After making the decision to do the Marathon again this year, I needed to get my act together for once.

After unsuccessfully training for the marathon before, I decided 2018 is the year I do it properly.

I did the marathon in 2016 and my training consisted of 1 5k run, 1 10k run, 1 15k run and then copious amounts of thinking and talking about running. Safe to say I died running it and my time was shocking. After making the decision to run it this year I knew I had to train properly. So far so good. I am up at 4.30am and on the road by 5am 2 – 3 times a week. I have managed to avoid any injuries too. The biggest difference I made to my training this year is adding in 3 classes of Reformer a week. Hands down it has improved my running. Dare I say I’m even enjoying it!

Trying to avoid being too smug, we all know where that got me the last time, I thought I would share some of the benefits of adding Reformer to your running routine.

Engage the core. 

Run

Being a massive Star Trek fan I love this saying. Engaging the core is essential. In Reformer classes, you are constantly engaging your core. Most people think that you run mainly using your legs, which you do, but you also use your psoas muscles. These are in your lower abdomens. Having a strong core is key, especially when running uphill, think Mount Merrion Avenue, so your lower back doesn’t take over. Taking Reformer classes has not only made my hips stronger, but It has also stretched them at the same time. This allows me to have more fluid movements when I run (even if I sound like Nelly the Elephant pounding the pavement). My legs can kick back further and my stride has improved. It literally put no stress on my bones or joints.

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition. 

Running is basically performing the same movement over and over. This repetitive movement can lead to overdeveloped muscles such as the quadriceps, but can also leads to weak, underdeveloped muscles like the hamstring and glutes. Due to the nature of Reformer I feel more balanced in my body. Reformer classes are designed to work everything equally and with things like bridge (We hate bridge!) and hamstring slides, my posterior chain gets some much needed attention. Running is very much one dimensional. You move in one plane. Reformer gets you twisting and bending on all planes, so it undoes all the tightness.

Flexibility.

If you follow me on instagram it would seem that I have no problems when it comes to flexibility. Once I start to ramp up the distance my hips and hamstrings all but disappear. While I try to maintain my stretching routine with my runner, it can be hard to fit it in when you are rushing to get to work. Reformer classes ensure that I get my flexibility training in and don’t miss out. By ensuring I take a class after my long runs, I am avoiding any tightness in my muscles.

Strength. 

Movements needed for running can be replicated using the Reformer, while offloading the pressure through the joints that comes with pounding out the miles. The Reformers are excellent for increasing power output. The movements are carried out in very controlled manner with the aim of increasing the muscle strength. This will allow for greater power through explosive movements.

At the end of the day. 

The more movement you do the better you’ll feel, FACT! Reformer has certainly had a positive effect on my running and while I still haven’t found this “runners buzz” everyone talks about I feel stronger in my stride. Reformer will ensure that I stay injury free for my marathon journey.

Pre and Post Natal Pilates this Autumn

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