In January of 2013, I decided to become a runner. Sounds crazy right??? I was looking for a way to exercise early in the morning that didn’t involve having to drive somewhere. I wanted an intense workout and thought running was just the thing. Now, I was the girl who used to complain the mile we had to walk/run around the track when I was in high school. I used to think that folks who would willingly run 1 mile, let alone 13.1miles, were crazy! Then I laced up my running shoes for the first time. The world was still sleeping, the sun had just began to peek over the horizon. I had great music playing in my ears and no one asking me for a thing. It was pure bliss. So I ran and ran and ran some more. In 2013, I ran 13 races. Distances from 5K to half marathon. I ran in the heat of the summer and in the snow on Thanksgiving Day. Throughout that year, I became a runner. Goal accomplished. My soul loved the pavement but my legs did not.

I struggled with all sorts of common running injuries. Blisters…new shoes. Chafing…hello Body Glide. Sore legs…enter my love/hate relationship with my foam roller. But my sore legs eventually became painful. Really painful. So I tried compression socks… they felt amazing but my legs still hurt. I rested (as much as a runner rests) but the pain would wake me up at night. Finally, after running the Indianapolis Mini Marathon in the spring of 2014, the pain became unbearable. I cried on the shoulder of a great friend at the finish line. The next two weeks I really rested. But the pain continued. Runners and nurses may be the world’s most stubborn patients and I was the combination of both.  I submitted to the pain, went to the doctor, got an MRI and a fancy boot, ruled out a stress fracture and started physical therapy. I was positive he was going to tell me it was my stride, my heel strike, my form.  Louis (physical therapist extrodinare) watched me on the treadmill for a minute before he diagnosed the cause of all my pain. A weak core!! What?!?! What did my core have to do with my legs? Turns out, if you are a runner, it has everything to do with your legs. So that day everything changed. He told me to ditch the boot,  fit me in a stability shoe (I love you deeply Mizunos) and gave me a plan to strengthen my core and return to running.

During the fall of 2014, I was introduced to Piyo. I have said many times that meeting Piyo was like meeting my husband. I knew in a moment it was going to be in my life for the long haul. Piyo was the antithesis to running. Barefoot on a yoga mat, stretching and strengthening. An amped up version of yoga for us runners who love the endorphin rush of high intensity workouts. But Piyo is no impact. My still-recovering legs got a break from the pounding of the pavement. It was amazing!! Over time, I noticed that my core was stronger, my legs and glutes were visibly stronger. My runs were easier. My legs never bothered me again.  I knew that I would develop a training plan for my next big race that incorporated Piyo. So race season is here and the Indianapolis Mini Marathon is 2 months away.  My runs will be countered by time barefoot on a mat. The perfect ying yang. I will run that half marathon on 5/2/2015 healthy, well trained, and pain free alongside the girl who let me cry on her shoulder the year before. I created this training plan based on my current level of fitness. Follow along if you’d like. Or shoot me and email and I can help you develop a plan for your next race!

Half marathon train

(click to enlarge)

23 Comments on Piyo and Running

  1. Love this article! Our running “paths” have been so similar. I was searching to find if someone else had a similar experience with Piyo and running. I neglected not only my core, but also my hips and so had problems with my IT band and bouts of runner’s knee etc. Piyo has saved my running life (and hence at the risk of being overly-dramatic my actual life, too(: Running my next half in June! Tweeted this–hoping others with this issue will find this post!

  2. Love this article! Our running “paths” have been so similar. I was searching to find if someone else had a similar experience with Piyo and running. I neglected not only my core, but also my hips and so had problems with my IT band and bouts of runner’s knee etc. Piyo has saved my running life (and hence at the risk of being overly-dramatic my actual life, too(: Running my next half in June! Tweeted this–hoping others with this issue will find this post!

  3. I found your blog while looking for a piyo/running hybrid. I am training for the Marine Corp Marathon and on my cross training days I want to do Piyo but not sure which of the workouts to do or if it mattered. I am going to try and incorporate your plan into my running plan. I saw in one of the other posts you said you were in a Facebook Piyo Running group, do you still have it and can I join? thanks, Lori

    • Lori! Thanks for reaching out. Our running group has quieted but I would love to add you if you want to send me a facebook friend request (awiselee) I don’t think the Piyo workout you do matters much. I just would stay away from any of the leg heavy days prior to long runs. Congrats on the 26.2!

  4. I found your blog while looking for a piyo/running hybrid. I am training for the Marine Corp Marathon and on my cross training days I want to do Piyo but not sure which of the workouts to do or if it mattered. I am going to try and incorporate your plan into my running plan. I saw in one of the other posts you said you were in a Facebook Piyo Running group, do you still have it and can I join? thanks, Lori

    • Lori! Thanks for reaching out. Our running group has quieted but I would love to add you if you want to send me a facebook friend request (awiselee) I don’t think the Piyo workout you do matters much. I just would stay away from any of the leg heavy days prior to long runs. Congrats on the 26.2!

  5. Week 3 of running and wanted to add Piyo to my schedule. Just happened across your blog. What a great article!

9Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Piyo and Running

  1. […] So summer has come, the kids are home, my routine is disrupted and both the scale and my mood are showing the results. It’s time to get back on the wagon! The new pup is helping with early morning walks and I’m returning to my first Beachbody love, Piyo. The combination of Piyo and running is my special sauce. The perfect balance of pounding the pavement and barefoot on a mat. You can read all about my first experience with Piyo here. […]

  2. […] So summer has come, the kids are home, my routine is disrupted and both the scale and my mood are showing the results. It’s time to get back on the wagon! The new pup is helping with early morning walks and I’m returning to my first Beachbody love, Piyo. The combination of Piyo and running is my special sauce. The perfect balance of pounding the pavement and barefoot on a mat. You can read all about my first experience with Piyo here. […]

I would love to hear from you!!