Dec 30 2005

Pilates and Marathoning

Every good marathoner knows he should cross-train.  Most of the ones I know struggle with “cramming it in” as marathon training already consumes at least ten hours a week.  Triathletes have it easy since they are already running, biking, and swimming (although they should cross-train away from these three also.)  But – I’m a marathoner – not a triathlete – so I carry a special cross-training burden.

My wife Amy is a yoga fanatic.  While I love Shivasina, I have trouble keeping up with most yoga, especially Ashtanga Yoga.  At the encouragement of Dave Jilk, I’ve done Bikram Yoga on and off for the last few years and – while it’s been helpful – I find the 90 minute sessions a little long (30 minutes, to be precise) and I’ve gotten bored of the rigidity of the practice.

Amy has suggested for a while that I try Pilates.  Wendy Lea has become completely addicted to Pilates and has been raving about it for the past year.  The Pilates equipment (a “reformer”) looks like something a mad scientist created.  I figured “what the hell” and decided to try it yesterday.

I took a private lesson at Flatiron Athletic Club. I had an awesome time.  It helped that my teacher was great, but I was completely intrigued by the assistance the reformer gives you.  There’s a lot of physics going on that help achieve the second order goal of “body mind connection” (e.g. a nerd gets to think a lot about what he’s doing.)  I’ve got three more private lessons before I’m “allowed” to take a class – we’ll see how I feel about this in a few weeks.  In the mean time, I had a new life experience yesterday (e.g. Pilates) and got some cross-training in.