Preparing for a marathon means more than just making sure you can go the distance. There’s preparation involved, and training —a lot of training. Up until the big day you’ll consider everything from the best shoes and breathable clothing to a nutrition and hydration plan.
When looking at all of the factors that can improve your time, cross-training with Pilates should be on the list. While running may be your first priority as a marathoner, weight lifting, swimming, cycling —and yes—Pilates, will be especially beneficial to your time.
Consider the story of elite marathoner, Robin Truxel, who has completed 12 marathons and owns her own Pilates studio in Charlottesville, Virginia. She contributes her personal best time of 3:37 to cross-training with Pilates. According to Truxel, when she began running, she had some pretty major issues with her hip and back. During her training, and even during the race, things would go smoothly, but the minute the race was over, her body would completely give out.
Cross-training with Pilates helped her overcome these issues, and they can help you as well.
Integrating Pilates into your training routine can assist you in several important ways:
Injury Prevention —When you live a life dedicated to running long distance and add the goal of ‘the fastest time possible’, injuries from overuse can occur. Most of these are the result of four problems:
The last factor can be improved with Pilates for marathoners. Muscular imbalances, like weak quadriceps and tight hamstrings can occur, especially in newer runners, when your lower back, knees, and ankles aren’t accustomed to the repetitive motion of running. Pilates can help you build up the strength, flexibility, and endurance of your most vulnerable muscles and joints. Even veteran runners can suffer if they don’t have the flexibility and strength in these areas, as the repetitive motion can cause loss of knee cartilage. Building up these joints and muscles with Pilates can help prevent injuries from occurring, so you can continue your love of running longer.
Faster Pace —Running in a marathon is a dream achieved by some. Running faster is a dream achieved by those who know how to cross-train with Pilates.
How? Pilates helps to create a more flexible core and spine, improving your posture.
Posture is an essential part of a successful run. Pilates also helps to develop a stronger core by strengthening and supporting the muscles in your hips, shoulders, torso, and pelvis. This will help improve your posture, balance, stability, and technique. Your core is the base for fluid movement. Without a strong core, long-lasting improvement isn’t likely. Injury occurs when a body works against itself. Pilates brings your body to it’s best possible flow of movement.
This leads to a body that is moving at a faster pace with an increased range of motion, yet experiencing less fatigue. This leads to faster run times.
Rehabilitation —If you do suffer from an injury, Pilates is an excellent way to maintain fitness while you’re unable to run. Because this type of exercise is low impact and varied, it can be modified to allow for rehabilitation, while keeping your body balanced and maintaining your muscle strength. It can also be used after your injury has healed to restrengthen weak muscles and joints.
Are you ready for your next marathon? Cross-training with the help of Pilates, Fitness & Therapeutics Inc. Wellness Center is the answer to strengthening your core, running faster, and preventing injuries. On your mark, get set, go!