It 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
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.
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.
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, 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:
Mountain pose alignment. Where can you relax more?
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.
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.
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!
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