RAT time! Prepare and recover for your trail run optimally with yoga

The Roseland August Trail, possibly Cornwall’s most anticipated trail running event, is now in it’s third year and looks set to be bigger and better than ever. Having completed the 20 mile Red route and the 32 mile Black route, I had very briefly toyed with the idea of stepping up again to enter this year’s 64 mile Plague or definitely have another go a the 32. Unfortunately, other things have crept into my diary this August and sadly I won’t be around for this year’s event, so here I reminisce about my experience and offer my humble advice on enhancing performance and enriching your recovery with yoga.

The 32 was my first Ultra, and it was no way near as hard as I thought it was going to be. In fact I thoroughly enjoyed it! This may have been my lack of competitive attitude and willingness to just see it ‘as a day out’, but I’m sure that in addition to the long coastal miles I had put in as training, it was my consistent yoga practise that helped. It enables my legs to feel strong throughout, reduces my risk of losing balance and falling, twisting an ankle, or worse; it prevents any backache through good posture and helps maintain my energy levels through efficient breathing. Having long, stretchy muscles also aids jumping over foliage when necessary or when sliding in mud, whilst hugely reducing any risk of muscle tears and strains.

Then there is the recovery to deal with… Due to pretty wet conditions at last year’s event, I was unable to teach the post-race yoga class outside as planned – I did however, do my own yoga cool down routine, as I know how much of a difference this makes. Even doing ten minutes worth of well chosen postures to target the main over-used muscles can dramatically reduce any aches and pains in the following days. Not only does this mean you feel great, it allows you to return to training much quicker and… prepare for your next event!

I feel a pang of envy as I hear others talk of their RAT preparations, as it is a fantastically organised race, set along some of Cornwall’s best coastal paths. Although I won’t be there this year, please look out for my Yoga for Athletes information leaflets, available at the registration desks on 16th August and consider evolving your training with yoga. Enjoy!