Pilates for Marathon Runners

We've all been here - you are deep into training for your next run when you sidelined with pain.  This happens to the most seasoned runners. Bob, 46 year old, lifelong runner, walked into my Pilates studio halfway through his marathon training.  Running, like Pilates, requires alignment of head, neck, spine, and pelvis.  It can be the perfect complement to keep Olympians and weekend warriors on the roads, trails and tracks.

It was to be Bob’s 12th marathon.  But his first marathon in five years.  This time around felt different.  He was suffering from intense back upper back pain halfway through his long runs. This pain took several days to alleviate and by the time the weekend came and it was time for his long training runs, the pain was gone, only to return 10-12 miles into the run.  

Bob had been to his gym’s trainer, his physician, and physical therapy and found only minimal relief.  Rehab and athletic conditioning Pilates is work that is designed to enable you to live your happiest life. Bob’s happiest life was while he was running and training.  After a thorough fitness screen we identified that Bob was strong through his rectus abdominals but incredibly weak through his obliques.  Additionally, he had virtually no gluteus medius to support the hips.  Bob’s tight hip flexors and hamstrings contributed to his inability to keep his running form.

Bob needed 3 things to return to his love of running: daily strengthening exercises, pre-running muscle activation drills and post running stretches.  So with 3 x 3 personalized exercises Bob was back to running without pain. He keeps up this routine daily to keep the pain away and his posture correct and runs with joy.  We all need to reach out sometimes to other fitness professionals to keep us doing what we love – find a rehab and athletic conditioning Pilates instructor next time you hit a wall, get new shoes and take a deep breath!

How's Bob today?  He is already on his next pair of New Balance (both of our favorite brand :)