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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Yoga + Running

So, while I haven't been doing much running as of late, I have been putting what I've been reading in "The Athlete's Guide to Yoga" into practice. Yesterday, I set about to create my own 40 minute "flow" which included chair and its variations (it's kinda hard to imagine that merely squatting can be vigorous, but this pose always gets my HR up), sun salutations, the warrior series, triangle, bridge, plank, and the very challenging crow (or crane pose, as it is sometimes called), which is featured below:

Crow is hard for a lot of reasons: it requires a lot of upper body strength, but it also requires a lot of balance. I could hold it for approximately 1.5 seconds before toppling over. But with each try, I could hold it for just slightly longer, and the last time, I held it long enough to shout to my husband: "Come-here-quick-and-see-what-I-can-do!"

Anyway, the workout yesterday was intese enough to leave me a little sore today -- but in a good way -- and as I've been reading this book, I've been thinking more and more about how I'd like to incorporate more yoga into my regular schedule. It just makes sense. Yoga is good exercise (good enough that in the years before I made running my primary form of exercise, I exclusively relied on yoga to keep me in shape); plus, it benefits a runner in many ways -- it helps improve flexibility, balance, breathing, focus, and strength. And in the book I'm reading, she includes a sample week's schedule that includes yoga work with a running schedule, so I think I'm gonna test it out this week.

Therefore, I started with the regimen today. I did 30 minutes of yoga, but this time I focused on poses that weren't as demanding -- a lot of forward folds, legs stretches and some core poses (I know that plank is supposed to be hard, but I could stay in that pose forever); additionally, I reserved the last few minutes for some breathing exercises and quiet meditation. Now, I'm not one to "OM," but it is relaxing and helpful to sit, clear your mind, and let yourself just be for few moments -- I think it's immensely helpful for focus and de-stressing.

After that yoga session, I got into my running clothes and headed out for a short 2 miler. This was only an hour ago (around 4 pm) so it was hot as hades out there (the "feels like" temp was 94 according to weather.com), so I didn't want to do anything long or anything fast; however, if I learned anything from Chicago, it's that I need to spend a little more time actually running when the sun is up because I can train all I want in the heat and humidity, but if I'm always doing it in the dark, I'm not building up any kind of tolerance to the heat the sun's glare can create.

So, I did my 2 miles and it went well, but I was glad the run was short because -- well, jesus, you saw that temp there! Yet, this short run reminded me of one thing I learned today: if I continue to do some of my running in the sun, I need to get a visor; squinting really does use up extra energy (an idea that I always thought was absurd).

Anyhoo, I'll keep you posted this week on the yoga + running experiment, and maybe by the end of the week I'll be able to hold the crow pose long enough to get my hubby to snap a pic. Perhaps that should be my goal.

27 comments:

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

I don't think I could hold crow at all...so 1.5 secs seems pretty long to me!!

Debbi said...

I'm really interested in your final assessment of how yoga helps your running. I had high hopes of including yoga practice in my routine earlier in my race training, but it just never happened. Also … crow? I can tell you right now that I'll never be able to do that one. I'm lucky to hold the tree pose for 1.5 seconds!

ws said...

I'll have to try this crow pose you speak of - I'm sure my form will be incorrect but I'll make Rodney Yee proud and update my results on the blog tomorrow.

Great job getting out on the run today. I can't imagine what midday felt like. It is ridiculously humid for the end of October, I don't know what the deal with that nonsense was this morning. And, I'm a bit worried about the sun next week but I always run with a hat so squinting isn't my major concern...just the evil penetrating heat rays.

Looking forward to the crow picture - hubby should have quick hands from all his video game playing.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Man, that sounds hard. I've just been trying to hold a plank and it about kills me. :D

Doug Cichon said...

Squinting sure does use up lots of energy, I never leave on a run without my shades unless its completely cloudy!

You made me remember the wonders of living alone. I was able to go see if I could do the crow pose, without anybody thinking I'd gone loony. I probably did it way wrong, and could only hold it for a second or two. That yoga stuff aint easy!

ws said...

Also, I found it interesting that you were using the end of your yoga practice for "focus and de-stressing" when I clearly using running for that... maybe I should be doing yoga too.

Marcy said...

OMG that pose looks like it could be fun for other aspects of life :P Although you'd have to have some KILLER balance to do that LOL

Erin said...

Are you gonna look like that lady on the beach on your birthday we all made fun of?

Mary Gee said...

This is an inspirational post. I need to do something like this... not the crow thing though. Holy Crow!

J~mom said...

Whoa! I have no upper body strength. I usually just eat crow.

bigkfamily said...

I know I can't do crow at all. I have attempted many other poses after spin class, but there have been a few that I struggle with. I can do plank, but after spin I am all shaky!

2 miles in 94 degree weather is not what I call fun!

Tiffany said...

I just tried this. It did not work.

:)

teacherwoman said...

P.S. that was me that posted from Bigkfamily.... oops.

Mendy said...

Wow, it's still that hot down there. Well, it is FL, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. We've started cooling down - enough to wear long sleeves today and well, this whole week. Nice!! I am happy.
But that sucks for you, and to do a run midday like that AND on a weekend - I can never stop my weekend midday to run. That's great! no matter the distance - you did it.

That pose is crazy! It would have been a comedy show to see me do pilates this morning - I can't do some of that. I look like a clown.

Nicole said...

the yoga sounds great! I hope to get back into it myself.

MN Mom said...

I tried yoga for two weeks...the (old timers) yoga wasn't the worst of it, although I couldn't move afterwards. The worst part of yoga is you have to keep quiet. I can't keep my mouth or mind quiet for that long. Me and yoga to not mix.
Good luck.

David said...

Marcy, I think perhaps just strong wrists more than great balance. It's quite likely that what you refer to would include some additional balancing, uh, resources in play.

:-0

Wes said...

I really wish I had more time and knowledge for some of that yoga stuff. I sooooo need it :-) Very cool!! I always loved to run after strength training. It was so easy to slide into the run after exercising... Nicely done!!

brunettechicagogal said...

I don't think I'll ever be able to do that fucker. I've tried and tried. Part of it is fear; I'm afraid I'll crash face forward into the floor.

L*I*S*A said...

I'll definitely have to try yoga with running. I've heard great things.

I'd love a little more flexibility, and with winter coming, I'll be focusing more on cross-training anyway.

Mother Smuckers said...

I'd be tempted to kick that chick in the picture if I saw her in real life.


...

nwgdc said...

i'll occasionally come home from work and my wife will be in corpse pose, completely unaware of my presence, so i just kinda go in another room until she's done. then again...she ignores me a lot more often than just when she's doing yoga...

Randy said...

I'm so late it seems....to provide any meaningful comments about what you are doing...or that specific pose...Marcy takes the cake...watch her eat it too....

Me..I would be doing a face plant on the floor if I tried that, there isn't a camera quick enough to document my attempt at such a thing.

Yoga may be great for runners, but I don't think I have the "right stuff", or was that "true grit"?

Good job tho...will be interesting to see how things progress for you.

Jess. said...

Oh I like the sound of the new plan. It sounds really interesting. I'm excited to hear how it works out for you!

Laura N said...

Your yoga/meditation/running sounds lovely! (notwithstanding the gawdawful heat). My husband does only yoga now--there's a hot yoga studio here, and he goes 4-5 times a week. The classes are 90 minutes! Which I think is nuts, and so does he sometimes esp. when it's 103 degrees & humid in the studio. But it's keeping him in shape mentally and physically.

Can't wait to see that picture. Quite impressive you can do that pose.

Marcy said...

ROFLMAO David!! Are you speaking from personal experience? Oh my Mendy!!!! Gimme a call sometime, I'm sure my husband would appreciate it :P

Sorry for invading you comments Jess :-X

P.O.M. said...

ha ha ha. I always try to show that pose to my boyfriend. He just cracks up at me. I'm sure it's really graceful when I do it. Most of my attempts at yoga have been less than fruitful. But I'm not giving up. I really want to be a tree hugging yoga person.