Yoga for Runners
November 1, 2022

Yoga for Runners

Yoga is the perfect solution for a runner's recovery, both physically and mentally. A simple but regular yoga routine will release tight muscles, increase range of motion, improve flexibility and make you an injury-free running machine! 

The best part? It won’t take long and it has beneficial long term effects - you might even find the mental gains of yoga start to overtake the physical ones! (But we’ll take both thanks). 

Fitting yoga into your running routine

At the end of the day, the best yoga for runners is the yoga routine you commit to.

Most runners are already in the groove with their training schedule, but the idea of stretching - let alone stretching those hammies - sends chills down the spine. We hear you, but you could be missing out on some worthwhile benefits for your recovery and mental stamina.

Yoga for runners is beneficial for both body and mind. Whether it’s a pre run or post run yoga routine, this physical practise focuses on lengthening and strengthening the muscles, as well as improving stability, balance and coordination. 

Plus, a steady rhythm of breath is key for a successful run - and this is the same for yoga. Relaxed breathing even when moments are challenging is a super power, this is what builds resilience and mental stamina. 

So, where to begin? The golden rule is to keep it simple. 

8 yoga poses for runners

Feast your eyes on eight yoga poses that will stretch your body, calm your mind and have you feeling rested and recuperated. 

  1. Downward Dog 

 A downward dog a day keeps the injuries away! 

This grounding yoga pose is a great inversion for lengthening the back of the legs and spine. You can do these pre-run and post-run. Try walking your heels one by one into the floor for an extra calf stretch!

Stretches and strengthens:
Calves, hamstrings, abdominal muscles, upper body; back and shoulders. 

How to: 

  • Start kneeling with hands underneath shoulders and knees in line with hips. Lift hips to the sky. 
  • Keep everything active. Draw the navel to your spine and the rib cage in (abdominal lock). Aim for straight legs (we know this can be tough in the beginning, so a bend in the knees is fine and soon you’ll develop greater hamstring flexibility). 
  • The intention is to send your heels to the ground. The more you practise the better you’ll get.  

Tip: The abdominal lock (known as uddiyana bandha in yoga terms) strengthens the core and this makes this pose more effective.

  1. Runners Lunge 

Give a warm welcome to your hip flexors! They’ll be so grateful to find you performing a runners lunge. 

Remember, your hip flexors want to be lengthened as well as strengthened! Over-stretching is not the answer, but it is a good idea post run. 

Stretches and strengthens:
Hip flexors, hamstrings, quad, it bands (lateral thigh).  Improves knee and ankle mobility. 

How to:

  • From a quadruped position place the right foot in between the hands. Keep hands in line with shoulders. 
  • Lift the left knee off of the ground and straighten the leg. Pay extra attention to keeping the leg straight and find tension in the left glute to support the lumbar spine. 
  • Keep an upright spine with the chest proudly forwards and shoulders away from the ears. 
  • Imagine breathing into the hip flexors and keep the crown of the head lifted towards the sky. 

Tip: You can do this dynamically as part of a pre run yoga routine or after a run by holding the pose for longer with slow breathes. 

  1. Revolved Low Lunge with quad stretch

Let’s bring the quads to the party. The quadriceps are a group of muscles located on the anterior of the leg and they can get super tight with lots of running and exercise. 

Stretches and strengthens:
Hip flexors, hamstrings, quads, shoulders, spine. 

How to:

  • As above, but with a twist! Keep the left hand on the floor and in line with the left shoulder. Drop the left knee to the ground. 
  • Rotate the spine to the right and reach your right hand to the sky. 
  • Bend the left knee and reach for the left ankle. Pull the left foot toward the body. Be sure to keep the glutes engaged and breathe to move deeper into the pose. If you can’t reach your ankle yet, try using a strap or lean your foot against a wall for support. 

Tip: As you twist, encourage a deeper flow of breath into the body to generate fresh blood and oxygen to the spine. 

  1. Saddle pose (Double or Single leg)

In case the revolved lunge didn’t quite hit the spot, we can bet this stretch will. Saddle isn’t for the faint hearted, but worth every whimper. 

Usually found in yin yoga sequences which include more passive holds. Yin yoga for runners is another excellent option for relieving tight muscles and encourages stillness. 


Note: Take extra care if you’ve had any prior injury to the knees. Be sure to use props to elevate if necessary.  

Stretches and strengthens:
Quads, hip flexors, psoas, anterior core, ankle and knee mobility, shins, increases flexibility in the lower back.   

How to: 

  • Start kneeling with glutes to heels in a Hero pose. (If not possible, place a small towel underneath the knees to create more space, or sit on something to elevate the hips). 
  • Untuck and extend the right leg straight along the floor. Press hands into the floor and lift hips up to find a posterior pelvic tilt.  Slowly make your way down onto the forearms or possibly onto your back into a Reclined Hero pose.
  • For something deeper, try both legs bent and then reach arms up over head. Remember to breathe deeply and keep a posterior pelvic tilt.
  • To come out, roll to the side of the straight leg or tuck the chin and use forearms to push up gently.

Tip: Take it slow as you move into this deep back extension, be sure to keep the navel active; pull in and up to the spine (remember the abdominal lock) and maintain a posterior pelvic tilt. 

  1. Reclined Pigeon 

Lay back, relax and get all the goodness of a glute stretch in a supine position. You can use this as a warm up or cool down pose. 

Stretches: glutes, hips, hamstrings, piriformis.

How to:

  • Lie on your back with knees parallel and feet hip distance apart. Cross right ankle over left thigh. 
  • Reach through the gap in the legs and hold the hamstring of the left thigh. Use your right elbow to push the right knee away and then slowly draw the legs closer towards the chest using the breath. Keep the head on the mat. 

Tip: Holding this supine pose for a longer period of time can help with hip-opening and decompresses the lower spine which can help relieve any nasty back pain symptoms or dull aches and pains in the lower spine. 

  1. Reclined big toe pose 

Your hammies might be upset with you at first, but with practise this one will become your best friend. 

This is one of the best yoga poses for runners as it allows fresh blood to travel down towards the hips and improves flexibility of the hips and lower back. 

Stretches and strengthens:
Hamstrings, quads, calves, abdominal wall. Improves blood flow to legs and hips. 

How to: 

  • Lie in a supine position with both legs extended along the floor. Keep your head on the floor the whole time. Lift the right leg up to the ceiling. Use a strap to go around the flexed right foot (or if possible, hold the big toe). 
  • Straighten the leg as much as possible. A slight bend of the knee is okay as you work on the hamstring flexibility. Go steady. Take deep breaths and with every exhale gently pull the leg closer towards you. Keep this active. 

Tip: This pose is done best with the abdominal lock. Pull the tummy in to tighten the abdominal muscles to strengthen them and also keep them firm! Win win. 

  1. Supine spinal twist pose 

This grounding pose calms the body and mind. Perfect post run. The abdominal twist also stimulates digestion by massaging the organs. 

Relax your lower back and encourage spinal health with this reclined twist. 

Stretches and strengthens:
Spine, lower back, glutes, pecs. 

How to: 

  • Lie on the side with hips stacked and knees in line with hips. Arms are extended along the floor and in line with shoulders.  
  • Hold the knees so they stay stacked. Reach the top arm above the head and then behind to create a twist in the spine. 
  • Hold the arm behind to get a stretch in the chest and breathe slowly. 

Tip: Hold the arm behind for three to four breathes to get a deeper stretch across the pecs. 

  1. Child Pose 

Last but not least, child pose. Almost everybody’s favourite. This position brings the heart rate back to normal and is considered a restorative pose. 

Stretches and strengthens: 

Lower and upper spine, lats, hips. 

How to: 

  • Start kneeling with glutes to heels. (If not possible, place a small towel underneath the knees to create more space, or sit on something to elevate the hips). 
  • Place knees mat width apart and fold forward. Go as far as feels comfortable. Rest your head on the floor or a prop. 
  • Let your belly relax and your diaphragm expand as you breathe deeply into your lower spine. 

Tip: For an extra lat stretch reach the left hand slightly over to the left and place the right hand on top. Repeat on the other side. Enjoy this one - it’s a goodie! 

So, why should you include yoga in your running training routine?

  • It’s great for pre run and post run because it uses both active and passive stretching. 
  • What sets yoga apart from simply ‘stretching’ is the emphasis on breathing and its meditative qualities.
  • Many yoga routines also include balancing exercises which greatly improve coordination, core stability and neuroplasticity.

And remember: 

  • We love props! Use them whenever you need to, whether you’re a beginner or intermediate. They create space and support your joints.  
  • Though we recommend yoga as the best recovery, a pre-run yoga routine that includes dynamic stretches and balancing exercises would be beneficial too. 

Here’s to you and all your future running and yoga-ing. You’ve got this! 

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From Pro Triathlete to Coach: Colin's journey with Triathlon

Professional Triathlete turned Coach Colin Norris is here to share his journey within the world of triathlon in our new series Take on a Tri, where Colin will be sharing everything you need to know about Triathlon from "How to balance life and training" to "how to best minimize your chance of injury". Before we jump into the series we wanted to get to know more about Colin's journey in the world of triathlon, what he learned during his time competing around the world, and what made him transition to the world of coaching.

Professional Triathlete turned Coach Colin Norris is here to share his journey within the world of triathlon in our new series Take on a Tri, where Colin will be sharing everything you need to know about Triathlon from 'how to balance life and training' to 'how to best minimize your chance of injury'. Before we jump into the series we wanted to get to know more about Colin's journey in the world of triathlon, what he learned during his time competing around the world, and what made him transition to the world of coaching

When did your love for sport begin?

Growing up, I was a runner, mainly competing in track and cross country. Unfortunately, I was in the same cohort as Mo Farah, who won every race there was! After some troubles with injury, I transitioned from running to swimming in my late teens before leaving sports entirely until I entered the world of work in my early 20s.

What brought you back to sports and ultimately led you to triathlon?

As soon as I started working and tried to sit down for longer than 5 minutes, I quickly realized I needed to burn off some excess energy. I rejoined my childhood track group at Blackheath Harriers in South London. Soon after, by pure chance, I met Trevor Simmons, a sports massage therapist who had already caught the triathlon bug. Given my running and swimming background, Trevor suggested I give triathlon a try!

How did you first manage the transition to training for a tri?

Trevor and I quickly formed a close bond, and he offered to coach me for free with the aim of racing the London Triathlon in 2011. We trained intensely for six months, and although short on cash, I managed with the cheapest bike and borrowed gear from Trevor (luckily we were the same size). I finished 2nd overall, which buoyed my enthusiasm for the sport. We immediately booked future races, and my fire for triathlon was lit.

When did you decide to pursue triathlon professionally?

After finishing 3rd in my age group at the amateur World Championships the following year, I started to believe that with more time to train and recover, I could be faster and maybe even transition to the pro ranks. However, as my training increased, my work performance declined but fortunately, my manager supported my decision to leave corporate life and pursue professional triathlon.

How did your first professional season go?

At the end of 2012, I quit my job, took a loan from my mom’s partner, and moved to Lanzarote where Trevor was based. Despite his warnings about the loneliness and financial difficulties, I relied on naivety, belief, and enthusiasm to get through those tough early years. Trevor and his friend Alan Ingarfield set my training for the following season, using an unorthodox approach to keep it fun. This included long hikes with kettlebells, sea swims without goggles, and running up and down volcanoes. Living on £10 a day, I was wholly committed to triathlon. The 2013 season involved racing 70.3s in Europe with varying success and many mishaps, but ended on a high note with a 2nd place at the National Champs in Scotland, securing my pro license.

Were there any challenges you faced transitioning to Pro?

Reality set in quickly as I ran out of cash and moved back to London, taking various jobs to support my training. During this time, I started coaching a few athletes, building on everything Trevor had taught me. With further mentorship from Mike Trees and Luc Van Lierde I was able to join the ITZU triathlon team, a Belgian professional team that Luc was coaching at the time. This gave me access to all of the resources I needed to really focus on racing to my full potential.

Can you share some highlights from your professional career?

In 2018, I had my best season yet, with five top-6 placings, competing against top athletes like Ali Brownlee, Javier Gomez, and Jan Frodeno. My professional racing career concluded at Ironman Israel in 2022. Though I didn't win a major race, I was considered one of the fastest runners in 70.3, with over 30 top-10 placings at the professional level.

How did you transition into coaching full-time?

I set up APB Coaching in 2015, building on my mentorship from Trevor, Mike, and Luc. My goal is to help athletes get the best from themselves while managing the competing demands of their family and work life. We've built a network of top practitioners in nutrition, physiotherapy, bike fitting, sports psychology, swimming, running, and strength training to support our athletes, from first-timers to National and World Championship medalists.

What can the LDT Community expect from the Take on a Tri series?

I'm here to answer any questions and educate the audience about all things triathlon. Drawing from my experience as both an amateur and professional athlete, as well as a coach, I aim to provide insights and support to help you achieve your triathlon goals. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced triathlete, I'm excited to be part of your journey and help you succeed.

Quickfire Questions

1. Favourite event you’ve ever done

Alp d’ Huez long course triathlon 

2. In one word what motivates you?

doubt 

3. Favourite hype-up song for training?

Bicep - Glue 

4. Trainer of choice 

new balance fresh foam 1080

5.  Favourite pre or post-workout snack?

Jacket potato cheese & beans

Things I’ve Learned Training for My First Ever Ultra

Training for my first ultra-marathon has been a transformative journey, full of valuable lessons and unexpected joys. From embracing early bedtimes to prioritizing recovery baths, I've learned to balance a demanding schedule with the physical and mental demands of ultra training. If you're considering this incredible challenge, prepare for an adventure that will test and reward you in ways you never imagined. 

Training for my first ultra-marathon has been a transformative journey, full of valuable lessons and unexpected joys. From embracing early bedtimes to prioritizing recovery baths, I've learned to balance a demanding schedule with the physical and mental demands of ultra training. If you're considering this incredible challenge, prepare for an adventure that will test and reward you in ways you never imagined. 

You will be tired a lot of the time.

  • Training for an ultra puts your body through a lot. Coupled with a demanding job, a 9pm bedtime became non-negotiable for me to be able to perform well.
  • Recovery baths with Epsom salts on weekends have been essential, along with yoga sessions after my long runs so I can still (just about) touch my toes.

You will need to change your diet - protein is your friend.

  • Following a 90% vegetarian diet, I struggled to get enough protein. Protein shakes have helped me feel fuller for longer and aid recovery. The best (or least bad tasting) ones I've found are from Form and Huel Black Vanilla flavor.
  • While I love baked goods, I didn’t want to rely on them post-runs. Greek yogurt with berries and some peanut butter became a handy go-to snack.

You can’t do it all. And that’s OK.

  • You’ll miss social events, have to go easy on the booze, and prioritize early bedtimes over watching the latest Netflix craze since you'll need to squeeze in long runs before work.
  • I stripped down my daily life to work, exercise, and rest/chill time. After long runs, weekends left me exhausted, so I only arranged a few low-key social events. It’s not forever, and my friends have been really supportive of my goals.
  • As your training progresses, your body adapts and it does get easier.

It pays to make your runs more enjoyable:

  • Listen to podcasts you love.
  • Go on runs with friends, your partner, or a family member.
  • End your long weekend runs somewhere great. Gails Dulwich has been a staple and has taken an embarrassing amount of my paycheck every month.
  • Make sure you mix it up!

You don’t need to stick rigidly to the training plan.

  • Strength training twice a week has been a key component of my regimen.
  • I also use a Peloton bike for cross-training.
  • In my opinion, my dedication to strength training was one of the key reasons I was OK on race day and I’ve been able to stay injury-free.

Your body will change.

  • Your feet, for starters, will suffer (I’ve lost three toenails and counting). I look at them fondly as battle scars (and thankfully, I have a very good local pedicure spot!).
  • My legs and core have never been stronger!

Gear I found really helpful:

  • A range of trainers, including cushioned ones and good trail shoes.
  • A running vest is KEY. I highly recommend the Salomon vest for its options to carry fluids in a camel pack as well as bottles, plus lots of pockets for snacks.
  • Good running socks - your feet go through a lot. Treat them well.
  • Epsom salts - as mentioned, they became part of my post-long run ritual every weekend.
  • Snacks you enjoy and can eat while running - I refused to ‘endure’ taking on that many calories with things I didn’t enjoy eating. This should be something you look forward to on your runs so find fuel that you like to eat!! 
  • Running sunglasses - they might be a placebo, but they make me feel like I look the part.

On race day

(FYI, I did Race to the Kings - a 50km coastal loop and could not recommend it more to anyone trying out an ultra for the first time.)

The saying is so true: If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.

Remember to enjoy the experience! 

  • Ultras have much less of a time pressure compared to road races I’ve done previously, and for good reason. You are already superhuman for tackling a distance of this magnitude—you don’t need to prove anything else.

Enjoy your surroundings!

  • Most ultras are set in epic scenery, and there were several times we just stopped to take in the view, snap a pic, and then crack on!

The community will carry you.

  • I absolutely loved how friendly everyone was. People were chatting with one another, the volunteers were incredibly supportive, and while the route wasn’t packed with crowds, the pockets of people cheering us on felt much more personal and truly spurred me on.

For anyone who I’ve convinced to sign up for an ultra, GOOD LUCK!! It’s such an incredible experience and something you will look back on in later years with immense pride.

Explore the cities with Brooks Ghost 16

As the weather warms, we're seeing more people than ever out running with friends. If our last post about the rise of run clubs inspired you to round-up your crew and head out for a run, then we have more summer-ready running tips here. Continuing our partnership with Brooks and their new Ghost 16 running shoe – the fail-safe choice for urban explorers – we’ve created the ultimate guide for social city runners. 

As the weather warms, we're seeing more people than ever out running with friends. If our last post about the rise of run clubs  inspired you to round-up your crew and head out for a run, then we have more summer-ready running tips here. Continuing our partnership with Brooks and their new Ghost 16 running shoe – the fail-safe choice for urban explorers – we’ve created the ultimate guide for social city runners. 

Here, with help from Brooks and some of the UK’s biggest run clubs, we share the very best of where to go and what to see, eat and drink en-route. From scenic parks to steep climbs, try these routes in the Ghost 16 to experience the shoe’s perfect comfort for yourself. If you fancy trialling them, why not apply to be one of our testers? 

Explore London with the LDT Run Club

This may be a shameless plug for our own Run Club but hey, if there’s one thing we know best it’s running! Kicking off along the Mall, right next to St James’s Park, best known for being the finishing straight of the London Marathon. Snap a selfie in front of Buckingham Palace before heading north towards Regent’s Park. 

Loop the park, enjoying the super-soft cushioning of your Ghost 16s. This shoe is perfect for warm-weather days – the breathable fabric helps to keep your feet dry and blister-free, a dream combo! Finish up at one of our favourite spots, the Lucky Saint pub, where you can sip on a cold 0% lager and plot your next running adventure. 

Explore Manchester with Snappy Runners

At 5km, this is a perfect short route for a quick jog with friends. You can trust the Ghost 16’s cloud-like cushioning to tick all the boxes for comfort on inner-city runs. The shoe’s super lightweight design is perfect for this route, shared by the Snappy Runners club. 

Head to Ancoats and check out one of the many local coffee shops for a caffeine kick before your run starts! Fan favs include Cafe Cotton and Just Between Friends, but you’re spoilt for choice here. Crew assembled, make a b-line for Mayfield Park and enjoy the wide-open green space, perfect for group running. Lap the park and turn back towards Ancoats, finishing at The Crown & Kettle, an old school pub with a huge beer garden. The perfect spot to while away the rest of your day. 

Explore Edinburgh with We Run Edinburgh

We’ve traversed the flatter land of London and Manchester; now let’s put the Ghost 16s to work in the hills of Edinburgh. Shared by We Run Edinburgh, this route starts on Princes Street with views of the Edinburgh Castle. From here make your way through Meadow’s Park on the way over to the western entrance of the famous Arthur’s Seat. 

Follow the path down the backside of Arthur’s seat, following the unbroken path that is popular among local runners. As you tackle the hills you can rely on the Ghost 16’s stretchy yet supportive fit that hugs your feet as you climb. Take in the views (and a couple deep breaths) before continuing on your way towards the Portobello Promenade. Breathe in the fresh sea air and finish your route at Civerinos Pizza, for THE best pizza in the city. 

Explore Bristol with Queens Square Runners

Our final city running route, shared by Queen Square Run Club, loops around Bristol’s harbourside. Meet at Society Cafe by the Queen’s Square and enjoy some specialty coffee alongside homemade cakes. Once you’ve gathered your friends, make your way out on a loop around the harbour. 

This route can serve up some tricky terrains, featuring uneven surfaces like sunken railway lines, adding to the sense of exploration. Thanks to the Ghost 16’s resilient RoadTrack rubber outsole, you can be sure of an extra sturdy grip, leaving you to focus on the waterfront views. Finish with a well-deserved lunch from the Pump House. Their beautiful harbourside patio and seasonal menu is perfect for that post-run refuel.  

Ready to try one of these routes?

Sign up to Brooks’ 5k Strava challenges to get started. Here, you can join routes (or map your own), gain digital medals and share your achievements with friends. Even if you’re running alone, the Strava community supports and celebrates your goals. Plus, you know you can always count on the Brooks’ Ghost 16 shoe to be the perfect plus-one.

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Explore the cities with Brooks Ghost 16

As the weather warms, we're seeing more people than ever out running with friends. If our last post about the rise of run clubs inspired you to round-up your crew and head out for a run, then we have more summer-ready running tips here. Continuing our partnership with Brooks and their new Ghost 16 running shoe – the fail-safe choice for urban explorers – we’ve created the ultimate guide for social city runners. 

As the weather warms, we're seeing more people than ever out running with friends. If our last post about the rise of run clubs  inspired you to round-up your crew and head out for a run, then we have more summer-ready running tips here. Continuing our partnership with Brooks and their new Ghost 16 running shoe – the fail-safe choice for urban explorers – we’ve created the ultimate guide for social city runners. 

Here, with help from Brooks and some of the UK’s biggest run clubs, we share the very best of where to go and what to see, eat and drink en-route. From scenic parks to steep climbs, try these routes in the Ghost 16 to experience the shoe’s perfect comfort for yourself. If you fancy trialling them, why not apply to be one of our testers? 

Explore London with the LDT Run Club

This may be a shameless plug for our own Run Club but hey, if there’s one thing we know best it’s running! Kicking off along the Mall, right next to St James’s Park, best known for being the finishing straight of the London Marathon. Snap a selfie in front of Buckingham Palace before heading north towards Regent’s Park. 

Loop the park, enjoying the super-soft cushioning of your Ghost 16s. This shoe is perfect for warm-weather days – the breathable fabric helps to keep your feet dry and blister-free, a dream combo! Finish up at one of our favourite spots, the Lucky Saint pub, where you can sip on a cold 0% lager and plot your next running adventure. 

Explore Manchester with Snappy Runners

At 5km, this is a perfect short route for a quick jog with friends. You can trust the Ghost 16’s cloud-like cushioning to tick all the boxes for comfort on inner-city runs. The shoe’s super lightweight design is perfect for this route, shared by the Snappy Runners club. 

Head to Ancoats and check out one of the many local coffee shops for a caffeine kick before your run starts! Fan favs include Cafe Cotton and Just Between Friends, but you’re spoilt for choice here. Crew assembled, make a b-line for Mayfield Park and enjoy the wide-open green space, perfect for group running. Lap the park and turn back towards Ancoats, finishing at The Crown & Kettle, an old school pub with a huge beer garden. The perfect spot to while away the rest of your day. 

Explore Edinburgh with We Run Edinburgh

We’ve traversed the flatter land of London and Manchester; now let’s put the Ghost 16s to work in the hills of Edinburgh. Shared by We Run Edinburgh, this route starts on Princes Street with views of the Edinburgh Castle. From here make your way through Meadow’s Park on the way over to the western entrance of the famous Arthur’s Seat. 

Follow the path down the backside of Arthur’s seat, following the unbroken path that is popular among local runners. As you tackle the hills you can rely on the Ghost 16’s stretchy yet supportive fit that hugs your feet as you climb. Take in the views (and a couple deep breaths) before continuing on your way towards the Portobello Promenade. Breathe in the fresh sea air and finish your route at Civerinos Pizza, for THE best pizza in the city. 

Explore Bristol with Queens Square Runners

Our final city running route, shared by Queen Square Run Club, loops around Bristol’s harbourside. Meet at Society Cafe by the Queen’s Square and enjoy some specialty coffee alongside homemade cakes. Once you’ve gathered your friends, make your way out on a loop around the harbour. 

This route can serve up some tricky terrains, featuring uneven surfaces like sunken railway lines, adding to the sense of exploration. Thanks to the Ghost 16’s resilient RoadTrack rubber outsole, you can be sure of an extra sturdy grip, leaving you to focus on the waterfront views. Finish with a well-deserved lunch from the Pump House. Their beautiful harbourside patio and seasonal menu is perfect for that post-run refuel.  

Ready to try one of these routes?

Sign up to Brooks’ 5k Strava challenges to get started. Here, you can join routes (or map your own), gain digital medals and share your achievements with friends. Even if you’re running alone, the Strava community supports and celebrates your goals. Plus, you know you can always count on the Brooks’ Ghost 16 shoe to be the perfect plus-one.

Finding Strength in Stride: The Power of Running Communities for Mental Wellbeing

This Mental Health Awareness week, we’ve partnered with Brooks to explore and celebrate the profound link between running communities and better mental health.

This Mental Health Awareness week, we’ve partnered with Brooks to explore and celebrate the profound link between running communities and better mental health. Enter: a special Brooks x Let’s Do This edition of our Run Club. Teaming up with mental health experts and advocates from the running community, we covered areas ranging from depression to grief, and how harnessing the power of running with people can boost your wellbeing and help you live a life well lived. 

We were joined by Jess (@RunTalkRun), Thomas (@Mental_Health_Runner) Shane (@Stepbysteppers) and Lloyd (@lloydkempson), who guided us through their journeys and provided some amazing takeaways if you struggle with your mental health.

Finding comfort in a community

Joining a supportive community can break feelings of isolation and boost your mental health. Jess states that “the RunTalkRun community provides an accepting and understanding space, and can teach you that your identity is not confined to your mental health struggles”. On days when you’re feeling at your lowest, fellow runners provide the encouragement and support needed to put one step in front of the other. The community fosters a sense of self-respect and belonging – both of which are crucial factors in the healing process. Group runs allow people to openly discuss their experiences, especially around subjects such as grief; an area that still sometimes has a stigma attached to it. Groups such as Stepbysteppers are building a community that not only addresses common feelings of isolation around grief, but also builds an environment where people can learn to discuss grief openly, without the fear of being judged. 

The importance of run clubs in encouraging mental health acceptance - and improvement

When Shane’s father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, running became his refuge. “Running provided a mental escape and a way to connect with my father through shared moments of clarity and peace [with other run club members]” says Shane. Amidst the grief, running continues to be a tonic for Shane, providing the necessary headspace to help navigate the complexities of loss and remembrance.

By encouraging connection with like-minded people, running communities can make those sometimes-tricky conversations about loss, grief and mental health, a lot easier. Plus, having a network of understanding fellow runners helps you to keep going through the tough times. Thomas explains how he benefits from the sense of accountability provided by his running crew. Though he knows that running has a positive impact on his mindset, he still sometimes struggles with motivation on the hard days. His community encourage him to lace-up and get running - even if it's only for a gentle run.

Run clubs: bridging the gap between poor mental health and accessing professional services

Communities such as RunTalkRun and Stepbysteppers aim to provide a crucial bridge for those who need access to mental health support. By organising weekly support groups, they offer a safe space for individuals to share their struggles and connect with others facing similar challenges. Thomas, a Brooks Running Collective member and RunTalkRun leader in Lincolnshire, says “these initiatives not only help reduce stigma, but also provide crucial signposting to further support services”. 

Jess, Thomas and Shane's experiences with finding support through their communities in times of turbulence has paved the way for further positive change. Now, they lead supportive running groups in their local areas. Plus, by sharing their journeys with a global audience through workshops and publications, they aim to improve access to mental health services by collaborating with healthcare professionals and policymakers. They're taking huge strides towards a world where no one will ever have to face mental health challenges alone.

Helpful resources

Want to improve your own mental health through running? You can connect with RunTalkRun and Stepbysteppers, and check out Brooks’ Let’s Run There page for inspiration, advice, and events to get you connected with other runners. Plus, whether you’re in pursuit of a headspace, a feeling or a finish line, you can always count on Brooks to have the tech-packed gear to take you there.

Pronation, arch profiles and finding the right running shoes

Let’s be honest: are your running shoes tailored to support the individual needs of your feet? If the answer is "no" then you're in the right place. Here, we explain all you need to know about finding the right support for your feet.

Let’s be honest: are your running shoes tailored to support the individual needs of your feet? If you fall into the majority of runners who answer “no”, you’re in the right place (and the secret is between us). Here, we explain all you need to know about finding the right support for your feet. From arch types to pronation styles, here’s a masterclass in getting more out of your running.

What’s my arch type and how does it affect my running?

Although everyone’s feet are different, they generally tend to fall into one of three categories: low, medium and high arches.

  • Low arch (or flat footed). Low arches can be prone to instability. The ankle may collapse inward, causing alignment issues that might affect the hips and knees. This arch type requires supportive running shoes for stability.
  • Medium arch. Medium arches tend to be strong and flexible. They hold enough power to tense and relax when balancing on uneven terrain. They also boast enough flex and recoil to allow for optimum shock absorption when moving forward.
  • High arch. This kind of arch can limit movement, without the right pair of supportive running shoes. There’s often not enough flex recoil to act as shock absorption and balance for the body, which can place stress on the ankle, shins and knees.

Determining your arch profile with “the wet test”

Though we always recommend a professional gait analysis to determine your arch profile, there is an at-home test that gives you a good clue. Please note that this at-home tip should only be used as a guide.

  1. Dunk one foot into water. Nobody ever runs on both feet at the same time, so it’s best to do this – literally – one step at a time.
  2. Place it flat in a natural pose. Choose somewhere that will show a wet spot. Pavement or paper both work well.
  3. Analyse your footprint. If you can see your whole foot in the wet print, with a wide middle part, this suggests you have low arches. If the middle of your footprint looks like a thin line that connects the heel to the ball of your foot, this is a sign of high arches. If the middle of your foot looks half filled in, you probably have medium arches.

For a professional gait analysis that’ll give you a full, 360° view of your running style, you can head to a Brooks’ retailer, including Runners Need stores. An expert gait analysis will take into account your running style, goals for the future and any events you have planned.

Underpronation, overpronation and neutral pronation

Another important element to consider when picking the right running shoes, is your pronation style. Pronation refers to the way your foot strikes the floor when you run. Does it roll inwards, outwards, or stay in a neutral position?

Runners with overpronation

Did you know that 70% of runners overpronate? If you’re one of them, this means that as your foot hits the ground, it rolls inwards a lot. In the process, the inner edge of your foot takes all the weight – rather than it being centred on the ball of your foot. Overpronation is most common in runners with low arches or flat feet. 

Best shoe for overpronation: Adrenaline GTS 23

The Adrenaline GTS 23 is the ideal support shoe for those seeking stability

Runners with neutral pronation

Neutral pronation is usually seen in runners with “normal” sized arches. When running, the foot lands on the outer edge first, then rolls inwards with control. Weight is distributed evenly.

Best shoe for neutral pronation: Ghost 15

The Ghost 15 delivers a soft feel, smooth ride, and trusted fit

So whether you’re a seasoned runner, or picking up your first pair, it’s important to select the right shoe for you! Head over to the Brooks site to learn more, or head down to your local Brooks retailer for an in depth gait analysis.

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