STRETCH YOUR STAMINA
Strengthen your core and reach a 5K PB by making Pilates a pillar of your training plan
Add Pilates to your training regimen and you can shave minutes from your 5K PB in weeks
Let’s get something straight from the off: Pilates is not fancy yoga. While the ancient Indian practice boasts body and mind benefits, Joseph Pilates’s protocol is eminently more useful when it comes to taking minutes off your splits. Grab a mat, a ring or – even better – a reformer, and you’ll secure core strength, joint mobility and, according to a new study, elite running speed.
The research, published in Plos One, found that runners who took part in a 12-week Pilates programme were able to shave an impressive two minutes off their 5K times – no spiritual awakening required. Their mat sessions became progressively harder each week, starting with basic moves such as the roll-up and the hundred, then advancing to the open-leg rocker. This afforded subjects speedy gains in core stability
that helped them to stretch their speed. A weak core hampers your running potential by causing you to hunch over, preventing your lungs from expanding to full capacity. This restricts the flow of oxygen to your muscles, crucial for fuelling your run. Pilates remedies this by straightening out your posture and keeping your chest open.
The participants not only boosted their VO2 max, but also expended less energy, even though they were running faster. So, your new record will also be your easiest run yet. We’ll race you to the mat.
IN PURSUIT OF PROGRESS? HIT THE MAT