There is a lot out there now about bringing yoga to runners and other athletes. And, while the stretching aspect is important, in my experience, it's the mindfulness practice that helps the most. Of course it is important to train and be physically prepared for a preferred distance, but SO much of running, especially long distances is mental. It is important not to get psyched out at the first sign of fatigue, but also not to ignore it. It's important to be aware of aches and pains, but not necessarily to react to them immediately. I am constantly surprised by how much my energy, muscles, mood, and mindset can change over the course of a run. And, furthermore, how much I may have held myself back if I let myself believe that a sluggish start determined a sluggish finish.
In addition to helping during a run, mindfulness is also a fantastic tool between runs. Life happens and your body feels it. Some days are going to be better than others. Sometimes it's important to rest. Sometimes it's important to push. It can be easy to get caught up in a rigid training plan, but I find that listening to my body, remaining open to the idea that what I feel right now might not necessarily be what I feel tomorrow, whether it is feeling great or feeling awful, helps me maximize my own abilities to build distance.
How does yoga help your running or other training?