Barrecore instructor and marathon runner, Michele, talks to us about why Barrecore is so beneficial if you're training for a marathon.
As a long-time runner, I used to think if you didn’t get a good sweat on whilst you were working out, it wasn’t really a workout.
Then about seven years ago my doctor told me that my knees were rubbish and I wouldn't be able to run anymore. I tried to compensate with weight-lifting but didn’t like the bulk I got from building muscle. Then a friend convinced me to try Barrecore, and the rest is history.
You’re probably already familiar with the benefits of barre for sculpting long, lean muscles - but did you know it's also the perfect exercise to cross-train with running?
Here are five reasons why Barrecore should be a runner's best friend:
Barre changed my 'no sweat, no workout' perception immediately. The resistance of your own body weight combined with the low-impact movements of barre creates strong muscles. When you run, your joints are taking a beating, with your knees carrying an impact of up to five times your body weight each time you land – that’s intense! Whereas the low impact movement of a barre workout strengthens your muscles and joints, making it safer when you run. It’s a great way to cross-train on your 'rest' days from running.
The low impact nature of barre also means you tear the muscle fibres less during exercise, ensuring you don’t have DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) in the coming days.
Ask almost any runner to touch their toes and you’ll be met with a “yeah right". During a run your hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes and quads tighten and if you're not stretching them out, they continue to tighten which can lead to injury. The stretching you get in a barre class helps release that tightness and improve flexibility. So, if you’re running and taking Barrecore classes, make sure you’re taking advantage of the Asana and Stretch class formats, so you’re improving your flexibility along the way.
Many runners focus on achieving a strong lower body, as they believe that's all that’s working during a run. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Running requires a tremendous amount of strength in your core, back and upper body. A strong core allows the legs and arms to move more efficiently along the sagittal plane (forwards and backwards). If your core is weak then you may not be holding yourself upright as you run, or worse still, you may be twisting as you run and this becomes even more likely as you fatigue. Not only will this waste energy but it also makes the risk of injury greater. Next time you groan during a plank or press-up, just think about how it’s helping set you up to be a better runner.
Experts say that the mind is the most powerful part of our body, however, it will give up long before our muscles so it needs training as well. Barre, just like running a marathon, requires significant mental strength, particularly when you’re trying to stay in position during a gruelling thigh set. So, when your muscles start to shake, remember that it’s literally mind over matter; your brain will tell you to stop, but if you fight back and tell it to power through, your body will follow.
A comprehensive marathon training plan is not all running and strength training; recovery is just as crucial. After a particularly hard session (like a 20-mile training run), taking a Barrecore Stretch class the next day can be a great way to recover those tired muscles. Stretch classes incorporate fascial release techniques with lengthening stretches to aid muscle recovery and ease any tension, aches or pains in the body.
Whether you’re a casual runner or training for a particular distance, barre should be a runner’s best friend.
As I’m currently in training for the 2018 London Marathon (you can read more about the charity I’m running for here), you’ll find me at the barre a few times each week. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions about running or complementing barre with running. You can follow my marathon training journey on Instagram (@michelemuses) or Twitter (@michele_moore).
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Creating your own personalised playlists on Barrecore is easy - to start, simply find a video you like, then click the button that looks like this:
You can name your playlist, add as many videos as you'd like to it, and remove/reorder the videos in your playlist to suit your training needs.
To remove a video from a playlist, simply click the 'x' on the video in the playlist view that you no longer want to watch, and confirm to remove.
To re-order it, just click the left '<' and right '>' arrows of the video in the playlist, to swap it with the video next to it.
You'll find your favourite playlists saved for you once you have signed in.