Pilates workouts – Whether you run for pleasure or you’re training for an event…

Author; Alice Howarth; Evening Standard. Saturday 17th February

Think if you want to be a better runner then you should just run more? Practice makes perfect, right?

Well, yes, kind of but there’s more to it than that.

When it comes to exercising usually people have their “one thing” they like doing whether that’s running, going to the gym or swimming but what they often don’t realise is that combining a range of exercises can really aid your ability in one.

It gives your body a chance to be worked out 360 – from fitness to toning to building muscles.

For example, combining running with pilates and weight lifting will mean you’re ticking the cardio box, improving your flexibility which will ultimately help you move better and you’ll be building strength which will help endurance.

Below, Helen O’Leary, Clinical Director and Founder of Complete Pilates, recommends five exercises that will make you a better runner whether you’re doing it for pleasure or you’re planning to conquer the next marathon…


Running requires a strong core, especially when going uphill. Pilates ensures that not only are you engaging your abdominals but you are also learning when to let them go in order to promote movement. This allows your hips, pelvis and spine to move freely and distribute the impact that running causes. The stretching under resistance element allows your hips to move more freely giving you fluid movement and the ability to kick back further to provide a better stride.

Strength training

When done well, this works in two ways, it can prevent injury and enhance performance. Completing a specific strength programme which looks at a variety of speeds, weights and movements allows you to minimise the forces on your joints, increase the ability for your muscles to just keep going, and increase the power you can generate.


This not only gives you a break from high impact but can serve as an ideal form of active recovery. Pool running proves a great cardio workout without the impact. The water is thicker than air so you encounter resistance, causing your heart rate to go up whilst strengthening your muscles and joints.


better running

A simple routine of yoga can be great for your body. It improves your flexibility and range of movement, is non impact to allow for recovery and also gives your mind a break and ability to focus. It can relieve the soreness you feel after a run so you can be better next time you go. There are lots of types of yoga. Yin yoga focuses on on stretching and lengthening the muscles which can complement your running programme.


Using a stationary bike, when executed properly, can improve your overall leg speed as well as hip flexor strength and even range of movement through your hips. However, critical to these improvements are positioning yourself on the bike properly, keeping the resistance lower and thinking quick rotation.

To see the article written by our Director Helen OLeary, click on this link.

Education is key:

These blogs are designed to give information to everyone, however, it is important to remember that everyone is different! If you have not seen one of our therapists and have any questions about injuries, what you have read or whether this may be useful to you, please just ask.

At Complete Pilates we would advise you to always speak to your doctor, physiotherapist, or clinical Pilates instructor here at Complete Pilates if you are worried about starting a new exercise regime.
We are more than happy to help anyone and point you in the right direction. Our biggest belief is that education is key. The more you understand about your injury, illness and movement, the more you are likely to improve.