Yoga for Runners | Workouts and How to Break the Too Slow Mindset

We love the endorphins and the sweat and being out in nature, it’s often why yoga for runners feels like a last resort in their toolbox of training.

Especially because 90% of runners, like my husband who feel out of place, not flexible enough, horribly uncomfortable with the chanting then you understand what I’m saying, you’re convinced yoga is NOT for you.

Relaxing makes us type A runners more stressed.

It’s like telling someone not to be mad…immediately they see red and want to rip your eyes out. But that doesn’t meant we should shun yoga, it’s absolutely a tool to improve our mobility, flexibility and strength.

Is Yoga Good for Runners?

Once you get past the Ommm and the words you don’t understand (remember fartlek wasn’t always in your vocabulary) then you can get down to business. Becoming a better runner.

  • Enhances the mental ability to move through discomfort
  • Builds muscle strength in hips, core and glutes for injury prevention
  • Helps you stand taller which improves running form
  • Improve balance {important as running is on one foot}
  • Improves lung capacity {one study showed asthma improvements}
  • Helps to detox (great post Thanksgiving or girls night out)

Still not convinced?

I did a super in depth post on the benefits of yoga for running and how to maximize them! And for those who have been reaching to ask if yoga is good for runner’s knee? Yes…ish.

Anything that helps you to build strength and stability in your glutes, hips and core is going to help! I believe you also need some of the specific physical therapy style movements I’ve shared previously for runner’s knee.

yoga for runners

Can you do yoga online for free?

Absolutely! One thing I love to recommend to runners is taking your yoga outside, it’s an easy way to get you more excited to slow down because you’re still getting that nature.

Grab your phone or your laptop and here are some of my favorite online yoga for runner classes:

  • Yoga with Adrienne – She has a number of runner specific yoga sessions, but also lots of options for time and intensity
  • Sarah Beth Yoga – Pre and Post workout routines for athletes
  • Yoga with Tim – Has a few post run videos, but a lot of good full body flows
  • Yoga for tight hips a common runner issue
  • Restorative yoga – a great way to get your body to relax, key to getting cortisol down for recovery

How to work yoga in to a running schedule?

Adding in a little yoga, doesn’t meant you need to detract from your time spent running. In fact, a great half marathon training schedule might look like this:

Monday: Rest or restorative yoga
Tuesday: 5 miles with 1 mile w/u, 3 miles at HMP, 1 mile c/d
Wednesday: 3 miles easy or hour long bike ride + full body strength
Thursday: 5 miles with speed play
Friday: Strength based yoga workout or full body strength/yin yoga
Saturday: 3 easy miles
Sunday: 10 easy miles

Wondering if you should do yoga or weights...check out that post.

I think we need both, but when time is short it will help you decide what’s best! Especially if you’re trying to figure out how often runners should do yoga? The answer has a lot to do with how much you enjoy yoga, your goals and how much time you have.

As you’ll see in the schedule above I have the option for 2 yoga sessions.

Should I run or do yoga first?

Always run first. Yoga loosens the muscles around your joints, which can cause them to be too loose during a run leading to injuries. We actually need our muscles tight to bounce back with each step.

Once you’ve finished your run, then it’s a great time to slow down and ease in to a yoga session.

Let’s dig in to your excuses and what you really need to know.

Does yoga count as cross training for runners?

You may not break a sweat and it doesn’t feel like cardio, so a lot of runners throw yoga out as an option for cross training days. But as noted above that means you’re missing out on some great benefits.

They aren’t a one to one swap, you can’t try to take a runners marathon plan and swap out runs for yoga sessions. BUT with a little change in perspective you might find ways to incorporate those yoga workouts for a better training cycle.

But if you think it’s not a workout, ohhh boy do you have some things to learn.

  • Try athletic yoga – you will sweat
  • Try different instructors who understand runners
  • Once you learn how to engage your muscles, even what looks easy becomes hard
  • Try different flows and holding positions
  • Try hot yoga

Have you tried different kinds of yoga?

What keeps you from doing it consistently?

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