In celebration of Vancouver’s upcoming running events; proper running mechanics and prevention of injury are key elements to any runner’s success. Last week we identified fascial elasticity in Yin Yoga, and the benefits aligned with the Spiral Line Meridian (one of many fascial anatomy trains).
Today we look at how Yin Yoga can be a great addition to your taper for an upcoming race. Common lower limb mechanical injuries associated with distance running (to name a few) are ITB syndrome, knee pain, shin splints and plantar fascitis, which can usually be attributed to a breakdown in the structural framework of a fascial meridian, most injuries are not muscular in origin.
The Spiral Line myofascial meridian is somewhat more complicated than the other fascial trains, as it forms distinct spirals of deep myofascial connections looping around the legs and torso. This is a complex fascial meridian and has functional implications.
Focusing specifically on the lower limb mechanics and to jog your Yoga brain from last week; the spiral loop starts at the anterior hip (ASIS), which then follows the TFL muscle and ITB, connecting to the tibialis anterior (shin) just below the lateral knee to its insertion on the base of the 1st metatarsal. Then continues up the peroneus longus (outer lower leg), to the insertion of the biceps femoris (lateral hamstring) that attaches on the head of the fibula. It then follows the biceps femoris to its origin on the ischial tuberosity (sitting bone).
Repetitive load bearing movements; like running can breakdown our fascia and interconnected neuro web, thus placing stress on the entire meridian line; associated joints and muscles. This can cause minor, sometimes major imbalances, that can go undetected until acute pain or discomfort manifests (ie. muscle pain, strain or tears).
The result? A reduction in performance, agility, speed, endurance and power execution, to name a few.
The best way to prevent injuries from even occurring is to invest in fascial stretching and therapeutic movements used in the Yin Yoga style. Leading up to any race or event your 1-2 week taper period should include at least 2 Yin classes to reinforce fascial elasticity and improve mobility and flexibility within the joints.
If you are gearing up for the Scotiabank half marathon & 5km next weekend, try out this sequence for taper bliss:
- Start with 3-4 mins of soft tissue work: foam rolling the mid back, glutes, ITB, quads and hamstrings.
- Always begin with T-spine mobility (improve upper running mechanics)
- Kneeling Lunge (hip flexor/psoas stretch)
- Dancers Hamstring Stretch (toes pointed to stretch shin)
- Pigeon Pose (to stretch glutes and SI joint. Add in thread the needle for rotational mobility).
RUN. YIN. REPEAT.
Sources: To learn more about fascial elasticity visit YogaFORM at http://yogaform.wordpress.com/