Switching running to yoga did not make me fat. It is a scary prospect for any exercise addict like me. I think a lot of people think that reducing the intensity of their training will make them FAT. Well, I did just that, I switched yoga to running and did end up the size of a bus.
Life is twisting and turning and things come into your life and leave. During lockdown running fast was all I wanted to do. I was obsessed! I started a running blog and thought that in order to get noticed you had to be fast. In November of last year, I achieved my goal of running under 90 minutes. I was so delighted with this achievement, but my body was broken. My hip clicked every time I stood up and I was training on sore feet (learn more about here… plantar fasciitis). My hamstrings were so tight that I was unable to touch the floor and my mind just could not handle training 6-7 days a week. It was time to give myself and my body a break from running. That is when I decided switching running for yoga might not be such a bad thing.
Misconceptions most runners have when they reduce mileage
Once I made that decision I have to admit that I had some really unhealthy thoughts. I asked myself…
- How can I keep the weight off?
- Surely there is no other activity out there that could burn the same amount of calories as my 40-50 mile weeks?
- How can I get my post run happy endorphins, without actually running?
- If I stop running I’m going to end up sooo unfit?
Stopped high mileage running for 6 months and I can confirm that I did not gain lots of weight
Well 6 months of only running when I wanted to… sometime 1x per week, sometimes more.
- It is hard to burn the same amount of calories that I did in those 40-50 mile weeks. But I’m not as hungry, and I have been managing my portion sizes and eating more healthy.
- I have found an activity that gives me that same high. It has also taught me so much more about my own body.
- I stopped running religiously everyday and have become unfit overnight.
Yoga has been such a revelation!
I’ll be honest, I’m still moving the same amount each day, but I have switched most of my run days for yoga days. This has been a complete revelation. When you have been brought up to run and train competitively it feels instinctive that you have to be in pain to get anything out of the session. No pain, no gain was such a real mentality for me. But yoga has completely changed this. A post from @natalyosmann really resonated with how yoga can become such an integral part of your life;
“It was almost 17 years ago when I came to my first yoga class. I had only one desire — I was seeking a partner yoga practice to bond with my boyfriend at some different level.
Where did I get that from?
Why did I feel that yoga may bring people together?
And of course, we failed to make things work back then.
Unlike that boy, yoga still remains with me.
Yoga just emphasized how endless may be the way of you exploring yourself. Learning is just a lifelong process.
Mind and body are united and even when we lose our faith, there comes our inner powers helping us. Yoga also showed this huge number of mental blocks and limits we have.
And yes, Yoga does really unite. But primarily, it unites you with self and only then with the rest of the world.”@natalyosmann
This may sound a bit too spiritual to some, but practicing yoga every day has helped me learn so much more about myself. It’s not just a physical workout, but a practice that helps teach you about your connection to the earth. Your connection to the earth affects fundamental running components, including balance, strength, and flexibility. I had neglected all of these elements when in favour of just adding more running miles. Yoga has been a lifesaver for a stressed entrepreneur trying to set up a photography business. Intense running sessions and mileage began to add to the stresses in my life. I needed to slow down.
Not completely giving up Running
I have absolutely no intention of switching running to yoga forever. I love running in the countryside, exploring new paths, and seeing lots of wildlife. In fact, I don’t want to give up competitive running. But this break from running 6-7 days a week has been so good for both my body and mind. It has taught me that it is incredibly important to not lose touch of strength, flexibility, and balance. If you are running hard then it is essential that you include this work in your schedule. Even if that means cutting back on mileage. My body feels that good at the moment. I would not be surprised if I’m able to run faster.
Always injured? Can’t handle another grueling running session? Is switching running to yoga a good idea??
For anyone who has a recurring injury, or has just lost all motivation for running I really recommend taking a break. Let your body and mind heal. You won’t get fat, or unfit! As long as you move every day and eat a balanced diet, you will not gain weight. If you want to introduce yoga into your training schedule then I would highly recommend Yoga with Adrienne’s 30 Days series.
Adrienne eases you into yoga. There are no crazy yoga poses. She starts with building a good foundation through learning how to breathe and use your core. This will help build a good foundation from the inside out.
It is my aim to keep you all informed on how my body feels as I start to pick up running again. As I have not been doing much running at all my entry into training again will be through the couch to 5km app. This will provide a nice progression into running more often. So I look forward to keeping you up to date with my yoga and running journey. I hope that this post helps those who think that they do not need to run 40-50 miles a week to maintain a healthy, happy body. You will not get fat, you will not lose fitness, in fact, your body might actually appreciate it.
Thank you for reading, I’ll write again soon :)!!!