Tag Archives: FitApproach

7 Reasons Why Runners Need Yoga

7 Reasons Why Runners Need Yoga  happyfitmama.com

I’ve loved yoga for years. It’s always been the perfect compliment to my running. However, I wasn’t as faithful to my practice in the past year or so. I kind of fell off the mat. In that time frame, I also became plagued with running injuries. I was focused on the run and didn’t have time for anything else. I knew I needed to get back to my mat but the final AHA! moment came when being evaluated by a physical therapist for my Achilles injury back in October.

She said I was tight. And that I had muscle weaknesses.

No one calls me tight or weak!

Right then and there I vowed to get back on my mat in a studio. A home yoga practice wasn’t working for me. There was just too many distractions. Around the same time, I was asked to be a part of prAna and FitApproach 30 day yoga challenge, #TakeTheLeap. I love Instagram challenges and prAna so it was a match made in heaven. Or more appropriately, a match made on a yoga mat. By the way, you can still get 15% off your total order from prAna’s new spring collection with code psps15HFM at checkout.

Since reconnecting with my mat, I’ve reaped the benefits, mentally and physically. I never want to fall off my mat again!

1. It will make you more limber. Active stretching is the most effective way to increase and maintain length in muscle fibers. Those 5 minutes you spend stretching when you get home are nothing compared to 45 minutes of active stretching in a Vinyasa yoga class.

#taketheleap yoga challenge 1  happyfitmama.com

2. It will help prevent overuse injuries that happen because of muscle/tendon tightness. When we run, everything tightens up to prevent our joints from wobbling about. And that’s a good thing. But repetitively being tight is not a good thing. Your muscles and tendons need to be pliable to keep you moving comfortably for years to come.

3. It can correct muscle imbalances & injury prevention. If you run and don’t do anything to maintain strength and flexibility, chances are that you will end up with a running injury sooner or later. You want to maintain range of motion and stretch out the muscles that get tight from running. Yoga can correct muscle imbalances created from high impact training, by aligning the joints, improving bone density and stretching and stabilizing the body to prevent pain and injury. Particularly in running injury prone areas like the IT band, hips, hamstrings and knees, calves, Achilles tendon and feet.

4. It can help you recover faster. Practicing a few yoga poses after a run when your muscles are warm will help to make you feel a whole lot better the next day. Tense muscles don’t receive blood, so use yoga after your run to keep your muscles open for movement enabling oxygen. HERE are my favorites.


5. It increases your oxygen capacity. When’s the last time you took a deep, meaningful breath? Most of us are shallow breathers. It’s the “normal” thing to do. A regular practice of yoga can increase your ability to breathe more deeply which results in more oxygen being supplied to our blood system. Your muscles need oxygen to fire optimally.

6. It will make you stronger mentally. Every runner needs mental toughness. Not every run will be perfect and rosy. There will be times when you want to quit. Your legs will be tired. Ever had to hold a yoga pose while your legs are burning and shaking? It’s the same thing. I’d like to think that the reason I held it together for my recent 99 laps on an indoor track, were all a part of my mental strength building thanks to yoga.

7. It will make you stronger physically. Yoga hits the upper body, lower body and core all in one. It’s a total body workout that only requires your body weight.


Disclaimer: As part of the #taketheleap challenge, I was given an outfit courtesy of prAna. All opinions are my own.

Do you do yoga?

How has it helped you in running, fitness or life?

If you don’t do yoga, why not?

#BringingYogaBack Challenge + Meal Planning

#bringingyogaback | happyfitmama.com

Who’s ready for more yoga?

Last weekend I talked about #TakeTheLeap with prAna and FitApproach. BTW – I’m loving my practice even more with the help of the challenge. Well, prAna has upped the ante by launching a mini-challenge called #bringingyogaback!

Their 12-Day Yoga Instagram Invitation campaign runs from Sunday, Feb 8th – Feb 20th and can be incorporated into your #taketheleap challenge!

prAna Ambassador, Michael Fukumura, has designed a “Spring Awakening” sequence to continue to bring people together, build a positive community, and inspire others to find their mat. I’m all about awakening Spring right now. Maybe that will stop the relentless snowfall?

#bringingyogabackHere’s the details:

12 Day Yoga Invitation!

We’re #bringingyogaback in a big way this spring and want your help!  To celebrate, we’re hosting a 12-day Instagram yoga-inspire-a-thon.

The prize?

$1000 in prAna gear for one lucky winner AND a friend!

This is not about competition—you will not be docked points for not having the perfect downward dog, don’t worry. Instead, we want to inspire you, your friends, and your family to hit the mat more often and share your progress with the larger Insta family.

As further motivation, one lucky participant will receive $1,000 in new prAna gear from our Spring Collection AND the opportunity to gift another $1000 in gear to a person of their choice (because isn’t giving as fun as receiving?).

All ability levels are welcome, so don’t feel any pressure to replicate a pose exactly… just do your best and always listen to your body.

To enter:

1) Follow @prAna on Instagram

2) Post a pic of yourself doing the pose of the day – you don’t have to post every day to enter

3) Use #bringingyogaback #taketheleap and tag both @prAna and @fitapproach     

4) Get your friends & family in on the fun

That’s it! The posing starts Monday, February 9th!

Be sure to check out prAna and their new Spring Collection. It’s gorgeous! You can get 15% off your order from prAna with code psps15HFM.

Since it’s Sunday, it’s meal planning day. Here’s what I’ve got planned:

Sunday: Fish Tacos

Monday: Broccoli Chickpea Bowl 

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Quinoa, Chicken and Kale Soup

Wednesday: Ron’s Homemade Pizza

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Healthy Chickpea “Chicken” Salad Sandwiches or over greens

Saturday: Valentine’s Day Date Night In

What is your favorite yoga pose? For me, it’s Wild Thing. It really does make my heart sing.

What’s for dinner this week?

Boston Marathon Training {Week 3 & 4}

I can’t believe I’m in the 5th week of Boston Marathon Training with Team Stonyfield already. This training cycle is flying by!

Boston Marathon Training week 3 & 4  happyfitmama.com

Week 3: January 19 – 25

Monday: 50 minutes bike trainer, PT/Core/Glute exercises. Full body strength training.

Tuesday: 2 mile w/u, 3 miles @ 1/2 marathon pace (8:06, 8:00, 7:53), 2 miles c/d. Total: 7 miles. PT/Core/Glute exercises.

Wednesday: Quick and easy pace 5 miles. Full body strength training. PT reassessment in the evening.

Thursday: 2 mile easy w/u, 10 x 2:00 @ 10k pace (7:44 – 7:24), 1.5 mile easy c/d, Total 8 miles PT/Core/Glute exercises.

Friday: Easy pace 5 miles

Saturday: YOGA class!

Sunday: Long run – 16.4 of hills, slush, snow, wind and sunshine. It felt harder than it should have for almost all of the miles because of the road conditions. Sarah and I both said we were fine with stopping short of our intended 17 miles. But then we each confessed to hoping on the treadmill once we got home for another 0.6 miles to make it exact. Crazy runners think alike! PT/Core/Glute exercises.

Total: 42 miles

Week 4: January 26 – February 1 (cut back week)

Monday: 50 minutes bike trainer, PT/Core exercises/Glute exercises. Upper body weights.

Tuesday: Hill repeats on the treadmill because of snowpocolypse. 2 mile w/u, 30 secs @ 7.3/6% x 10, 1:00 recovery, 2 mile c/d. Total 7 miles. PT/Glute exercises

Wednesday: Easy 5 miles. Full body strength training.

Thursday: 6 easy miles w/ 4 x 20 sec strides.PM yoga class

Friday: REST. PT/Glute/Core exercises

Saturday: Yoga class

Sunday: Mid Winter Classic 10 Miler. New PR! Glute/Core exercises

Total: 28 miles

I’m feeling quite good. Despite having to do most of my miles on the treadmill, it hasn’t been as torturous as you would think. Dare I say that the treadmill is growing on me? Maybe it’s because I got hooked into listening to Serial?

The knots in my calves are so much better. I’m faithfully using The Stick multiple times a day. I also credit yoga for helping me feel good. In addition to the studio, I committed to #TakeTheLeap 30 days of yoga with prAna and FitApproach.

prAna #taketheleap | happyfitmama.com

Have you seen their Spring Collection yet? If I could, I’d buy one of everything.  I worked with prAna back in the late Fall and fell in love with their clothing. From workout gear to everyday clothing, everything is so well made with a conscious. It’s not often a company will go out of it’s way to be green for a better planet.

I totally stepped out of my comfort zone in getting the Ashley Capri in Blue Jay. Usually I’m an all black workout wear kind of girl. But with the dreary winter weather, I wanted something springy and colorful. I love ’em! And the Quinn Top. I love everything about it. It stays in place in class with no worries of wardrobe malfunctions no matter what pose I’m in. If you are feeling in the mood for shopping, check out their super cute stuff. You can get 15% off your order when you use my discount code psps15HFM.

How are you coping with the winter weather?

What workout are you loving right now?