Running Summit Debrief

IMG_4233It was a treat to connect with all the coaches at the Running Summit East in New Jersey last weekend, from the extremely affable Coach Joe Vigil, pictured here, to all the attendees. As the lone female in a heavy-hitting lineup of great coaches (including the dynamic Vern Gambetta, my new Latin study partner Peter Thompson, and Matt Fitzgerald, who graciously wrote the foreword for Racing Wisely), I tried to represent the softer, feminine approach that balances all the work we do in training, lecturing on recovery and yoga and teaching a morning class on yoga to do before, during, and after your run.

As promised, here are the notes for those of you who came. If you didn’t come, you can find much of the routine at prAna.com and, along with dozens of other classes with me, at YogaVibes. And join me at the Running Summit Midwest in Naperville, Illinois (just outside of Chicago), November 2–3.

Yoga to Do Before Your Run
Six Moves of the Spine, Standing
  • Mountain pose
  • Inhale arms up, side stretch. Lean the top shoulder forward and back if you like. Breathe into the ribcage.
  • Standing cat/cow. Hands to bent knees, inhale to lift tailbone, open chest, and look up. Exhale and round, dropping chin to chest.
  • Twists. From mountain, inhale arms up, exhale to twist to side. Repeat back and forth. Notice the difference between doing this from your ankles versus holding the pelvis steady and twisting from the waistline up.
Parking Lot Yoga, aka Arrow Lunge Flow as in The Runner’s Guide to Yoga, p. 166 (now in e-format: http://www.amazon.com/Runners-Guide-Yoga-Athletes-ebook/dp/B00BWGX0CG/).
This routine builds balance and focus, fosters communication between the hip and foot (which helps protect the knee), and gives you a dynamic warm-up for your run.
  • Mountain pose
  • Inhale, lift left leg
  • Exhale, step left foot back to arrow lunge (diagonal)
  • Inhale, lift shoulders over hips to crescent lunge (perpendicular)
  • Exhale, side stretch to left (side stretch goes to the side of the leg that’s in front)
  • Inhale, crescent
  • Exhale, arrow
  • Inhale, drive through, lifting left leg and stabilizing
  • Exhale, mountain pose.

Yoga to Do During Your Run

We practiced this during the Parking Lot routine, but it also applies during the run. Focus on these points:
  1. Mountain pose alignment. Where can you relax more?
  2. Your breath, and how it coordinates with your movement. Remember your homework: to pay attention to how many steps you take per breath, and which foot is landing when you start and finish both inhalation and exhalation.
  3. A mantra. Develop a full roster of mantras that work for you, and practice them in both relaxing and intense moments, so they are familiar and comfortable.
  4. Drishti. Set your gaze, then soften around that focus. Extra credit: try going through the Parking Lot routine with your eyes closed. Be sure you have enough room to wobble and fall!

Yoga to Do After Your Run

Standing Stretches (p. 176 of The Runner’s Guide to Yoga, also at http://www.yogavibes.com/store/paid-classes/product/online-yoga-class-postworkout-stretch/ and at http://sagerountree.com/2006/02/05/sage-yoga-training-standing-stretches/). Hold each 5–15 breaths.
  • Dancer pose (quad stretch, foot to hand)
  • Standing pigeon (figure 4, ankle over thigh)
  • Pyramid (step top foot forward, train tracks; core variation is to lift the shoulders, flexibility variation is to relax forward)

We also did a squat (covered here: http://www.runnersworld.com/stretching/race-recovery and here: http://blogs.yogajournal.com/activeyogi/2011/10/twist-and-squat.html), either knees forward or knees wide.

Yoga to Do Long After Your Run (aka Yoga in Bed)

Reclining twists (here: http://www.yogavibes.com/store/paid-classes/product/online-yoga-for-athletes-class-reclining-twists/ and here: http://sagerountree.com/2009/09/24/sage-yoga-training-reclining-twists/) Hold each 10–20 breaths.
  • First twist, bottom leg to opposite hip, top leg foot to floor
  • Second, swing foot to same-side long edge of mat, drop to top leg side, extend arm overhead
  • Third, step bottom leg foot to tailbone, lift hips and shift to top leg side, drop legs to bottom leg side