ELLE Fit: Half Marathon Training

Yoga for runners​: stretch it out

Most Popular

Stretching, it's a thing. 

A big thing if you're running miles and miles each week like ELLE Fit's half marathon crew.

Athletes have long known about the benefits of supplementing intense training with the muscle-lengthening and mind-focusing powers of yoga.

After all, a muscle is only as strong as it is flexible. 

So boosting flexibility will increase the power we can harness to propel ourselves further and faster during the half marathon.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

With that in mind, we booked ourselves a Yoga For Runners session at Total Chi Yoga, a boutique studio and juice bar in Central London.

Total Chi Yoga in Central London
Most Popular

Our teacher Caroline Barranco led us through a series of targeted postures to strengthen and stabilise our core and pelvic girdles, and stretch out tired glutes, hamstrings, calves and IT bands. 

She also encouraged us to synchronise our movements with our breath – breath being a key tool for every runner.

The ELLE Fit team outside Total Chi Yoga

The class finished with a long restorative savasana.

We all refueled with a delicious fresh juice and left the studio feeling floaty and ready for a deep sleep.

Restorative juices from Total Chi Yoga

It is crucial to allow your body time to rest and reset when you're training for a big event, otherwise you risk injury.

So here are ELLE's 5 key poses for runners…

1.      Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana): A great pose to stretch out the hip flexors, quads and groin.

Fern Ross in a low lunge

2.     Chair (Utkatasana): This strengthens your core, hips and glutes, while also improving mental focus and determination. 

To make it harder, come onto your tip toes and test your balance.

Fern Ross in a chair pose

3.     Wide-Legged Squat (Malasana): Releases tension in the lower back, hips and ankles.

Fern Ross in a wide-legged squat

4.     Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Stretches out the entire back side of the body, from the shoudlers to the feet. 

Pedal out the legs to increase the release in the legs.

Fern Ross in a downward dog

5.     Wide-Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana): An amazing release for the legs. 

If your hands don't quite reach the floor, take hold of opposite elbows or bring hands to a block.

Fern Ross in wide-legged forward fold

Team ELLE will be training with Third Space gym and running the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon to raise money for mental health charity MINDWatch this space for our fundraising page.