With the marathon coming up and my knees feeling a bit stiff from all the running, I've started to supplement my runs with a few fitness classes (via Classpass of course). It's definitely not normal to run 26.2 miles in one day nor is running on asphalt great for my joints but what can I say - I'm a little crazy.
My days of being a spring chicken are far from over (sigh) so my training runs are followed with stiff knees, tight hips, and a weak core. So it's imperative that any additional workouts improve my balance and flexibility. And if I get a six pack in the progress, then hey, even better!
Classpass (and New York City) boasts of hundreds of classes but only a few types do the job: barre, pilates, and yoga. Occasionally, I'll sign up for a spin or high-intensity class but those are few and far between since additional cardio might overwork my legs and make them more prone to injury.
It's only recently that I learned women runners will suffer from hip issues compared to men. So it's better to avoid them altogether by taking a class that focuses on strengthening our legs, hips, and inner (deeper?) abs. The stronger these main muscles are the less chance I'll end up with a knee injury. It also can't be denied how similar some of the exercises are to those done in physical therapy. For instance, the tucking in barre class is something I've definitely done with my therapist.
Similar to barre, pilates increases core strength and helps loosen my hips for a more fluid stride but it's the emphasis on breath control that keeps me coming back. Using my breath with more increased awareness helps on those hilly routes or when I want to increase my pace. Another thing that makes pilates a must for runners is that it helps correct your posture which minimizes a chance of injury.
Runners are notorious for not stretching. I'm definitely guilty of forgoing deep stretches only to regret it later. Enter yoga. The foundation of these classes is rooted in postures that offer flexibility, stretches, and mental focus. Holding a tough pose also trains the mind for enduring long, hard runs. I try to take a class 1-2x a week depending on how tight my body feels.
Here are my go-to spots: Sky Ting Yoga (amazing space + amenities), Tangerine Hot Power Yoga (classes are small and teachers are so attentive), Y7 Studio (a bit more energetic and music is fresh to death).
I hope this run down inspires you to take a few new classes around the neighborhood. And for those of you not on Classpass, check it out here! It's so easy to add classes to your gym routine and test new studios around the city.