Rountree is a runner and triathlete who wrote the book on using yoga to enhance sports performance (The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga ). According to Rountree, the mistake that many runners make when they first try it is to do too much. They expect that they must engage in challenging yoga workouts to get any benefit from yoga. But this is all wrong. Yoga for athletes is not athletic yoga, Rountree said.
Runners subject their muscles to enough strain and fatigue in their runs. They do not need yoga to do more of the same. Instead, runners should do yoga in a way that complements their running. They should perform gentler routines that are focused on increasing mobility, balance, stability, and, of course, body awareness.
Hard-core power yoga is fine for those who want to take it to the next level, but it is not the place to start and need not be attempted at all. The best time to do more intense, strength-focused yoga sessions is during the off-season, when you are less concerned about the effects of fatigue and soreness caused by these sessions on your running. As you get into focused race preparation, phase out the strength stuff and phase in the gentler kind of yoga. Consider three half-hour sessions per week a minimum for noticeable benefits.
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