24 Jan

Bend It Like Josef

Pilates master classrunABC South reporter, Alan Newman, joined 30 keen RunTogether Leaders for a 'Pilates for runners' master class in Crawley on Sunday (22 January), led by chartered physiotherapist and APPI Pilates Instructor and Master Trainer, Dawn Buoy of the Body Rehab Studio, Hove. 
The event was hosted by Sussex Running Activator, Marion Hemsworth at Broadfield Primary Academy, the training venue for Crawley Run Crew who have grown to 100 members within four months. Crawley Run Crew offers Monday indoor conditioning sessions and Wednesday runs, with around 50 runners attending each session.
Dawn Buoy and the Body Rehab Studio have provided support to Brighton Marathon for several years and after considerable cajoling she completed the 2015 race in under five hours (4:59:56). Her clients include international athletes who have benefited from both the physiotherapy and event-specific Pilates sessions.
After a brief history of how German physical trainer Josef Pilates (1883 - 1967) developed his original system of core strength and stability exercises, it was straight down to business with an introduction to the Transverse Abdominals and other key muscle areas. Dawn's style was to give muscle groups personalities (happy, sad, lazy, etc.) according to their location and function in the running action. 
The two hour session sped by and was enjoyed by all except perhaps that idle couple hanging out at the back, known as Gluteus and Maximus, who do little all day and then do nothing but protest when they are called into action at the running group after another sedentary day at the office!
Pilates in CrawleyDawn summarised the importance of Pilates for runners with these words: “Runners of every standard should include basic Pilates exercises for the glutes and core muscles to improve running technique and prevent injury or to avoid re-injury. We say that runners should first get fit to run, not run to get fit."
Our reporter's take from this session was that if the abdominals are the runner's engine, then the hips and glutes are the transmission that must be in good working order for the power to be delivered smoothly below. Now where did I put my grease gun?
Much more information is available at the Body Rehab Studio website.
Images courtesy Neil Dawson, Burgess Hill Runners