How to Balance Yoga and Running

Yogis should focus on easy running, while runners should choose less intense yoga classes.

Jenny Hadfield |

Yoga is a fantastic complementary activity for runners. It aids in developing muscular strength, flexibility and balance, which can reduce the risk of injury, and it also helps you improve your mental focus and breathing efficiency for running. Running is also a wonderful complement for yogi enthusiasts as it boosts cardiovascular fitness.

Training for yogis who want to run

There are several ways to weave endurance into a programme. If you’re a yogi looking to train to run a longer race like a half or full marathon, follow these rules.

  • Include your three hard-effort, strength- and stamina-based yoga classes per week. Examples of these classes are Vinyasa Flow, Power, Ashtanga or Batiste.
  • Count these yoga classes as a hard, high-intensity effort, like a speed workout for a runner.
  • Include three weekly runs in your training plan. Because the yoga is done at a hard effort, it’s best to balance your plan with easy running for all three runs.
  • Include at least one total rest day in your plan. It’s okay to do some light flexibility or muscle release via a foam roller, but keep this day quiet to allow your body to recover from the demands of the plan.

A sample training week might look like this:

  • Monday: Power Yoga
  • Tuesday: 40 to 60-minute run
  • Wednesday: Power Yoga
  • Thursday: 40 to 60-minute run
  • Friday: Power Yoga
  • Saturday: Long, easy run
  • Sunday: Rest or light Yin-based yoga and foam rolling

Training for runners who want to do more yoga

For runners who want to train for performance and supplement that with yoga, it’s best to weave in classes that focus on balance and stability (Hatha-style classes) and recovery (Yin or Restorative).

A sample training week might look like this:

  • Monday: Easy or moderate effort tempo workout
  • Tuesday: Hatha Yoga
  • Wednesday: Speed intervals or hill workout
  • Thursday: Rest day
  • Friday: Short, easy run
  • Saturday: Long, easy run
  • Sunday: Yin or Restorative Yoga

Click here for more 8 more reasons why runners should be doing yoga.

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