Can the introduction of Yoga Sports Science™ techniques improve an endurance runner’s Iliotibial Band tightness?
Objectives: To determine if a Yoga Sports Science™ (YSS) programme designed to improve strength and flexibility in the hip abductors and lower limb control can improve Iliotibial Band tightness in an endurance runner
Subject: 34 year old endurance runner training for Marathon des Sables in early April 2011 presenting with some indications of IT band tightness and possible overuse injuries
Intervention: YSS techniques and approaches were delivered to the athlete once a week for 14 weeks. The athlete also incorporated a YSS designed programme into their own training sessions.
Results: By providing the athlete with a sport specific yoga programme with the main emphasis on improved strength and flexibility in hips, lower limb control and improved recovery the athlete was able to train for the event injury free. In addition he completed his first MdS in place 332 out of over 800 and remains injury free.
Conclusion: A 14 week intervention showed that improvement gains had been made and ensuing injury prevented. The athlete practised regularly outside of the sessions. The athlete was extremely pleased with the intervention citing it helped enormously with running on uneven terrain and with mental focus and recovery.
“When I found out it was Yoga you were suggesting for my Marathon des Sables training I was very sceptical. However I think I owe a lot of gratitude and good fortune to you working with me and feedback and discussions with you were invaluable as a sounding board during my injury time. I spent a lot of time and money seeing various Physiotherapists and getting Orthotic insoles that were rendered obsolete by good quality training which included using Yoga to compliment the running, cycling, circuit training, swimming etc…
Areas I really found of benefit were increased flexibility in my legs, confidence in using this flexibility, and the balance. …all things that you need to run off-road, and the worse the terrain, the more valuable these things are.
Using the mind relaxation techniques helped too, I find myself closing my eyes and relaxing a lot more now, focusing on my breathing and also using the visualisation techniques you suggested during my training.
My perception of yoga has changed for good. Throughout the program I was telling people what I was doing and judging their reaction before explaining it a little more. I was surprised to find out that most people could understand how helpful it could be to a runner, or anybody involved in a sporting activity.”
Carl Cleghorn. Marathon des Sables competitor 2011
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