Well, here we go. Less than a week till Christmas and less than 2 till the New Year! I know, shocker, as usual! And most of you are probably already thinking of goals for 2015. I know I am. Well, more like things I’d like to accomplish or focus on. One of this is to take more classes. We just 3 more classes at our gym and I have only taken one! But hopefully that will change come January when my schedule slows down.
But here’s the thing…
How do I keep my classes, still run, and take barre? Isn’t that overdoing it?
How do you find the perfect balance without overtraining?
I asked my good friend and fellow runner/Barre instructor to advise! So Jolene… Share your TIPS… pretty please!
Incorporating running into your barre workouts
…or incorporating barre into your running!
Either way, these two workouts are super complementary to your body and just work so well together, it is amazing (I wrote a little about it here in a previous post for Lindsay)! I have been a casual runner for years, and by casual, I mean, I run to run, I don’t wear a watch, I don’t (usually) track my miles (once in a blue moon!) and I am not a racer (I’ve done a few half marathons but they just aren’t my thing). I run simply because I love how I feel when I run, before, during, and after, plain and simple.
So when I began doing barre workouts almost four years ago now (and teach them too, for almost three years, at barre n9ne® studio, my home away from home!!), and realized how much I loved barre workouts too, I began to evolve my workouts to a point where I *just* do barre workouts and running and it has been the magic bullet for me.
So I thought I would share with you a few tips on incorporating running into your barre workouts, if you are a #barreaddict, and vice versa, how to incorporate barre into your running, if you are a run-nerd! Genius, yes?! 😉
Find your balance.
Barre workouts are generally pretty intense for your legs, as you work them in every which way in the span of 55 minutes or less. From your glutes, to your calves, to your quads, you are hitting those muscles at every angle and to failure. That whole ‘embrace the shake’ mantra that we love (and sometimes love to hate!) so much is so true…those tiny pulses and tucks get those muscles shaking and to failure so well, that your legs will likely feel like jello afterwards! High five!
What’s different about a barre workout is that it isn’t heavily cardio focused (a few of our classes are cardio-based, for example, but by and large, these workouts are for strength and toning mostly), so you may find yourself wanting that cardio ‘fix’ in addition to classes you take. And running is a great complement to classes. I typically suggest – and everyone is different – that you slowly marry the two together. If you have been taking, say, 2-4 classes a week, why not start at 1-2 runs per week on your off days and see what works.
For me, I teach throughout the week at barre n9ne, and also try to fit in a few of my own ‘me’ workouts, including a couple of classes and a few runs. And it works wonderfully. I refer to it as ‘smarter, not harder’ because I don’t think you need to run for hours to reach your goals. My runs are anywhere between 30-60 minutes, with one of those runs hitting 60 mins. I call this ‘smarter, not harder’ because with the right balance, you don’t need to work out for hours a day to reach your goals, you just need to find the right combination for your body and it just works.
Figure out what works best for you – before or after.
For me, I try to stack my runs on ‘off’ days that I take a class. However, there are some days where it may just work out where I may do both in the same day. Test run (no pun intended hehe) both options, if this holds true for you. Run before you take a class and see how your legs feel, and then run after you take a class (perhaps not back-to-back, though it can be done!) and re-evaluate.
What I find so interesting is that I actually like both options for different reasons. On days I run before I take a class (in the same day, not back to back), I find my legs are more quickly get to that shake point and I dig that! It feels so good – and you won’t believe it till it happens to you. When those legs start shaking like crazy, you’ll be surprised at how much lower you can go into each move and how effective it feels!
On days I run after taking a class (or teaching, as it generally happens to me, given my schedule), I find the run shakes my legs out so much, it’s fantastic. I run strong, my legs feel conditioned and ready to roll.
And finally, I think running on ‘off’ class days is the ideal balance, because your legs are freshest, but a short 20-30 min run before or after a class (within the same day, not necessarily back to back) can be a great warmup (or cooldown) to your barre class.
Use barre workouts to strengthen your imbalances.
I mentioned this in a previous guest blog I wrote for Lindsay, but truly, running and barre are completely complementary workouts. Prior to barre n9ne, I would get shin splints almost every single run, and I would need 2-4 days off minimum between runs given that. I have also struggled with IT band syndrome, as well as tight hips and hamstrings. But barre work has completely strengthened all of these muscle imbalances to a point where shin splints are no longer, I have much more leg endurance and can run a couple of days back to back, where that was impossible before, and my IT band has never felt stronger. So, use barre workouts as a tool to strengthen those areas that may be stumbling blocks for you. Talk to your instructor about exercises might want to do at home to build up that strength further and don’t forget to foam roll (foam roll, foam roll, and foam roll some more!), do some IT band stretches each day, and hamstring stretches, and you will notice SUCH a difference in your runs, and conversely, in your barre workouts, in terms of endurance and improvement!
Have you tried barre yet?
Runners… how do you balance your cross training and run routine?
[Tweet “Balance! How to Incorporate #Barre into Your #Run Routine via @jolene1079 #fitfluential @ideafit”]
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I used to do both a lot… I should get back into barre classes… sometimes the wrong instructor can make them kind of boring but when they’re good, they’re good!
Clare @ Happy Eater
I haven’t taken a workout barre class, but I took ballet for many years and used to take intermediate adult ballet classes. They are such a good workout! Anyone who loves barre should look into a local ballet class…it’ll turn your calves to jelly!
Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC
i loved this post because running + barre is my primary fitness. i love to run and LOVE my pure barre classes and have found that the two are an excellent match! 🙂
Aren’t they the best combo!?
I’m dying to try a barre class (my inner childhood ballerina!) something for 2015 may be! In the meantime I’ve found some youtube vids to practise in place of my morning yoga.
yes! wish we could go to a class together.
Sara @ Lake Shore Runner
I have been doing barre more recently after being partnered with Pure Barre for a blog event. I love this post about how barre incorporates well with runners. I wrote something similar about the benefit of barre to runners !
oh my gosh, how fun! can’t wait to read about it!
Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine
I’ve read a lot about Barre, and would love to take classes– but I am living abroad. Can you recommend a good online site for classes?
barre3 has some good online classes, and videos too. Core Fusion offers videos as well that you can buy, as does Physique 57! I would give those a whirl 🙂
Great guest post!
I’ve only taken a barre class in studio once but loved it. Unfortunately the only places that teach it are pretty far from where I live. So, I’ve done some online classes. I totally think it compliments my weak spots and helps strengthen me for running. BUT, my legs are sooooo done afterwards (and during)!
Toasted legs are the best aren’t they?! online classes are one option and hopefully something comes closer to you!
Ugh, we don’t have a barre studio here, and I’ve been wanting to try one so badly! I have done a few online barre workouts with The Balanced Life (who I’ve been taking online Pilates from for a few months), and I love how long and lean they make my legs feel! I could definitely see how this would be helpful for running. (And by the way, Jolene, I would describe myself as a runner in exactly the same way
Ever consider an online class? I know barre3 has them, as one option! I hope that you get a studio near you soon though! and yay for run twinnies 😉
Liz @ I Heart Vegetables
I love Barre! I just need to figure out how to incorporate it into my budget 😉
it is a bit of an investment for sure, but it is so worth it 🙂
Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)
Such a great post! I could not agree more with how well these two styles of working out work so well together!
<3 I knew you'd totally agree Sarena!! they really are a match made in Heaven 🙂
Melanie @ Nutritious Eats
Love barre. Haven’t done it in a while though!
it is so fun isn’t it?
I’ve never been to a Barre class (I have the Cathe Frederick Barre DVD which I like) – maybe I should make that a plan. My physical therapist wants me working on imbalances so it sounds like a perfect match!
We can go together! hehe
Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment
I tried a demonostration class that was pretty quick at a recent conference in Austin. I liked it so I have been planning to attend a class, but just haven’t put it into my schedule yet. Thanks for the great suggestions!
Glad to oblige 🙂 Hope you like the next class you take!!
Amanda - RunToThefinish
Balance the most elusive of all our desires 🙂 I think we all go through phases of leaning more one way then another and sometimes that is balance
yep. Always learning here!
ps I need an update on you soon!
Christine @ Love, Life, Surf
Oh the shake! I always an in awe of you and Jess for running on days that you do barre…or days after you do barre because my legs are so freaking spent! But I guess that also comes with getting stronger from doing each workout. They are such great compliments to each other!
they are amazing, aren’t they?!
it does come with getting stronger, BUT I will say the majority of the time I run before or after a class, it is a class I have TAUGHT, not taken, and it is a bit harder to swing both when taking the class itself. holy jello legs! BUT whenever I do this, at most I run is a 5K, so it’s pretty reasonable. xoxo
Cat @ Breakfast to Bed
I am a Crossfitter, but nothing makes my hiney hurt like barre.
I love this 🙂
Not yet . . . .need to! Where’s best in our neck of the woods?
wild basin silly!
oh I want to come visit and take a class at your gym!
Brittany @ Delights and Delectables
I have been wanting to try Barre classes!
Shashi @ RunninSrilankan
I have been reading about barre classes a lot lately but haven’t tried one yet – I’ve kind been reluctant as I wasn’t sure if they were along the lines of a yoga/Pilates class with the focus on the legs more…? This post piqued my curiosity – now I might have to put a barre class on my 2015 bucket list!
This is definitely different than yoga or pilates…it is a full body workout, however, but you’ll likely focus on your thighs and glutes about half the the class, with the rest focusing on upper body and abs. give it a whirl 🙂
I definitely think that the week that I did the barre class and then ran on the treadmills resulted in a bit of overtraining for me, so this was super helpful!
oh I am glad this helped! I try to really do my best to balance it, so that doesn’t happen, and I am glad you pinpointed a time where maybe you did, and know how not to for the next time 🙂
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
Ok, I have to admit I’ve never taken a barre class because I am probably the least graceful person ever, but I’ve been intrigued by what I’ve read lately, including this post! I think I’ll make it a goal in 2015 to get myself out to a class. 🙂
Confession: I’m not graceful either! you don’t need to be or have been a dancer or anything, seriously, it is just a darn good workout. 🙂
I think barre classes scare me! ; )
I did a sample class a few years ago and did really enjoy it and can see how it could be a great complement to running. So many things I’d love to add to my routine–so little time!
Options, options, options, right?! Well I do hope you try it again! it is so much fun!
Erin @ The Almond Eater
I LOVE barre! I’ve only done it a handful of times, but I’ve enjoyed it each time. Still need to bite the bullet and buy a month-long membership..
it is pricier than a gym, of course, but so worth it! glad you love it 🙂
I tried Barre for the first time last month and it was HARD and I don’t consider myself weak. It definitely highlighted the areas that I need to strengthen!
That’s the beauty, isn’t it? shows you areas that you didn’t realize may be imbalanced where barre will strengthen!
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
Great advice! This is something I’ve struggled to figure out over the years. I finally landed on running one day and doing strength on my off days. That was worked best for me but occasionally doing both on one day was fine too.
Glad you enjoyed! I agree, I like giving them their own ‘day’ – run one day, strength/resistance training the next, but on occasion, I do both in the same day, spread out and find it is a good switch up too!
I have been hearing so many good things about Barre but I’ll be honest and tell you I am terrified! I don’t think my legs can take it. It would definitely be stepping out of my comfort zone! Post-pregnancy I’m looking to switch up a lot of my workout routine (more xtrain, etc.) so maybe that will be the time for me to give it a try?! Eeek!
oh please do give it a try, I promise it isn’t as scary as it may seem, though I admit I was intimidated before taking my first class, but have been hooked for more than 4 years now 🙂
Cara's Healthy Cravings
I have only done a barre class once and would love to give it another shot. It’s always fun to mix up my regular routine with classes I don’t usually take.
it is a great add in if you are doing other workouts too, I hope you give it another go!
meredith @ Cookie ChRUNicles
I love barre, especially Pure Barre! I find it to be a must for me, especially for the positive effects it has had on my running and the rest of my body. I do both in own day and usually like doing the barre routine (Pure Barre DVD’s more than going to the studio classes lately) and then head out for my run. It’s awesome.
Yay! isn’t it a great combo?!
Which DVDS do you use?
I am in LOVE with my barre3 classes! I’m pretty much a fitness fanatic and love to try new things. I received a barre3 card and had to try. I’m hooked for life. I mean really for life. I feel that some fitness activities can be done for a small amount of time before burn out or injury. Barre3 class is similar to yoga in that it can be done by all with many modifications. It incorporates twists and stretching which is necessary for body mobility in every stage of life. Sadie Lincoln(founder of barre3) was on Dr. Oz yesterday speaking of the benefits of barre classes!
That’s awesome! isn’t it wonderful to find something you love and that NEVER gets old, boring or less challenging?! So glad you love it 🙂
Michele @ paleorunningmomma
As you know this is one thing I’m working on now! I have a friend who’s a runner and barre instructor and she actually doubles up hard days (long run + barre) so she can completely rest other days. I can’t imagine that but she swears by it! Great topic 🙂
I sometimes will do the same thing, Michele! But on a day I teach and run, not a day I run and take a class. I go by feel most of the time, and if the run is just NOT working if I do it before or after a class, I’ll just stop, but usually, I feel great. it’s such a great combo!