Use yoga to improve your running technique without pounding the pavements
Drew Fuller took up triathlon in 2013 and represented Great Britain at the European age-group sprint triathlon championships last year. He schedules his training around a full-time job and works with hot yoga company Sweat Studios (sweatstudios.co.uk) to create yoga routines for triathletes, which provide a cardio workout and reduce injury risk for runners.
‘Adding an active yoga workout into your training regime will improve your running technique, lessen your risk of injury and counter the adverse effects running has on your body,’ says Fuller. ‘Hot yoga, in contrast to other gentler forms of yoga, offers a full-body workout that boosts cardiovascular fitness, strength and flexibility. Yoga is also great for developing balance, which is important for runners because they’re literally hopping from foot to foot as they run.’
‘Do this set of poses at least twice a week, repeating the whole lot for a total of three circuits,’ says Fuller. ‘They can be performed in isolation or before or after a run, and each move should flow into the next. Normally these poses are performed in a heated room to ensure the muscles are loose and supple, so it’s important to make sure your body is properly warmed up first. Doing them straight after a hot shower or bath is perfect – although you may need another wash by the time you’ve finished.’
TWISTING AWKWARD POSE
With feet together, raise your arms overhead, interlacing your fingers and releasing your index fingers. Step forward with your right leg, and lift your left leg off the ground behind you. Stretch up, then bend forward until your torso and raised leg are horizontal. Stretch your body to lengthen your spine. Hold for the prescribed time, then swap legs.
Raise your arms overhead, palms touching. Sidestep so your feet are twice shoulder-width apart. Turn your left foot out 90°. Stretch to your left and reach for your left shin, twisting to look at the ceiling. Hold and breathe as instructed. Repeat on the other side.