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The Importance of Triathlon Yoga and Stretching

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  • Matt Cook
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  • Jun 29, 2017 9:00:00 AM

The Importance of Triathlon Yoga and Stretching--.jpgNamaste. Roughly translated to “I bow to you,” this one simple word is said at the beginning and end of every yoga class. Yoga focuses on balancing the physical, mental, and spiritual components of stretching and strength training.

Did you know that practising yoga alongside your normal workout routine is extremely beneficial? Triathlon yoga helps to keep you limber while also improving other technical components of your training.

There’s no way you’ll be able to resist becoming a yogi when you discover the importance and benefits of triathlon yoga and stretching.

Serenity

Let’s be honest, training for a triathlon is super stressful. Whether you’re trying to balance your meals or determine your training plan, the entire process can be a lot to handle. Don’t get overwhelmed by your training. Instead, take care of your mental health and let yourself find some peace and serenity.   

The perfect triathlon yoga pose for serenity: savasana. Take a moment for yourself and just relax. Lie on your back with your hands comfortably laid out at your sides—this is called savasana. To fully relax in this position, breath in for five seconds and out for five seconds—repeat as many times as you need. Savasana is a great pose where you can let all your worries disappear one by one.

Breathing

Maintaining your breath is difficult when you’re running, biking, and swimming. Yoga and stretching can help you tackle this obstacle—a fundamental rule of yoga is to inhale on your inward movements and exhale on your outward movements. When you pay close attention to your breath, it’s easy for your body to fall into rhythm. This will help you stay on track and keep your mind occupied.

Breathing in yoga is divided into two portions to re-train your body on how to properly breathe: abdomen and thoracic breathing. Triathlon yoga teaches you to begin inhaling from your abdomen and work your breath up to your chest. When exhaling, you begin by releasing your chest and then your abdomen. Skip the panting on your next run, bike, or swim, and utilize your full breathing capacity with this handy triathlon yoga trick!

The perfect triathlon yoga pose for breathing: pike stretch. Although it’s not an official yoga pose, pike stretch is a great back and hamstring stretch. To get started, sit on your mat with your legs outstretched in front of you (point and flex your toes for two different stretches). Inhale and reach up towards the sky, exhale, and bend to touch your toes. Each inhale releases your stretch slightly. When you exhale, try to reach your body a little bit further than before. This is a great stretch to push yourself, but make sure you know your limit.

Strength and Flexibility

By creating stronger and more flexible muscles, you’re less likely to sustain injuries while training for or competing in a triathlon. As your muscles become more toned and flexible, they can endure more demanding physical exertion. Yoga can help supplement your strength training workout by getting your muscles ready to be pushed during your run, bike, and swim.  

The perfect triathlon yoga pose for strength: downward facing dog. The easiest way to get into downward facing dog is to start on all fours. Rock your body back while straightening your legs, raise your hips towards the sky, and bring your shoulders to your ears. Keep your back straight and try to bring your heels to the ground. Looking for a bit more of a challenge? Lower your elbows but maintain the same pose to give yourself an even better stretch—this is called dolphin pose. These poses will strengthen your hands, wrists, back, hamstrings, and calves.

Topics: Triathlon Training

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Cook

Matt Cook

Father of 3 and former competitive swimmer, Matt completed his first Ironman 70.3 in 2013 in Muskoka. He has since completed another 70.3 and is planning on doing a full Ironman in 2016 or 2017. Matt took up triathlons for the challenge, to relax and to just to stay in shape so he can enjoy life with his family.

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