Article

Pilates for runners - Julie’s story

Back in 2016 I decided to do monthly ‘resolutions’. My April resolution was to run every day, but when I got to the end of the month I was enjoying it so much I kept going.

So here we are in September 2019 and I’ve run every day for over 1,250 days in a row.

by Julie Atkinson

In May 2018 I ran my first marathon in Edinburgh and enjoyed it so much I soon signed up for another in Kinloch Rannoch that autumn. At that point I decided I wanted to change the focus of my strength and mobility work and so I started attending Equitness - Agi’s Pilates class.

This year, I ran the Boston marathon in the spring, and followed this up with the Quadrathon in Donegal, Ireland in August. This was four full marathons on four consecutive days. I consulted with Agi while training for this challenge, and she kindly included specific exercises in her classes and also advised me on a short morning and an evening routine to follow on her website when I was in Donegal.

I wasn’t sure how the four races would go but hoped to finish them all and continue to run daily. The routes were different road races each day, following an anti-clockwise circuit of the Inishowen peninsula. There was spectacular scenery all around and significant elevation to climb (2356, 1883, 2080, 1019 feet) and descend (including 500 feet almost in a straight line after an 880 feet climb). The weather was very mixed with sunshine, winds up to 40mph, rain and also a bit of sideways sleet on the second day. People had travelled from all over the world and everyone was really friendly so the atmosphere was fantastic.

My aim in training had been to get to the start line feeling strong and healthy. I very much believe that Pilates helped me do so. I ran feeling amazing each day, enjoying every moment of the event. I completed my marathons in 4.00, 3.53, 3.55 and 3.40, finishing second overall in the event and first female every day. I also  had the fastest female marathon time over the four days.

The day after the Quadrathon finished I ran an easy 5k and I’ve continued to run each day since. I’m currently attending two of Agi’s Pilates classes a week and advocating Pilates to everyone I meet, especially running friends. My first sporting love may be running, but I truly think Pilates is what keeps me able to run strongly and enjoy it.

Julie Atkinson