Pilates and Running

Running is an awesome sport, but like many sports,

it does come with its fair share of injuries.  Pilates can help balance out the many different muscle imbalances that runners  suffer from.

The most common running injuries are definitely shin splints, iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), achilles tendinopathies, plantar fasciitis, runners knee and patellar femoral pain syndrome (PFPS).  These aren’t  all of them, but are probably the most common.

Typically, pain to a runners body happens due to one of two things..from trauma or overuse.  Lets deal with the overuse issue.  The first things to check 0ut are:

  • proper shoes
  • running surface
  • running distance/regularity/increase in distance/rest  time
  • nutrition/hydration

Other than these, we must look at muscle imbalances, which, quite frankly, are quite prevalent within the human body.

Say, for example, you are experiencing a chronic problem with your iliotibial band.  You are doing all the proper stretches and strengthening exercises, but it is still lingering.  Sometimes this happens.  How can pilates help?

Pilates will help change the way you are using your body.  When an ITBS happens, it is screaming at you that you are using some of your muscles too much, too little and/or not efficiently.  Pilates will help fire up the lazy muscles, lengthen the tight muscles and create better movement patterns so the ITB doesn’t have to take so much stress.  It becomes a very dynamic process that integrates the rest of the body with the ITB.  Foot position, hip and knee position, pelvis, upper back and neck may all play a role with a chronic ITBS.  Pilates addresses all these components recognizing that a change in one area of the body will create change in other areas as well.

Next time you are running by one of the many pilates studios here on the North Shore, check in about attending a class and see how your running can improve!

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