 miles.

My biggest goal is to not get too relaxed about feeling good.  I credit yoga with a lot of the healing that went on in relieving the pain in the front of my right leg.  The pain that woke me up night after night.  The pain that prevented me from sleeping on my side for so long. (I have never been a back sleeper so this was torture!) The pain that held me back from running.

The pain that I was sure when I went into the doctor in January at the end of my rope of sanity he would tell me was a strain or an itis (inflammation) of some kind.  So when after he listened to my sob story and he came back with the "sounds like a back thing", I was a little taken aback.  (hahaha scuse the pun) Although I couldn't say terribly surprised I have had back issues in the past, just never like that.

What I credit more than anything with my grateful return to running is my consistency with yoga.  I set a goal at the beginning of the year to do yoga at least twice a week thinking that would drive me crazy enough all by itself.  I found the drive to loosen up my super tight muscles, try to heal my back and get back to running strong, healthy, and do races again kept me motivated to do it more.

I am not going to lie and say it is 100% better, but there are days when I don't think about it anymore and today for the first time in forever I ran an interval workout.  I did 6 x 400 intervals with a mile warmup, and then some cooldown.  I call that a victory.

Random yoga and running things I have read/learned in the last 5 months

  • yoga is good for runners and running is bad for yoga
  • it is better to do four 20 minute sessions a week than do one 90 minute session a week (consistency is key)
  • both running and yoga help relieve stress and make you feel better when you are done
  • it helps undo the repetitive stresses running places on the body
  • now that I am used to it, I crave the feel good stretches
There are those that argue that yoga is not for every runner, and they may have a point.  My goal is not to be the most flexible person every, but being able to almost touch the floor when I bend over with my knees straight it pretty cool.  My running is making a pretty good comeback and I am happy with where I am at.

I never guessed I would have been so into yoga and if you follow me on Instagram you might have seen me participating in a yoga challenge this month and I have had a lot of fun with it.  Here are some of my favorites

I plan to continue to do yoga at least twice a week. I don't know for sure that it was the cure, but it was the only thing I really changed in my life and slowly I started sleeping through the night again.  The pain quit waking me up, and sometimes at night I roll over and sleep on my side. 


  1. I agree, consistent yoga has been so helpful for my running.
    Do you ever to yoga before a run or always after? My schedule this Friday is such that if I want to get the yoga in, I need to do it before my 5 miler. Part of me feels like running after yoga will "cancel it out". The other part of me thinks it might be good to warm up the muscles.

  2. I always think people look so completely badass in their yoga pictures, and I'm sure I look like a total clutz! Congrats on such a triumphant return. I also appreciate yoga, and while I never really thought of it that way, you're right that yoga is good for running, but not the other way around. I haven't done yoga in a month and need to get back to it!

  3. I miss yoga and I think you've inspired me to get back into practice. It does help.

  4. i am so happy to read this. i had some major back pain last year that resulted in a microdistectomy. i'm so thankful that it combined with major physical therapy did wonders for my chronic pain. recently i found a really affordable yoga studio that has hatha alignment classes twice a week. i LOVE it. i may have found yoga late in my pain journey, but i can already tell that it's going to make a huge difference.

  5. pretty convincing! glad you're feeling good!

  6. That's awesome that yoga has been so helpful for you! I'm glad you're feeling better and taking it easy getting back into running!

  7. I think yoga is indeed great for running - because it strengthens muscles that you don't know you have, and is great cross training. I try to do it twice a week to keep my body healthy, if I stop doing it for a while I notice that my body feels weaker. Maybe I'll get into different cross training (I should probably do spin class more often), or something else, but yoga is great for me right now

  8. Good for you! I am happy for you to be feeling better but not TOO cocky about it! And do keep up the yoga cause you seem to enjoy it so much as well as well as find it helps. I like it too.


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