Cross-training, as we’re often told, is essential if we want to stay healthy and strong, and wish to continue running for as long as possible. In this episode, Heather Durocher talks with certified Pilates instructor Jennifer Cutler, owner of Pure Pilates in Traverse City, Michigan, about the benefits of this form of exercise. Heather began twice-weekly Pilates sessions about seven years ago and believes she’s a stronger runner as a result. “With a stronger core, I feel stronger running. Jen’s voice sometimes comes to mind, her words of ‘shoulders back and down, belly button pulled to your spine’ reminding me that my core muscles are what propel me forward and play such an important role (along with my legs, lungs and arms) in putting one foot in front of the other,” Heather says. “The stretching and strengthening that I experience leave me feeling re-aligned, centered, balanced and … just happy.”

Jennifer shares the Stott Pilates philosophy, how moves on the mat as well as on what’s known as the “reformer” machine helps build core strength, and what listeners should look for when searching for a Pilates studio in Michigan. Jennifer Tank, a fellow northern Michigan runner and Pilates devotee, also joins the conversation, sharing her own take on how Pilates has helped her in everyday life as well as in her athletic pursuits.

Heather, shown in plank position on the Pilates reformer.

Heather, shown in plank position on the Pilates reformer. /Photo by Beth Price of Beth Price Photography.

*If you enjoy what you’re hearing on the Michigan Runner Girl show, I’d be so grateful if you’d take a few moments to write a review on iTunes. This will help more runners and Michigan lovers like yourself find the podcasts. Thank you!! Also, the quickest way to get the podcasts is to subscribe to the show via iTunes. Clicking this link will automatically download the shows to your iTunes account. 

A special thanks to Mike Moran of Quarter After Productions in Traverse City, Mich. for producing the show. Check out his work here, and if you like Michigan craft beer like me, tune into the popular Short’s Cast, a show he produces for Short’s Brewing Company of Bellaire, Mich.

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