Thinking Out Loud Thursday: Yoga and Benefits of Easy Running

So the hubby and I have recently gotten back into our Wednesday night yoga routine up in da club and they have a new girl leading class. I LOVE her. I enjoyed the other lady too but our new instructor really challenges us more. She had us try this pose at the end of class:

Photo Source Pop Sugar’s 6 yoga poses to help you train like an athlete.

Yup. Nope. Couldn’t hold this one. I think I made it for like a millisecond. But the point here isn’t that I couldn’t quite hold this pose, rather that I tried something new. Life, like yoga, is all about growth and progress. Yoga is definitely one of the best practices for runners. It’s a total body weight strength and flexibility workout. Post yoga session my abs were on fire! Who needs crunches?! (I actually never, ever do crunches and still manage a tight midsection. There’s other ways to work that out!) Especially after that last pose. I love feeling strong! Even If I might not look strong …

pretty much.

After yesterday’s killer 10 miler and yoga session my legs were feeling super tired. So I decided on an easy run. No really, like a truly easy run. I am so guilty of saying I’m going on an easy run to go out and start at a 7:30 minute per mile. So today I just told my mind to hush, pushed play on easy contemporary Christian music Pandora radio, and gave my legs permission to simply trot. It was nice. I really don’t think I could have run any faster even if I really wanted too. The humidity may be the death of my running career. I kid.

slowin my roll.

slowin my roll.

Why you need to run easy occasionally (if not most often):
  • Recovery for your legs and body. Running hard and fast wears your body down.
  • Taking time to remember why you fell in love with running. When running fast you often run past many beautiful sites.
  • Developing your slow twitch muscle fibers. Especially if you’re a distance runner junkie.
  • Prevent injury.
  • Aids base mileage building. Which is where I need to be until July 20th.
  • Rest so you can be fully prepared to push hard when the hard workouts come.
  • Increase the number of capillaries per muscle fiber. Which means, improving how efficiently you can deliver oxygen/fuel to your working muscles and how quickly they can clear waste products. This is a biggie!
  • Taps into your fat-burning fuel systems instead of immediate carbs as fuel. Which here again, is important especially for long distance runners.
Tips to help you run at an easier pace without guilt or worry:
  • Hit the trails. You naturally slow down on trails so there’s less pressure.
  • Leave the Garmin at home. I know. Easier said than done. I’m a Garmin addict myself…refer to above photo.
  • Stop to smell the roses and take a running selfie. It’s fun and makes your run feel more like an adventure than an act of drudgery.
  • Run with a friend or group who runs slower. Be a pacer for a newbie runner! Not only does this help you, but it encourages others. It’s a win-win in my book!

Running easy also shows your confidence in your running ability. If you run hard and fast all the time it’s almost as if you need to prove to yourself that you can run fast. This is a mistake commonly made, even by yours truly.

Here’s a few snippits from my run today. They (whoever the elusive “they” are) created a new little trail in from of our Silvermont Mansion house in town. So post run I walked back through it to really get a look at it. I know I’ve said this 100,000,000 times before but gosh. I love Western NC! It’s full of many beautiful trails and places to see.

photo 4 (5)

new little trail in progress.

photo 3 (5)

I ❤ this rock.

So that’s what I thinking this Thursday. More yoga, more easy running, and more enjoying life! Oh, there’s that and I finally got my new personal trainer Facebook page up! It’s a work in progress as is the website I’m secretly working on…all things in life, progress! Enjoy the journey my friends! And go LIKE Pink Payne Fit on Facebook if you haven’t done so yet. I truly appreciate all the support. Y’all rock my world.

How often do you run easy? Do you practice yoga?

blessed and beautiful running.


9 thoughts on “Thinking Out Loud Thursday: Yoga and Benefits of Easy Running

  1. Ahhhh your teacher showed you Astavakrasana, or eight angle pose 🙂 Such a fun challenge!!!I practice and sometimes teach yoga, but I’m not teaching as often as I used to. If I run 6x per week, usually 2 days are serious recovery runs, two are general aerobic runs (slightly faster but not much), a long run, and one speed workout. I really value easy runs and think they are the key to getting faster and building endurance. It also helps to not burn yourself out! Great tips on how to slowwww down!!!!

    • How do you pronounce that?!? Lol your running schedule looks very similar to mine! Depends also on how much strength training and cardio I get in. There’s just not enough days in the week to do everything I want lol I need to figure out how to get paid to run. And practice yoga. And drink coffee. Lol 😉

      • Ohhhhh my gosh sister…ME TOO. All three…running, yoga, coffee. If you figure it out, PLEASE let me know!!! It is pronounced “Osh-ta-va-kra-san-ah”!!! It’s from the third series (advanced A) sequence in Ashtanga Yoga. I was never given that posture, and took my yoga practice down a few notches to improve at running. In Ashtanga, you are given the next posture in a sequence after you’ve become proficient with all those that came before it. I was working on third series, but I was only about a third of the way through it, and that posture comes at the end. I used to mess around with it and can do the pose and the exit, but I am not sure I can still do the entry. Here is my girl Kino (my favorite female ashtangi) with perfect form:

      • Oh-em-gee. She’s amazing and makes it look so easy! How does she even talk while doing that? We didn’t jump into but rather she had us go into it easier. I think it’s like an easier flow yoga class?

  2. I love all your tips for running easier 😀 I’ve been getting better at incorporating easier running into my schedule…sometimes. And then sometimes I just run fast anyway which definitely does tire your legs more. When I go for an easy run I try to go someplace pretty where I can stop and take pictures and not feel bad about ANYTHING!
    Also I do yoga at least once a week – sometimes twice. It’s so amazing as a complement to running. I’ve never done the above pose though. But I do love arm balances so maybe I’ll give it a try next time I’m on the mat!

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