Yoga for marathoners

I completed a couple of marathons. Whilst training for the marathon there will be a host of tips and advice dispensed by experienced marathoners. There are also magazines dedicated to distance running. You can find many books in the library.

Personally, I found these few poses good for aspiring distance runners.

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle pose)– This a great hip opener. The pose stretches the adductor magnus, adductor longus, iliopsoas, tensor fasciae latae and iliacus. The pose strengthens rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis, obliquus externus and obliquus internus. People with knee and groin injury should use blanket as support.

In short, this is essential as runners need to maintain flexibility of the legs after interval (speed training which leaves you gasping for air) and strength training. Keeping flexible is also paramount to prevent injuries.

Running is about the legs. I like the Adho Mukha Svanasana and Prasarita Padottanasana for the stretching.

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog pose) –The pose strengthens rectus femoris, vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis and vastus medialis. The pose stretches gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, gastrocnemius and tibialis posterior. Those with sciatica, lower back problems and carpal tunnel syndrome should avoid this pose.

Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide legged forward bend)- The pose strengthens gluteus medius and tibialis anterior. The pose stretches erector spinae, bicep femoris, gluteus maximus, semitendinosus, adductor longus, adductor magnus. People with lower back issue should avoid this pose.
Having a strong core helps you to maintain the posture and prevent you from slouching in the long run. Navasana helps to strengthen the core muscles.

Navasana (Boat pose)- Strong core muscles are essential for the runners. With strong core muscles, the runner can maintain his posture while running and this reduces backaches after a long distance run. This pose strengthens rectus abdominis, transversus abdomins, obliquus externus, obliquus internus, erector spinae, iliopsoas and iliacus. The biceps femoris are stretch in this pose. People with neck injury, headache and lower back pain should avoid this pose.

Viparita Karani (Legs against the wall pose)- During a long run, the blood is consistently flowing down to the legs. In this pose, the legs are lifted up while lying down on the back. The blood flows back in opposite direction as oppose to during a run. This help to relieve the tiredness in the legs. At the same time, this pose strengthens the rectus abdominis and transversus abdominis. It helps to tone the gluteus muscles.

Happy training.

Hong
200hrs YTTC Nov / Dec 2014