My half marathon is 4 days away including today and I am nervous! Why? Well, my training has been very different compared to my previous half marathons. Along with putting in the miles, I have included the workouts that I teach 5 days a week, added a little yoga into the mix and really turned up the heat with my "core" classes as well.
I am here to tell you right now, if you are an athlete (any level, any stage), I highly recommend adding yoga to your weekly workouts. It is a great way to get leaner, stronger and mentally focused. For me, I love doing yoga at the height of my training because yoga helps lengthen my muscles, stretch them in ways I would not do on my own and slooooow down.
Yoga can help
- prevent injuries
- build muscle strength
- improve mental control
- increase balance and flexibility
You do not have to be an expert at yoga. Find a good instructor that not only leads you through but an instructor that can provide alternatives if you are not able to perform every move.
If you are like me and would like to try at home before taking a class, there is a great online source called Grokker and here you find variations of yoga that will fit your needs. Go to Grokker.com, sign up for free and click on a video. I have done a few of the YOGA videos for athletes and beginners. My body is awkward and some of the moves are uncomfortable but I have fun and it helps me relax. I will tell you how many times I have tipped over.
Next, core training has been HUGE for me! I teach a 30 minute group fitness class called CX WORX created by the Les Mills company in New Zealand. In 30 minutes you not only work your entire core but you tone all the muscles in your body. I have noticed when running longer distances, its easier to brace more core and stay strong. As runner, the best thing about CX, it exercises all the ligaments, muscles and tendons you need for a good solid run, particularly the IT band. The IT (iliotibial Band) band is a common injury amongst runners especially when it has not been exercised properly or over-trained. CX WORX helps with this ligament with various leg kicks and squat combinations. I definitely feel more confident heading out for my next run knowing that my IT band has been trained properly.
CX WORX can help
- build a stronger core
- tone your legs, core and butt muscles
- improve your posture
I can't wait to list all the other things that helped me get through this half marathon training. What I can tell you, it's been fun and a lot of hard work. But when you have a goal and want to do well, stepping outside your comfort zone can definitely take you to the next level. Let's see where it takes me on Sunday. YIKES!
AH CHoooOO! . . . yep, it's trying to rear it's ugly head as I type. I took some vitamin C, a little cold medicine, lots of water and heading to bed RIGHT NOW.