Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I can't do this. I am not a yoga master. In fact, I have never taken a formal yoga class. I mostly learned from the videos Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies and Beyond Basic Yoga for Dummies, both starring Sara Ivanhoe. I've done a little reading, and occasionally I'll borrow a different yoga workout video from the library. But the point is that I'm not an expert.
Oh, and I hate stretching. Always have. The guy who got me started running insisted on stretching before a run, so I did, reluctantly. Then I read that you aren't supposed to stretch cold muscles, so I gleefully dropped my pre-run stretch. Sure, the article also said to stretch after a run, and I did. A little. Sometimes. For a while.
I actually went through a period where I ran and ran and never stretched at all, and, looking back on it, I can't believe that I was that dumb. I was definitely getting tight, and it was cutting into my running.
So, relatively recently, I have gone back to yoga, and it really does help my running. I'm definitely looser, and much less sore. So I won't go into tomorrow's workout tight from today's, which means tomorrow's run will be better.
How much time does it take? Twice a week, on my non-running days, I do the full workout, the "Daily Dozen," which takes about 40 minutes. On running days, I do about six poses after my run, plus a few non-yoga stretches, which takes maybe 10 minutes. A full yoga practice increases strength, flexibility, and balance, but I concentrate on flexibility for the post-run workouts.
So, if you hate stretching, but want to keep loose and make your running better, try yoga. It really can help, and you don't have to twist yourself into a pretzel. I promise.