It might be too late for last-minute marathon prep, but if you’re a new runner or looking for recovery techniques for next week, it’s worth considering Classical Pilates as your next workout. Gaby Noble of Exhale Pilates, whose client base includes Harry Styles, Jools Oliver and Sadie Frost, tells us why…
Classical Pilates for Running
How can classical Pilates help with running?
‘Classical Pilates helps you to use your whole body when you are running rather than just your legs, which not only helps to prevent injury but also improves your speed and power.
‘In Pilates we work on footwork, mind-body control, strength training and flexibility that massively helps runners.’
How often should you practice?
‘This is a question I always get asked. In all honesty, Pilates can be done every day. It irons out any tightness or weakness which changes day to day from how we slept, what shoes we wore, the stresses of everyday life on the body and mind and the list can go on. However, this is not realistic in today’s society. We recommend 3 times per week, however if you are working with another fitness routine, 2 times as it not only strengthens your muscles but it also stretches them getting a 2 for 1 for your buck and time making any type of recovery quicker whether it’s through injury or a gruelling gym routine.
‘Once you get into using the Classical springs which are tough, we often see people switch over as they see results very early on and can, in fact, feel and see the difference after only 1 session. I always say Pilates is what moisturiser is to dry skin; it hydrates your joints & muscles. Muscles begin to breathe, becoming toned and more responsive whilst the sense of overall wellbeing and strength in the body without the exhaustion or pressure on the joints other forms of high impact training can do, provides a sense of calmness to the body and mind, which is imperative in today’s rigorous daily lifestyle.’
Is Pilates useful in marathon recovery?
‘Definitely. Pilates is not only useful for recovery after any endurance sport, be it marathon running, Crossfit or triathlon competitions, but more importantly it prepares the body to work at its peak performance in all sporting activities as well as everyday life. Having the tools that Classical Pilates provides really prepares the body and the mind. You learn techniques that if incorporated early enough before a challenge will allow your body and brain to use its muscle memory subconsciously making you have to consciously think about less and only about the finishing line.
‘Pilates will make you run smarter, strengthen and stretch the muscles at the same time making recovery quicker and you less prone to injury. Making mindful changes like running upwards instead of into your hips, knees and feet will minimize the impact on the joints. Also keeping your chest open and posture intact will support your lungs enabling you to breathe deeper.
‘Breathing and keeping your vital organs especially your lungs free of tightness and compression by focusing on posture will really help towards running better and fundamentally recovering better.’
What You Need to Know
With private sessions, duets, mat, tower, and reformer-based classes, all sessions and classes at Chalk Farm’s Exhale Pilates London are sure to provide you with a total body workout and experience that will dramatically improve your strength, flexibility, posture and overall wellbeing. Classes and sessions can be booked via the website exhalepilateslondon.com