Pilates for Running
Runners do Pilates most of all because it builds long, strong muscles, improves their flexibility and lessens their risk of injury. The way that Pilates opens up the vertebrae in the lower back, in particular, helps prevent the sort of back injuries which can result from the constant impact involved in running.
Running and Pilates, however, also complement each perfectly at what might called a deeper, philosophical level.
Good runners run tall. They don't hunch, lean, push with their hips or tighten through the neck and shoulders. They avoid pounding the ground with every stride. Their movement is smooth and light. There is both an economy and an integrity to their form.
Good runners pay attention. Instead of seeing a run as an excuse to zone out with the iPod, they see it as a chance to develop their kinaesthetic awareness - for example, to explore the feel of their feet on the ground, how balanced their head is on the neck and spine, whether a mild ache in their leg has caused them to run more heavily than they would wish, whether their ankles and knees are releasing in sequence, how their breathing patterns have changed as the workload becomes more demanding. This approach makes running as much a mental activity as a physical one - very much like Pilates.
Just as you arrive at Pilates Central with an expectation that the session ahead will be a process of learning and discovery, so a run should be viewed as an act of creativity: staying present, responding intelligently to the situation, finding alternative ways to achieve your goal. Every run is different - just like every Pilates class.