Well, Hello 2016 Boston Marathon!

I might be heading off to India for the month of January, but that doesn’t mean that you, 2016 Boston Marathon runners, will be all alone as you take on the frigid temperatures and snow during the base of your marathon training! Below, I have outlined key tips and advice that will get your training off to a great start. (Feel free to also listen to my Podcast on Runner’s Connect where I discuss many of the points I have outlined below).


This is a great time, even if you’re not running the Boston marathon, to establish a consistent yoga practice that will keep you injury-free, make you stronger and also help you with the anxiety that comes with taking on a big goal and the desire to do well.

Happy running and yoga!

1. Start yoga NOW: Now is the time to get your yoga on! Yoga is essential for building flexibility, strength and focus into your running practice. As you begin to get into your training routine and building up mileage, it’s important to integrate yoga from the start. This will make a HUGE difference in your training, especially as you head towards your big 20 mile run. Here are some classes I would recommend:

  • 10 week RunYoga series on Monday nights (kicks off 2/8). This series is so much fun and you will meet a lot of other people training for Boston.
  • Yoga for Runners class on Sundays at 12:45pm in JP. This is a perfect class to do for cross training and/or post-long run, whether you ran Saturday or Sunday morning.
  • Can’t make it to a class, practice with me via my Yoga with Cara Gilman app on your iphone.
  • If you’re newer to yoga, I also teach a beginners class at YogaWorks Back Bay on Monday mornings at 8:15am. The class is 60 minutes.
  • New to yoga? Here are some tips.

2. Integrate yoga as part of your training, not an extension of it: Plan your yoga just like you would do with your runs. I would recommend practicing 2 or 3 times per week. Two practices being used for cross training/strength building and one class being for recovery. These practices do not have to be classes, they can be done at home on your own (feel free to check out my videos on my iphone app).

If you’re planning on taking a class and are not sure what kind of class to take, here’s a guide. However, each class will vary depending on the teacher so keep that in mind.

  • Yoga for Strength Training & Stretch: Vinyasa Yoga (level 2/3), Hip Hop Yoga, Forrest Yoga, Core Flow, Strength and Structure Vinyasa, Power Yoga
  • Yoga for Stretch: Slow flow vinyasa, yin yoga, restorative yoga, vinyasa with deep relaxation
  • Yoga for Recovery: Restorative yoga, meditation classes

3. Be careful of hot yoga. With the room being warm, you will feel like your body is more open, which it is, but this can cause you to go deep into poses and possibly cause you to over stretch areas of your body. Your body is going through a lot of stress already with your running regime, so be careful when practicing that you’re not pushing it and are leaving your competitive nature outside of the yoga room. A great indication of when to back off is when your breath becomes short and/or almost non existent.

4. Get your pre-game on. Before your run, set an intention. Let your intention reflect why you run or are running. Take a moment to connect to the “why” to get inspired. Follow up your intention setting practice up with a routine you do every time you run. It could consist of a pre-run yoga warm-up, listening to a favorite song that gets you pumped up and/or a five minute seated meditation. Routine is key and by establishing a mechanism to get your mind in the game, you will notice that mentally you will be able to dig deep much easier on your run.

5. Be Flexible: Approach your training plan with the mindset that it will change. As the miles start to increase, your body and/or mind might need to skip some runs. Stay focused on completing at least 3 runs per week; your long run, speed/hill/pace workout (if you are a veteran marathoner and going for a specific time) and a regular base run. The most important run to complete is your long run. This is where cross training is important. Feel free to supplement yoga, spinning and/or swimming in the mix when your mind and/or body needs a break from running.

6. Run with people! Running with people has made a huge difference in my running. It has not only made me faster but I have way more fun running! There are a TON of running groups in Boston that will keep you motivated this winter. Here are some that I LOVE:

7. Work on Your Form: On easy runs challenge yourself to pay attention to your form. Here are some things for you to think about/work on.

8. Post-run yoga, do it! After you complete any workout-out, dedicate at least 10 minutes to stretch and do some core work. Here’s a quick 5 pose yoga sequence that’s perfect to do post-workout. Here are also some stretches/yoga poses that you can integrate as well:


Categories: Yoga for Runners