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How To Incorporate Yoga Into Your Training

Incorporate Yoga Into Your Training Namastride Run Tri Bike Magazine Dana DeSutter

Spring is around the corner, and it seems like life gets even busier as the temperatures rise. There are more races, more things to do outside other than race, and somehow more friends too. 

It’s important to keep your training in check, and that includes learning how to incorporate yoga into your training! If you have never done yoga before, here are a few tips to help you get started with including yoga in your routine. If you aren’t sure what you need to get started, check out a couple of my previous articles to learn: Best Clothing for Yoga, and Yoga Equipment For Beginners .

  • Tip #1: Start Small. This is my most important tip. Races aren’t trained for in a day, and learning to do and enjoy yoga doesn’t happen instantaneously either. Starting small, even for just 5 minutes a few times per week, can help your body and your mind grow accustomed to doing yoga. I also believe if you can’t find 5 minutes to give yourself extra care, then you may need to consider taking a deeper life evaluation.

As you continue your practice, you may find your body and mind crave longer sessions, and you will find ways to make more time for yoga.

  • Tip #2: Add It To Your Schedule. It’s much easier to skip yoga when it’s not part of your training plan. When I plan my weekly workouts, I think purposefully about when I will do yoga. I personally like to use yoga to help with recovery, although you can use it as a way to strength train too.

For me, I usually do yoga 2-3 times per week. You can benefit from yoga even if you are doing it less, and are definitely encouraged to do it more. 2-3 times per week works well for me but you will be different! I typically do a session during the week on a non-run day. I also add a long yoga session to the schedule after my Saturday long run. A slow-paced Saturday morning is my favorite. I find that right after my run, it feels amazing to spend time stretching and letting the mind wind down. It also gives me an opportunity to take time for myself. If I do a third session, usually it happens on Sunday night. I find it is a great way to wind down before the week.

With Namastride, you can watch videos whenever you’d like, so you don’t have the stress of “making it” to a studio by the time class starts. Some days I don’t get up to run as early as I intend! Some days I also decide I only want a 10-minute session, so I enjoy having a library of videos that range in duration and focus area.

  • Tip #3: Set A Goal, But Be Flexible. While I always add yoga to my schedule each week, the number of sessions I do and the days I do it don’t necessarily happen as I plan them. Yoga is about being flexible in the mind and body.

If you have yoga on your schedule for Wednesday, but Wednesday becomes incredibly busy, remember to be kind to yourself. I truly believe yoga can supplement training and can work wonders for angry muscles. But, it is not something that should add stress to your life. If you are purposeful about setting a goal, you’ll realize that yoga can take stress away from your life. While I strive for 3 sessions per week, I still celebrate it as a success if I do one. I encourage you to think about your short-term, medium and long-term goals, and think about how yoga fits into them.

I’ve said it before: first and foremost, I am a runner. And like most runners, I like to skip stretching and sitting still with my thoughts. I understand that it’s much easier to skip yoga than it is to take the time to do it. But, if you start small, striving for 10 minutes per week of stretching, and truly incorporate it into your training plan and goals, I think you’ll learn to enjoy it, look forward to it and notice yourself adding more sessions with extended durations to your training cycle!

Dana DeSutter Namastride Run Tri Bike Magazine

Dana is first and foremost a runner, having run 3 marathons and many half marathons. This love for running coupled with a few injuries led her to practice yoga. When she realized how much yoga improved her paces and diminished her aches and pains while running, she pursued her 200-hour yoga teaching certification, and she is now a Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher. As a person with a day job, she focuses on helping the everyday runner feel good and enjoy running.