Happy National Running Day! As we celebrate all the runners out there, we can’t help but ask: Did you know Pure Barre is an excellent cross-training technique to add to your schedule? We’ll elaborate with this story from Pure Barre Enthusiast Carrylee Hudson below, plus some musings from our very own training team. Read on to learn more about the benefits of mixing in a few tucks with your running regime!
I am a married, 44-year old mother of two. I have been an athlete my entire life. My go-to exercise has always been running, but as I have aged, I’ve noticed that its really hard on my body. My back and ankles have taken the brunt of this (I’ve experienced chronic ankle twisting since I was six.) In November 2013, I hurt my hip and stopped running for over a year. I had to find other ways to exercise, so I did kick boxing, TRX classes, a little CrossFit, some weights, some yoga – and while I ended up losing weight, my thigh muscles were huge and I was just so sore all the time.
About a year ago, a great friend of mine suggested that we try this new place call Pure Barre. I was skeptical at first; I like Pilates but hate hate yoga (I know – blasphemy, right?). My exercises have always consisted of HIGH intensity, cant-hardly-breathe, dripping-sweat type of stuff.
My first Pure Barre class was difficult. I didn’t understand why it was so hard and how I got so sweaty with “not much movement.” How was this was going to improve my body shape? I usually have to give things a week to get used to it before I decide if I will continue. People would ask me if I liked it and I couldn’t say yes or no until the 4th day. Something clicked a little; I felt a little stronger, I understood a little better where the teachers wanted me to feel burn, and of course I was sweating more and more. After that 4th day, I was hooked and haven’t looked back (although some may argue it was really after the 1st day I never looked back!).
I love the community feeling of Pure Barre more than anything else. Those women in there, all together, loving what they are doing is such inspiration – teachers and clients alike. I don’t ever feel judged; whether it comes to me not being able to hold a pose the entire time or if I am just a sweaty mess. I love my quiet mind. It is the ONLY class I have ever been in where I can focus on what I am doing and nothing else. It’s all about me and what I am doing that matters for the whole hour. It’s so great! I also love the low impact on my body with such great results. I am always “sore” because I am always improving, but it’s not from constant pounding – which makes my body so happy. It’s more that my body is in a state of fatigue – and it is epic.
The first thing I’ve notice is when I go on a run is that I haven’t twisted my ankles once since starting barre. Who knew you could strengthen your ankles this way?! My muscles are defined and long and lean. My hubby loves it so much he buys me packages to continue with Pure Barre. I have also noticed my arms are defined and my stomach has muscles on it – huge surprise because I have had two c-sections. If you have had a c-section, you know how difficult it is to improve the look of that skin. My “saddle bag area” is no longer there and pants fit so much better with that gone. I still need to do cardio each week, but hardly as often. The largest improvement that has shocked me is my back. I don’t think I ever knew there were muscles back there to be had!
I haven’t met anyone who regrets trying the class. Just bite the bullet and commit to a class. The teachers are correct when they say you should see results in 10 days – but you definitely feel it in about 5! Close your eyes and focus on where the teacher wants you to feel the burn. The more you do, the more you understand and the harder it becomes for you; THAT is when you feel your body change. I have been doing Pure Barre for almost a year and there are days I just cannot stay in the pose and I learn new things all the time. If you have a chance, take the teacher aside if you just aren’t getting it. When you have that “Oh” moment, it is so beneficial. A “Breaking Down the Barre” class is so helpful; I highly suggest that. Finally, don’t be hard on yourself. You don’t have to wear what others are wearing, you don’t have to look at yourself in the mirror and compare – everyone started out not knowing what to do. Just embrace your moment – and hours later you will still be embracing that shake!
-From Carrylee Hudson, Pure Barre Enthusiast from Bend, OR.
Danielle Cote of our Pure Barre Training Team also shares her own thoughts on how Pure Barre maximizes her time on the pavement:
- When training for a half marathon, Pure Barre strengthened all those weaker muscles around my joints. I didn’t spend much time training running-wise and if it weren’t for all the Pure Barre classes, I don’t think I could have successfully completed the race without it. Before the half, I had never run more than 3 miles. Looking back, as I was prepping for the half, I ran 1 mi, 3 mi, 4 mi, 7 mi, 10 mi..and then hoped for the best on race day.
- Pure Barre gives you a similar mind/body connection to running. For me, the first bit of the run during that first mile is always the worst. I think about wanting to stop. Is that cramp going to go away? Am I breathing? What else do I have to do later? But once I get in the zone, I’m IN it. I think that’s what people love about any favorite form of exercise. Yes, we like to see results and feel stronger, but having that time for ourselves where we can zone out is awesome.
- Pairing Pure Barre with running allows you to stretch out all of those muscles and add to your flexibility rather than impair it. Because it’s low impact, it perfectly complements running if you’re looking for a way to cross train.
So, in short – No matter how often or how far you run: Pure Barre.