A reader recently brought to my attention a ‘Race Training Class’ going on at Bootcamp Pilates. Eager to learn more, I booked myself in for a session. As a keen long distance runner and always training for one race or another, I was interested to see how a session like this would compliment my current training.
Greeted by smiley trainer, Sam, he quickly gave me the run down on how the Pilates Reformer machine works, then we got cracking. I’ve done a lot of mat Pilates, but only ever tried a reformer once and found it an odd shift. This time around I seemed to have more luck, but instantly felt my recent lack of Pilates training with the odd wobble as I struggled to gain balance.
Sam put me through my paces and is a tough but friendly trainer, something I really appreciate. The glute work in particular was killer and I’m definitely feeling it today. He explained each exercise and its benefits as we went through and wouldn’t let me slack when I got tired. We’ve all seen runners tire during a race and literally slump, their shoulders becoming hunched and their legs having to work harder as their core crumbles. A strong core keeps you stronger throughout the distance. It’s easy to see how the exercises done in this class really strengthen your core and improve your posture.
From Sam’s blog:
Running is a very high impact exercise that puts a lot of stress on lower joints and the lower back. A lot of injuries are caused due to muscle imbalance especially in the knee and hip. Runners are very strong in their calf muscles, quadriceps and hip flexors, with tight IT bands as a result of this impact. Pilates can help balance this out by strengthening the hamstrings, inner thighs and gluteals taking pressure off the front of the leg and activating lateral muscles that get neglected during a run. This leads to better alignment and a lower risk of injury. Also, the pelvic, abdominal & back strengthening exercises offer the chance to improve stability and alignment throughout the body enabling the core to be more efficient when running by keeping the body tall and preventing any excess rotation and movement, especially towards the end of a race.
Sam recommends doing this class once a week to compliment your training schedule. After one session, I can definitely understand the benefits and would be interested to see how this contributes to any improvements I make as a runner. I will definitely be going back for more.
Bootcamp Pilates have four studios around London, I went to the Hoxton one. Check out their website for more information and try out a free class. Follow Sam on Twitter @samvillage and Bootcamp Pilates @Bootcamp_London