How to Balance Yoga and Running

Isabella asks: I love yoga and currently take three demanding Power Yoga classes per week. I’m also training to run a half-marathon. I want to finish the race, but my main goal is to maintain my yoga fitness. Is there a way to accomplish both in the same season?

Absolutely! Yoga is fantastic complement for runners. It aids in developing muscular strength, flexibility, and balance, which can reduce the risk of injury, and it also helps you improve your mental focus and breathing efficiency for running. Running is a wonderful complement for yoga enthusiasts as it boosts cardiovascular fitness.

A Training Plan for Yogis Who Want to Run

There are several ways to weave endurance into a yoga program. If you’re like Isabella, who is a yogi looking to train to run a half-marathon, follow these rules.

  • Include your three hard-effort, strength- and stamina-based yoga classes per week. Examples of these classes are Vinyasa Flow, Power Yoga, Ashatanga, Batiste, or Yoga for Runners.
  • Count these yoga classes as a hard, high-intensity effort, like a speed workout for a runner.
  • Include three weekly runs in your training plan. Because the yoga is done at a hard effort, it’s best to balance your plan with easy, yellow-zone-effort running for all three runs.
  • Include at least one total rest day in your plan. It’s okay to do some light flexibility or muscle release via a foam roller, but keep this day chill to allow your body to recover from the demands of the plan.

A sample training week might look like this:

Monday: Power Yoga
Tuesday: 40 to 60 minute run
Wednesday: Power Yoga
Thursday: 40 to 60 minute run
Friday: Power Yoga
Saturday: Long, easy run
Sunday: Rest or light Yin-based yoga and foam rolling
A Training Plan for Runners Who Want to Weave in Yoga

For runners who want to train for performance and supplement that with yoga, it’s best to weave in yoga classes that focus on balance and stability (Hatha-style classes) and recovery (Yin or Restorative Yoga).

A sample training week might look like this:

Monday: Easy or moderate effort tempo workout
Tuesday: Hatha Yoga
Wednesday: Speed intervals or hill workout
Thursday: Rest day
Friday: Short, easy run
Saturday: Long, easy run
Sunday: Yin or Restorative Yoga
Yoga can be the main entree or a side dish. Either way, it will improve your performance and help you run stronger for miles.


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