The Hartford Marathon is creeping up and will be here before we know it. I’m debating about running the half marathon, but plan on deciding last minute. This year in addition to hours of running to prepare for the Surftown Half Marathon I ran last week, I added a lot of very specific pilates exercises to help keep me going.
In the past, when running, I’ve had some knee issues that made running a little less enjoyable. Like many runners I pushed through them, but the pilates instructor wouldn’t let me continue that for two reasons. One, trying to resolve the problems seemed like a good challenge, and if I don’t have my body in good working order my job gets a lot less enjoyable.
In the past when I’ve gone to doctors for my knee they tell me something I think a lot of women (especially female runners get told). “You have an imbalance in your quad and you need to do inner thigh exercises.” That’s true, and I’d do my exercises and it would help, but the exercises didn’t withstand miles and miles of running. And I’d get discouraged and stop doing the exercises. It didn’t seem like enough.
With pilates, I worked my inner thigh, but really focused on my knees tracking properly on some of the reformer exercises (like footwork, running, heel lifts, single leg series). I went to the precision of pilates to help balance the muscle during actual movement. In addition to that I started strengthening my hamstrings. As runners I think we assume we have tight hams. I know I did, but I really think in my body it was the hamstrings that were tweaking my knee and causing most of my problems because they were actually weaker when compared to my quads. I’ve been doing specific exercises to stretch my quads more and tighten my hamstrings and I think my knees are thanking me (knock on wood).
Combing my love with pilates and running (especially now that I’ve seen first hand how they can benefit each other) I’ve partnered with Evolution Pilates (another local pilates company) and we have created a runners workshop that we are going to offer this November.
If you are a runner, especially a runner that has ever had a running injury, I think this will be a great event. I’m really excited about it and hope you’ll join us.