Hi everyone! I’m Jess from EatDrinkBreatheSweat and I’m so excited to be guest blogging for you today while Jessica is off celebrating her sister’s big day! I’m here to talk about my two favorite things in life: running + barre.
For those of you who don’t know me (yet), a little background. I love to run. Been running for a few years now and fairly recently made the decision to up my game a bit by committing to my first full marathon this fall (Chicago or bust, baby!).
However, up until recently, I had faced a fair amount of running-related injuries, all involving my knees. It wasn’t until I discovered – and subsequently fell in LOVE with – barre-style workouts that I’m now proud to say that I have the happiest knees ever.
…and I owe it all to the barre. Truly.
(for those of you who aren’t familiar with barre-style workouts, check out my post on it here. Essentially, this workout is all about strengthening while lengthening your muscles, using a combination of a ballet barre (for lower body work), light handweights (for upper body work), resistance bands and your own bodywork to tone and strengthen your muscles).
What’s been so incredible about the running + barre combo is just how complementary the two workouts truly are. I absolutely cringe every time I hear a runner say that they avoid strength work for their legs when they’re training for a race because they fear they’ll be too sore to run. With barre classes, sure you are working your legs REALLY hard during class (to the point of the ‘shake’!), but you aren’t left with dead legs the next day which means, yes – you can *still* get your run on even after taking a barre class the day before (or even the same day).
Like I said, my knees – never happier. And it’s because I’ve finally found a strength workout that targets my glutes and hamstrings and quads in a way that no other workout has ever done for me before. You’ve probably heard it before – many knee injuries arise because one of the muscles that surrounds your knee is weak…and in some cases, all three muscles that surround your knee could be weak. Hello, injury. I truly believe that a lot of runners can get so caught up in running and their sheer adoration for the sport that they quickly forget just how hard on the body/joints running is. So for me – strength training is so, so, so important to injury prevention as a runner.
Plus – who doesn’t want, long, lean, toned, strong legs, am I right?
So my blogger PSA to you all today? Embrace strength training as a runner! And, if you’re lucky enough to have a barre-style studio near you, seriously check it out. I promise you will not be disappointed (and remember: embrace the shake at the barre!!). I am so in love with this style that I recently became certified to teach at the studio near me (barre n9ne: http://barren9ne.com) and I am totally and utterly in love with both taking and teaching these classes.
It’s really amazing once you find that killer combo that works for you, isn’t it?