As an avid runner, I have always sought ways to enhance my performance, prevent injuries, and maintain a healthy body. While running alone provided me with numerous benefits, I recently decided to explore other complementary exercises to optimize my training.
That’s when I discovered sports Pilates, a discipline renowned for its focus on core strength, flexibility, and body alignment. In this article, I will share my personal experience and insights on incorporating sports Pilates into my running routine.
Discovering Sports Pilates:
The idea of incorporating sports Pilates into my running routine first crossed my mind when I noticed several elite athletes and trainers endorsing its effectiveness in improving performance and reducing the risk of injuries. Intrigued, I decided to delve deeper into the world of sports Pilates and explore its potential benefits for runners.
I came across Everard Sports Pilates, which has over 100 5 star reviews and gives a week’s free trial so I felt I had nothing to lose. Here are some of the key points of how I found it:
Tougher than I thought it would be but manageable for a beginner.
Having ran for several years I thought I had a good level of fitness. I was a little apprehensive as I was a complete beginner and had never done Pilates. I was shocked with the intensity. My muscles certainly were burning!!! It was not easy, but it is targeted towards those who have no experience with Pilates.
It was 45 minutes, but I must say the class flew with good music in the background and a host of moves that kept you distracted. It certainly highlighted that there were areas I needed to improve.
Less Injuries and Niggles:
One thing I found after about 4 weeks was that I was less stiff and sore after running. I was doing the Pilates once per week and in the first few weeks there was DOMS as my muscles got used to the class. The instructor says this will be the case and over the next few weeks I felt stronger in my legs and core which helps to be keeping pain and niggles away.
Feeling Stronger Running:
One of the benefits highlighted before I began was how Sports Pilates improves running economy, which essentially how much fuel you burn on each stride. I certainly could feel I was moving better after about 6 weeks doing the course.
Sports Pilates places a strong emphasis on core strength, which is crucial for maintaining a stable posture and efficient running form. By engaging the deep muscles of the abdomen, back, and hips, Pilates helps improve stability, balance, and overall running mechanics.
Flexibility and Mobility:
Running can lead to tight muscles and limited range of motion. Sports Pilates incorporates dynamic stretching and controlled movements that target specific muscle groups, enhancing flexibility and promoting better joint mobility. This improved flexibility can help prevent common running-related injuries, such as muscle strains or IT band syndrome.
I have always been good to go for a run but not so good to do the rehabilitation exercises or strength work! You are put in a WhatsApp group and they check in on you each week to see how you are going. This does help keep you disciplined and while I found it difficult the first few weeks to add it to my routine, I have a set time now.
PS- Even though you can do the class anytime I would recommend setting a time for yourself as it is much easier to stick to it.
A lot of good bonuses:
While I haven’t been able to do them all there have been a lot of good bonuses offered in the course. You fill in a survey and there are specific 10-15 minute rehabilitation videos for various common running injuries. There are also general foam rolling and mobility routines, as well as specific releases for various areas. Finally, there is sample running training included and Q and As where you can ask any questions about running, Pilates or injury that you might have.
I have to confess I haven’t done a lot of this but it is nice to have it there as an option and others in the group seem to enjoy those aspects. I am happy just doing the class once per week.
Overall Experience with Everard Sports Pilates:
I have really enjoyed the Sports Pilates experience and intend to keep going. I feel it has been a nice addition to my fitness routine and has helped me feel a lot stronger. It does take a few weeks to get used to the exercises and to make it part of your routine but it is definitely worth a try.
They have a free trial where you can try out the classes for free to get an idea of what it is all about before having to commit. It is €39/month if you want to commit for the 8 week course after that.
If you would like to try the free trial just go to https://everardpilates.com/sportpilates
Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Consult your medical care providers for medical advice, treatments, and follow-up.