Prio Performance Running Shoe by Xero Shoes – Product Review

The two of us have been running in minimalist footwear for many years now, and the vast majority of the miles we run are in running sandals made by Xero Shoes. Two of our favourite are the simple DIY Xero Shoe, likely the closest you will ever come to running barefoot, and the newest of their sandals the Z-Trek and Z-Trail, which are both a bit more robust for technical running or hiking. There have always been certain circumstances which prevented (or at least made it difficult) to run in sandals. Whether it was training in the cold Canadian winter, extremely muddy training, or some intensely technical trail where we felt we needed a bit more protection for our feet.

Well we’ve been asking (and let’s be realistic, many people have been!) and Xero Shoes has finally released their first performance shoe called the “Prio” and we’re going to share some of our thoughts on them.

Xero shoes prio running shoe

 

We’ve had our Prio’s for about a month now, have put quite a few miles on them including big ascents and descents, muddy runs, rainy runs, outdoor agility cross training workouts, so in our minds, have got a really good feel for their strengths and weaknesses.

 

Prio Pro’s:

  • The overall FIT

    • Stating the obvious, they have a nice wide footbed, a true zero drop sole, and no unnecessary arch support, meaning your feet will feel as comfortable as they are when barefoot. The thing we noticed though, that blew us away, is just how well the shape and fit of these shoes have been designed to give you all the room you need to move freely, but don’t allow your feet to slide around when going up or downhill or running along technical tracks.
  • Durable but Flexible materials

    • You might hear other shoe companies promoting their zero drop shoes with widefoot beds, but let us be the ones to tell you the biggest difference between them and the Prio’s. The other brands shoes are made of rigid materials that will feel like boxes on your feet. Don’t believe us, we’ve been getting holes in our socks wherever our foot toes touch the inside of the shoe. That to us doesn’t seem at all like a shoe that moves WITH your feet. They’re containing them, and therefore restricting them. The Prio’s feel like a kick ass pair of socks because they are so flexible.
  • Super Breathable

    • We started wearing the Prio’s during the melting of all the winter snow, meaning it was a time when the trails are muddy and wet. We noticed how breathable the Prio’s were, first when we kept getting out feet wet on the mucky trails, but noticed our feet were drying up faster than we expected. This helped a ton to prevail blisters from forming (even though with how well these shoes fit and flex with us, we’ve never even experienced a hot spot!). However, now that we’re starting to see warmer weather, we’re liking these shoes even more for how cool our feet stay during runs. This was one thing that we HATED about wearing shoes, is how your feet start to burn up and throw off your mindset.
  • lightweight running shoes - prio from Xero shoeTraction without bulk

    • The Prio’s use the same chevron-like tread on the bottom of the soles as all the Xero Sandals, and we put it to the test during a technical and very muddy 50k race in Washington. Not once did I feel that the Prio wasn’t giving me enough traction. For being an extremely lightweight sole and overall shoe, it’s quite impressive that they have the same level of traction as some of the bulkier trail shoes with “gnarly” treads.
  •  Affordable
    • The price of shoes seem to be rising all the time, so having a performance running shoe for under $100 is almost unbelievable. At only 89.99 (if Xero Shoes isn’t running a sale!) you almost can’t go wrong buying a shoe that will strengthen your feet and look pretty badass! Not to mention your 89.99 will go so much further than other shoes. While other shoe companies are recommending you switch out your shoes every 300-500 miles, Xero Shoes offers a 5,000 mile warranty on their soles! That’s not a typo, a FIVE THOUSAND mile warranty!!! The “price of shoes” no longer has to be a limiting factor to your training.

 

Prio Con’s:

  • They are SHOES

    • Although this is obvious, and a pathetic topic to label as a “con” the fact that the Prio’s are a performance running SHOE, means they will catch rocks, will keep your feet wet for longer after a water crossing, will have more contact on your feet to possibly cause blisters. This is all comparing them to a running sandal though, and not to any other shoe.
  • Limited Traction on Extreme Terrain

    • Even though I’d rate their traction as pretty stellar, the fact that the treads are “minimalist” in nature, means if you were needing to trek through thick mud or deep snow, you might be better off with something a bit more gnarly on the bottoms.

 

Who would the Prio Minimalist Shoes be perfect for?

Runners and walkers (obviously!) > These are top notch running and hiking shoes

Crossfitters or Gym-goers –> With the Prio’s being zero drop they are great for stability during cross training workouts

Travellers –> Lightweight and easily packable, and you can use them for just about anything along your travels.

We probably don’t have to even say it, however, if anyone asked us if we would recommend these, we would tell them we already have! Many of our friends, family, fellow runners, or social media followers have ordered themselves a pair and have told us they’ve been loving them. So if you’re looking for a new shoe, and the Prio’s are sounding like a good fit (get it!) we’d say to give them a try. They really are as awesome as all the review and promotions are saying they are.

Run free!

Ultra Mel and Jon

Why I Took Policing OFF My Resume

Since leaving my job as a police officer just over two years ago, my life has changed quite a bit. From the country I live in, the sports I’m involved in, and of course my career path. This was sort of an odd anomaly in my mind, but after looking back on it and thinking more about it, I thought it would be valuable to share my job hunt experiences for anyone who might be leaving their past job as a police officer or another first responder field.

 

Here’s a bit of info on me, to help set a bit of context. I graduated my undergraduate degree approximately 7 and a half years ago and was fortunate enough to have been hired onto the Edmonton Police Service within weeks of finishing classes. Of these 7 and a half years, I worked as a police officer for 5 and a half years, was unemployed for 3 months after I left, and have been working in digital marketing for the past two years in the same job. Lately, I started feeling as if I had gotten everything I could out of my job, and started my hunt for the next opportunity. When I updated my resume, I initially assumed the obvious, and that was to include my 5 years work experience as a police officer on my resume. However, I eventually made the shocking discovery that it was, in fact, better for me NOT to include policing on my resume. And I’m going to share some of my thoughts about why.

 

leaving policing and finding a new job

 

There is an absolute boatload of information out there right now about how to perfectly craft your resume, how to write a cover letter that stands out, and other best practices when applying for jobs. What I have found in the past and continue to find is all the information contradicts itself in so many ways. I’m not shocked by this at all. After all, there are so many different types of companies hiring people, so while the big corporate jobs might want your I’s dotted and T’s crossed, a fast growing startup might be more interested in learning about your personality and whether you will fit into their team. There are also so many different types of people, so while some might comfortable sharing personal information, some might simply want to keep work and personal life entirely separate.

Should I Include Police Experience On My Resume?

 

When I left the police service, there were so many people who said “now you have a good 5+ years of professional experience, which will help no matter where you go.” (These were the supportive ones, and for that I’m grateful!) In one sense they were right, but it wasn’t quite that simple. When I began my job search recently, I decided to include policing in my work experience with a good amount of detailed points around what I did and how it can help me in future jobs. Don’t get me wrong here, I read dozens of articles and guides on how to craft a well-polished resume, so I wasn’t way out of line here in something as simple as a poorly written description of job experience.

 

If someone was asking me today “should I include policing on my resume?” I would likely tell them it depends on what area you are looking to find a job in. If it’s something related to police work, like security, military, even companies that offer supplies or otherwise service the police niche, then absolutely. If you’re pivoting career paths into something entirely unrelated, then I wouldn’t be so quick to say include it. I’ll get into WHY below.

 

Why I took policing off my resume?

It’s quite simple really. I decided to take policing off my resume because I received a better response without it. After I began my search, I had spent about a month applying to just over 20 jobs that I was quite well suited for (at least in my opinion). Of those 22 or so, I received 2 replies back that were simply a canned response saying they were moving forward with someone else. Even after consistent follow-up, I never heard a word from the others. Honestly speaking, I was a bit confused, and whole heartedly feeling a bit incompetent. Why was I having almost no luck at this? I wasn’t aiming for things way out of my league like the CEO of Apple or anything.

 

I talked with Melissa about removing policing off my resume, and like we’ve learned in just about everything in life, she said to test it and see what happens. If things go better, you made the right move. If nothing changes, that’s likely not the issue. So I decided to get rid of it.

 

Let me be quite clear here. I did not delete the entire section from my resume. I simply renamed the position, changed “Edmonton Police Service” to “City of Edmonton”, and re-wrote all of the bullets below to come across more as a municipal employee, rather than a cop. Like my co-workers had said before, I still agree that this was professional work experience, and I needed to include something for what I was doing for 5 years.

 

The results were pretty dramatic. After making the changes, I applied to 6 different jobs in the next few weeks. Of those 6, 4 replied back, 3 set up interviews, and one landed me a job offer that I was happy to accept. Strictly looking at the metrics, I would have to say that taking the title of “Police Officer” off my resume made a significant improvement in the success of my job hunt.

 

changing career after policing

Working at a coffee shop in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with an Affogato on the side!

What do I think changed?

 

I’ll never know for 100% certain whether seeing or not seeing Police Officer on my resume had an influence in whether I was considered. It’s pretty probable, though, based entirely on the metrics I mentioned above. If I had to take a stab in the dark as to WHY I had better success without policing, this is what I would say.

 

First thing is, in this day and age, policing is a sensitive issue. Police are always in the media, and unfortunately, it’s often making them out to be the bad guys. There are lots of viral posts on Facebook about PTSD becoming more prevalent than ever in military and law enforcement. The simple topic of police can provoke a wide array of emotions in people, and you have absolutely no control over whether those are supportive or resenting emotions. Can this play into a recruiter or hiring managers opinions? Sure the ethical answer is no. But in the same way that you’d likely lean towards the well dressed, well spoken and well-prepared candidate, over the guy who’s wearing dirty clothes, smells of weed and brought a sub to eat during the interview, it’s very well COULD play a role in the first impression that the hiring manager gets. So right off the bat, having ‘police officer’ on your resume might be putting you at a disadvantage.

 

Second thing that seems possible in my opinion, is that they simply don’t know what to do with it. When you say you were a great investigator, or you wrote very detailed warrants, or you supervised a squad, or just about anything else that uses very different context from the business realm, there is a very good chance that things get lost in translation. Not only is it possible that the reader of this doesn’t understand what exactly a warrant is, or how many people are in a squad, or any other detail that they’ve never been exposed to, but even if they can decipher the message, it’s causing them to think harder about that part of your resume. And if you are applying for something along with 2-300 other applicants, the last thing you want to do is make things difficult for the hiring manager to understand.

 

One of the supporting reasons why I feel these types of superficial obstacles were responsible, was that during most of my interviews, when the topic of my work with the “City of Edmonton” came up, I straight out told them I was a police officer, and on several occasion and in severals ways the person interviewing me expressed very high interest. Some commented on how that experience must have helped me handle stressful situations, some even applauded me for having the courage to stand up and leave something that didn’t fulfill me. In all situations, I didn’t detect any type of negative thoughts or feeling towards my policing experience, if anything it was a strong asset, but I think this was highly due to the fact I was able to word it in a way that would display the skills I developed or the lessons I learned in my own words. I was able to paint the entire picture, rather than let them draw conclusions or assumptions from a few words on my resume. And of course, I was crafting them to be as relatable to the position I was applying for, which further worked in my favor.

 

I think both of these quite possibly played a role in why I had such drastic differences in my success rates in applying for jobs. Which is why I thought it would be valuable for others who are thinking about leaving their policing careers or have recently left the police to know about these possible obstacles they may face when looking for new work.

Read My Book "Should I Become a Cop"

Should I Become a Cop is a deep and honest look into the ways policing will impact your life, and strategies to weigh out whether you are willing to accept this all. If you've been considering the police force, this is a must read!

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Monkii Bars Bodyweight Training Device – Product Review

We’ve been using the Monkii Bars ultra-portable bodyweight training device for a few months now and have really found, among all their benefits and features, their versatility to be what serves us the most.  Always wanting to find new gyms out in nature and frequently wanting to workout while travelling, have made the Monkii Bars incredibly useful for us.  Now we could go on all day about every detail in a super nit-picky review, but we just want to touch on the aspects of this piece of equipment that affect us the most, being ultra marathon runners, yoga and acroyoga practitioners and world travellers.

 

PRODUCT UPDATE: Since writing this post, Monkii Bars 2 has been released, and they are a serious improvement on the incredible originals. Shop Monkii Bars 2 Now and get 5% OFF

travel workout equipment

Monkii Bars – Technical Specs

Just so you have a good idea of what we’re talking about.  The Monkii Bars are a pair of super lightweight suspension style system, that act similar to a pair of gymnastic rings, for bodyweight training.  They would be almost like an incredibly lightweight TRX system.

The bars themselves are 8 inches in length, weigh less than one pound as a pair, but they are strong enough to hold up to 220 lbs.  How can something so lightweight be so STRONG?  Monkii bars are made with some incredible materials, including hard Maple wood for the handles, Spectra materials in the line, and aerospace aluminum for the attachment hardware.  The lines that come standard with each pair of Monkii Bars is approximately 18 feet, making it extremely versatile to do all kinds of exercises, attached to all kinds of things!

ultra marathon runners

 

 

 

Monkii Bar Pro’s

Compact Design

The technical specs above give you an idea of how lightweight the materials these bars are made out of really are.  But the beauty part of them is the entire line and attachment piece stuff into the handles themselves, so when all packed up you have to 8 inch handles!  These are super easy to carry in your hands as you run, toss in a pack, and of course pack into a suitcase for travel.  They also come with a small piece that attaches the two while being stored/carried to help keep them together.

Simple Setup and Take Down

The attachment piece of hardware can be a bit unique if you are used rock climbing hardware, but like anything new it only takes one or two times before its almost second nature to it.  The instruction card that comes in the box gives some super easy to follow instructions that get you setup in just a few minutes.  Now that I understand how the mechanics of the attachment piece work, and I’ve set up and taken down our Monkii bars a bunch, it will usually take me between 3-5 minutes to set the bars up to be ready for a workout.

VersatileBodyweight training monii bar promo code

The one thing that stands out with the Monkii bars when you compare it to things like gymnastic rings or a TRX system, is their simple versatility.  Rings are designed to be used a certain way.  TRX you have to set up your anchor and can only attach to that.  Monkii bars you can literally wrap that line around anything you can think of then hang, pull or drag until you’re done training.  We’ve obviously attached it to high hanging poles and tree limbs, we’ve used the door attachment which makes it easy to hit an indoor workout, we’ve strung it to stairwell railings, we’ve hung it off a boardwalk and propped out feet up on the railing up the boardwalk to get a bit more difficulty in the workout, we’ve even wrapped the line around a big log to drag it along the beach.  I’ve seen some of the wild Monkii Ambassadors rig up huge boulders to do farmers walks.

And I know what you’re thinking, if this thin little line is being dragged and strapped to so many things, won’t it break.  Well right out of their websites FAQ; “Our Spectra® Line is insanely durable and strong. However, we’re certain that some of our users will be wild enough to wear down the line. If this happens, we have you covered.”  So if you ever do break the line, it will be replaced free of charge!

 

Monii Bar Drawback

As we mentioned above, we like bringing our bars with us on runs so we can find something to strap onto along the way, and get a bit of calisthenics worked into our workout. With the bars taking 3-5 minutes to setup, it creates a bit of a downtime, allowing your heart rate to drop down. This might be good to build up some energy for your bar workout, or bad because now you have to get your heart rate back up. Small thing that really has no easy fix, and no other product can really handle this issue, but just one thing we noticed.

 

Would We Recommend Monkii Bars

Whether you are a big calisthenics fan, an endurance athlete looking for some fast and light ways to keep muscle mass balance, a big traveller who is always on the go and living out of a suitcase, or even someone who just doesn’t like going to a public gym, the Monkii Bars would suit you well!  They have created a super innovative product to make fitness simple and accessible for everyone, no matter where you are, and the makers themselves are great people who really believe in their product and what it can do to the fitness industry.  If you feel like giving them a try, we’ve dug up a promo to get you all 5% off!! Get your set of Monkii Bars

ultra mel and jon training monkii bars vs trx

 

The Simplest Way to Build Strength

To Build Strength is Simple, It’s Not Easy

I’m sure many of you clicked on to this post with a certain level of skepticism. In this day and age, there are so many people trying to sell you products and services that wildly over promise and under deliver results. We won’t be selling you anything or trying to convince you this will be easy. But everything we will share will you here, are from our own personal experiences, and it truly was the simplest way for both of us to build strength that we never knew was possible. There are three steps to this method, but they won’t happen overnight. The first is entirely mental and it required shifting some of what you might believe about strength and how to build it, then the second and third steps will require some work!

Enough talk, let’s break this all down and start finding that strength you never knew you had.

straight arm scapular strength yoga

Step 1: Stop Resisting the Strength You Already Have

Your body works in a delicate balance. Front body and back body, left side right side, up-down, diagonally, and on so many other axis’ and movements planes. When you have resistance on one side, it debilitated the other side from working properly. Get rid of that resistance and both sides will function better. In context of strength –> When one muscle chain is tight, it can literally resist and impinge the opposing side. So by removing this tightness, or this inflexibility, you free the opposing side to express its full capacity of strength.

Think about it this way. If you have two horses who are trying to pull a carriage, it makes sense that if one horse is strong and the other is weak, then assuming both horses will try their best, the strong horse will end up pulling more weight, and they are likely to walk in circles because that weaker horse won’t keep up. This is essentially what happens when you have strong muscles and weak muscles, and this is primarily what keeps people like chiropractors and physiotherapists in business. 

Now, imagine those two horses are the same size and equally strong, but one decided to stop moving and actively drive his feet into the ground to stop the carriage. The other horse is going to have to work insanely hard to even try to move that carriage. He’s now, not only going to be pulling the entire weight of the carriage, but the weight of the other horse, PLUS fighting the opposing force of the horse who’s putting on the brake.

This is what is happening when you have tight muscles all over the body that are never being stretched or otherwise worked out to try and get them to relax. They grow exceedingly tight and begin to resist the muscles you are focusing on working out and trying to get stronger. But in reality, they are in an uphill battle with that tightening muscle. (Or, your one horse is getting stronger and stronger, only to pull that stubborn horse who is braking harder and harder)

 

Method to increase the flexibility that unlocks strength

The two of us, for those of you who don’t follow our blog, are ultra marathon runners primarily, are certified yoga and acro yoga teachers, and love to dabble/cross-train with interval training, calisthenics, gymnastics and other bodyweight disciplines.

Adding in yoga of any sort to your daily or weekly routine can result in unbelievable increases in flexibility and proprioception, both opening up new forms of strength. Rolling, with a foam roller, trigger point style of balls or a recovery roller stick can really help you release tight areas of your body that you don’t know are tight. Maybe it’s your lats that have just seized up over years of weight lifting, and now they are your biggest shoulder mobility limitation. Or maybe like so many of us in the western world, you have tight hips, hamstrings, glutes or lower back muscles, from all that time we spend sitting. Rolling just for 10-15 minutes every day can absolutely shock you with the mobility gains you will see in a matter of a few weeks.

 

For those of you who still doubt this ideology that flexibility will increase strength, take time to listen to the Tim Ferriss podcast episode with Christopher Sommers from Gymnastic Bodies. Best quote out of that talk = “If the best in the world are stretching their asses off, then why aren’t you?”

building strength with yoga

 

Step 2: Strengthen Up Your Weakest Muscles

On some level, most of us already know this, but you are only as strong as your weakest muscle, and it;s true. If you want to use our horse analogy again (because talking draft horses just screams strength!), then a team of horses pulling a carriage are only going to be as strong as their weakest horse, or can only go as fast as their weakest horse. Two major areas where this will shine will be in your foundation, and in your core. Build strength in these areas and you will begin to look at movement in a whole new way.

Foundation –> This will include whatever muscles are having some form of interaction with the ground below you. (Or if you are working on inversions, then above you)  If you’re a runner that gets shin splits, you need to focus on your lower leg muscles, find out what is strong, what is weak, and correct the imbalance. If you are trying and trying to balance in a handstand, there’s a good chance your hands are not strong enough to balance your weight, and the most common weakness that will help you improve will be by working your extensor muscles in the back of the forearm.

Core –> Block out the idea that your core is only your 6 or 8 pack. Think deeper than that. Think about solidifying your transverse abdominals to build that true strength. Static holds (with proper form) held for good chunks of time can really begin to tax and grow those deep, huge muscle groups. ***Personal opinion, but planks, might be one of the absolute best ways to grow this deep core strength. Forearm plank, wall plank, side plank, rotating plank, the options are endless***  It will also begin to teach you how to connect your core structure to your limbs, and once this foundation is locked it, more advanced movements like handstands, planche and levers become much more accessible to you.

 

 

Step 3: Stay Consistent Every Day

This step is extremely dependant on the first two. Once you have convinced yourself that increasing flexibility and range of motion will help unleash strength and once you’ve identified areas that are holding you back from being truly strong, then it’s time to go forth and work through the motions of building strength.

We won’t go into specific training plans or recommend any fitness regimes because there are about a billion people out there doing that already and it’s just too much of a debated topic. In the end, it really doesn’t matter as long as you do it with the right direction, motivation, and methodology.

To share our personal account of building strength here is a general breakdown of our experience over the past 8 months.

Starting point: Ultra distance runners already, moderate cross-training background, a 200hr YTT and a 200hr Acroyoga teacher training under our belts.

Routine: When schedule allowed our training schedule looked pretty similar to this for about 7 out of the last 8 months. (All of the below is given “per week”)

  • 5 Strength Workouts  – 40 minutes of a blend between yoga and advanced body movement
  • 6 Skill Building Sessions – 10-15 minutes of dedicated practice on one specific skill (hand balance, handstand, etc)
  • 4 Run Workouts – Ranging from 1-3 hours mostly – Mix of intervals, tempo runs, beach sprints, long easy runs, long hikes and recovery runs.
  • 1-2 Crosstraining – 30-90 minutes – Biking, calisthenics, yin yoga, or other yoga practice for the most part

Stretching: Where did we fit in all of this strength building stretching to get massive flexibility gains? Deep stretching was working into the strength workouts (a little throughout and a bunch in the last 10 minutes), we would always make time for 5-15 minutes of dedicated stretching after running (don’t care what the controversial research papers say about it affecting your running, we value longevity and mobility more than we value high run performance), and the same goes for all cross training workouts, we would always leave 10 minutes or so at the end to stretch out.

Results: Differences could be seen after a few weeks, as we noticed flexibility started increasing. The true improvements to strength came after 2-3 months of consistency in what we were training. Free handstand, press to handstand, one arm hand balances, lolasana (had to go Sanskrit there, just don’t know what people are calling that in other disciplines) all started to take form, and we’re beginning to get tastes of more advanced movements like hanging levers, straddle planche, and just starting into hollow back handstands. These kinds of results might take longer for you, they might come faster, but the bottom-line is you have to be willing to believe in the process and that you are working through what you need to work through.

mobility helps make runners strong

Yoga Poses for Runners – Part 2

With all of the great feedback we received from out post a while back (Yoga Poses for runners #1) sharing some of our favourite yoga poses that we thought runners everywhere should try, we thought it was time for round two.  This time we’re focusing on the upper legs and hips for the first three, then going to turn a bit of attention to your shoulders and back muscles, which so many of us accidentally neglect from time to time.  So whether you run 5k’s all year and can’t get enough of them, or you’re taking on an ultra marathon of unimaginable difficulty, these could help you stay loose and free from injury!

***Before you get cracking though, always remember WHEN and HOW you stretch is important.  Make sure you’re muscles are a bit warm (couple sun salutations or 10 minute jog can always help with that!) and try to avoid static stretches before any kind of workout.***

 

#1 – Gomukasana – Cow Face Pose

Gomukasana yoga for runners cow faceAbsolutely no idea where that name came from, but this one can be magic for some people.  Start from a seated position with legs outstretched, cross your right foot over your left leg and tuck it back near your left butt cheek.  Sitting up nice and tall, allow your knee to fall forward.  This may be enough for you (it was when we started doing it;)) or you can go a bit further.  Keeping your right leg where it is, draw your left foot towards your right butt cheek and allow the left knee to lay on the floor.  Check in to make sure your right knee is stacking right over the left AND that both of your sitting bones are on the ground. (If one is lifting off the ground try sitting on a block)

cow face pose for runnersThis is the basic posture, but feel free to play from this position to suit your needs; folding forward, fanning your feet out to the side away from your body, whatever feels right!  This is great for people with tight hips and people prone to pains along their IT bands.  Make sure to do both sides, and sit in this one for as long as you can comfortably, these muscle groups take a while to let go.

 

 

#2 – Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby

Happy baby, how can this pose NOT feel amazing!:)  So start off laying on your back and draw your knees up to your chest.  Spread your knees apart and reach your arms IN BETWEEN your knees to take hold of your feet along the inside of the foot, the outside of the foot, or the big toe. Now rise your feet up to shine the soles of your feet to the sky.  Maybe you get there, maybe not, thats just where we’re moving towards.

happy baby yoga pose

Alignment check in –> Has your lower back lifted off the ground?  Try to press it back down and keep the whole spine long and in contact with the ground.  If your feet are facing up to the sky, then next step is to draw your knees down towards your armpits.  For runners, you might always want to take some time to try straightening one leg at a time, your hamstrings will likely have a love/hate relationship with you during this one so take it slow;)

#3 – …quadasana? … alright this isn’t exactly a yoga pose, but you’ll still love it!hip stretch yoga for running

Find an empty space on a wall or in front of a chair/couch (if you know your quads are super tight the ladder tends to be a little gentler).  Start on your hands and knees and slide back towards the wall as close as you can.  Draw your right heel up to your butt and slide the right knee closer to the wall (eventually we want the knee touching the wall, but start about 6 inches away and move closer from there).  Next step, step your left foot forward so its flat on the floor just outside your left hand. (ps. don’t worry we aren’t graceful making that move either;))  You might be feeling this in your quad or hip already, if so take some time here to let things lengthen.  If you want a little more then bring your hands onto your left knee and slowly rise the chest to end up in a lunge looking position.

quad stretch for runnersOnce you’re this far, you have two options to focus this stretch a bit more.  A) Pressing your hips and shoulders back towards the wall behind you will target the stretch along the quad.  B) Allowing the hips to draw forward and down to the floor will target the stretch deep into the hip flexors.  Some people might even get more into the hip by keeping their hands on the floor and sinking the hips low.

 

 

 

#4 – Garudasana – Eagle Arms

**If you want full Garudasana, google it, we’re only focusing on the arms**

Anyone out there where a pack? Ever feel like a 70 year old getting out of bed when you take that thing off after a long run? How about stage racers, how heavy was your pack last race?  I think you’re getting the point, runners’ shoulders can get pretty tight and we rarely pay attention to them.  Truth is, tight muscles in and around the shoulders, chest and back can restrict the expansion of your ribs and therefore your breath as well.

 eagle arm preparation yoga for runners eagle arms yoga pose for runners eagle arm variation yoga

 

 

Eagle arms can be done standing up straight, sitting up straight, in a wide legged forward fold, and even at your desk or in your car!!!

 

 

 

This one is simple, take your right arm and swing it under your left (imagine stacking the centre of your humorous bones), and interlace your forearms as your point them up to the sky.  You may only be able to connect the backs of your hands together, or you might have no problem bringing your palms to touch.  Where ever your are, keep the elbows lifted to shoulder height, and when that begins to feel comfortable, try pressing your forearms away from your face.  Hold this one for 30 seconds to a minute, and repeat on your other side!

 

If you have any questions or comments on these postures feel free to comment below, or send us an email at [email protected]  If you’ve found these postures helpful, we’d love for you to share them with your run groups!!:)

 

Run Free and never let tight muscles hold you back;)

Mel’n’Jon

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