Can Pilates make you a better runner? We tested the ropes at Bootcamp Pilates.
Having heard whispers of Bootcamp Pilates through various fitness circles, I was intrigued to see what the fuss was about. Don’t get me wrong, I know how beneficial Pilates is and how important strength and conditioning for runners should be, but that said, I can't help but feel a little underwhelmed by the lack of sweat, panting and adrenaline that comes with many Pilates classes; oh the hours spent on a mat watching the clock whilst trying to engage my inner core. Maybe I’ve not been doing it properly or maybe I’m too much of a running junkie to appreciate something a little less fast paced.
Eager to try a more extreme sounding form of Pilates I went along to my first class at their Fulham studio to see how an hour on a reformer would make me a better runner. Lee took the morning class. After a quick briefing on how to work the rather intimidating contraption, we were off.
The class was broken down into sections that each involved a different set-up on the machine. This meant that over the course of the hour we seemed to have targeted just about every single muscle in the human body. Saying I’d felt the burn would be an understatement. The moves also required concentration, (let it slide and you’ll fall off) which made a refreshing change from the mindless squatting I’ve become accustomed too.
By the end of the hour, much more sweaty than anticipated, I was sold on the concept. Lee’s instruction was brilliant with constant triggers to keep us in check and ensure we were working the right parts and, through gritted teeth the time flew.
It’s impossible to reap any measurable benefits from a single class or see if it does in fact improve my running so I’m joining a four-week challenge. The concept is simple: four classes a week for four weeks.
Watch this space for a week-by-week progress diary with plenty of take-away tips you can do at home. Why not join me on a quest for a stronger running body. To measure the progression, I’ve decided to set myself a 10K time trial to see if I can become a better runner in just four weeks. The challenge commences on Monday 16th September. If you want to join me all you need to do is:
- Set a running goal, be it speed, distance or duration - the choice is yours.
- Pledge to four sessions of strength and conditioning per week for four weeks: try classes at the gym, home workout videos or check out some of our workout plans here.
- Measure your progress week by week, perhaps a time-trial or a long Sunday run and jot it in a training diary.
- Stick to the plan and keep us updated with your progress - #makemeabetterrunner.
Find out more about Bootcamp Pilates here