“Joseph Pilates once said, ‘We are only as young as our spine.’ And how true that is!” These were Laura Tarbell’s closing words as she explained the details of her new DVD, Pilates for Runners. Designing this workout especially for strengthening runners is something Laura explained is close to her heart.
“Our spine is involved in everything we do, especially running! Therefore, as runners, we especially need to take the utmost care of our spines and strengthen the deep muscles of the core to ensure the opportunity to run for decades and for the lasting health of our bodies.”
These were similar words different professionals have passed on to me as my body has been reacting to all the stress I put it through during marathon training. I used Tarbell’s workout and was quickly made aware just how badly my body needs Pilates.
Tarbell was an athlete with chronic pain issues all during her young years. She discovered Pilates and felt she had found the missing puzzle piece.
“The addition of Pilates to my routine gave me a new perspective. I became intentional with how I moved my body. I learned how to stabilize my core to maintain good form and posture at the end of a hard race or long run. It helped me to get faster. It helped me build confidence,” said Laura, who continued to say Pilates increased the efficiency of her movements, in all aspects of her life, not just running.
To make things more clear, she explained that Pilates offers a runner vital dynamic stretching, but it also helps strengthen the core, which is pivotal in running.
She said that at the end of a race when the body is tired, many runners roam side-to-side from a lack of core strength stabilizing the hips. “This deters from their forward motion, makes them less efficient, and causes injury. A strong core, especially strong obliques, prevents this from occurring and allows you to finish strong.”
She’s spot on. If you watch the finish line of a marathon, you’ll see very tired runners and many are hunched over as their core can’t support them very well any longer. So, how often should a runner practice runner’s Pilates? Laura says her 56 minute routine should be practiced about three times a week for maximum benefits. Knowing the full session is pretty tricky to squeeze in during a full training week, she said choosing the 10-15 minute sessions focused on certain body areas is a good choice for busy runners. Runners should expect to better deal with the stress of running after following her routine.
Runners should also expect the common injury areas to be under much less impact after a routine of Pilates. The IT Band, the lower back, and typical biomechanical issues can be aided with Laura’s routine.
Running is great for the body, but it can be so rough if not done properly. As a runner who wants to run in to old age, I know routines like Pilates are a must. Laura Tarbell has overcome the rough side-effects of running and offers a great workout for any runner hoping to get stronger and stay injury-free. Oh, and did you catch she said Pilates can make you faster?