Pilates can prevent injuries and improve lap times


Upcoming events

Saturday (DOWN2EARTH Full Mountain Biking # 1 at Amelia Park 401 E. 65th Street, Hialeah): Participants will be taken through the mountain bike trails of Amelia Earhart Park along a 7-mile course of multiple laps depending on the riders’ skill set: Expert 4 laps, Sport 3 laps, Novice 2 laps, and Junior 1 lap. Registration closes Thursday. For more information visit: www.worksmartplayharder.com.

March 24 (2013 Roland Mazzotti Snowbird Century at Homestead Air Reserve Park 26851 SW 127 Ave., Homestead): This cycling challenge offers four different rides: 30-mile, 40-mile, 62-mile, 100-mile century ride. The race starts at 7:30. For more information visit: www.evergladesbc.com or contact Shannon Roque at shannon@roque.us.com.

March 24 (Muddog’s King of the Hill 5K in Davie): This mud run is designed to be challenging but built for fun. There will be mud pits, military-style obstacles, wall climbing and more over a muddy 5K course. Registration is $60, and law enforcement receives a discount. For more information visit: www.muddogsevents.com.

March 30 (2013 Egg Hunt Triathlon and Duathlon at CB Smith Park, Pembroke Pines): The triathlon consists of a quarter-mile swim, 11-mile bike and a 3.1-mile run. And in the duathlon participants will have a 1.5-mile run and a 11-mile bike. For more information visit: www.egghunttriathlon.com.

April 13 (DOWN2EARTH Stand Up Paddleboard Race Series # 2 at the Blue Marlin Fish House, 2500 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach): You don’t need your own paddleboard to join this race. There are two different courses to choose from: 4.2 miles and 8.4 miles. Registration with a paddleboard is $60 and $40 without. For more information visit: www.worksmartplayharder.com.

April 25 (Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run 5K at Bayfront Park): This evening run encourages coworkers to team up and raise funds for United Way. For more information contact TeamFootWorks at 305-666-7223.

Special to The Miami Herald

Have you ever injured yourself while competing in a race or while training for an event?

A local fitness expert said you can injury-proof yourself by putting as much effort into your body as you put into your equipment. She is Christa Gurka of Miami, a physical therapist and owner of two local Pilates studios: Pilates in the Grove and Pilates on the Beach.

Gurka has trained Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and pro golfer Cristie Kerr, a graduate of Miami Sunset High, along with many other professional and triathletes, and her advice is the same.

She says that incorporating Pilates into your training routine can decrease your lap time and help you become more resilient to injury.

“I recommend it to prevent injuries,” Gurka said. “Most athletes have injuries about four to six weeks before an event. A lot of people while training only focus on the physical, rather than their flexibility.”

She says that adding Pilates to your training routine can improve your flexibility and help you become more stabilized. These improvements can be essential in helping to prevent a lot of common injuries.

“It is like having someone help you stretch, but you are using equipment. It is different than Yoga where you hold a pose,” Gurka said. “With Pilates, you strengthen while stretching.”

While being essential in helping to keep you in one piece, Gurka believes Pilates can help tremendously in improving lap times in running, swimming and cycling.

“If you have tight quads you have to take more steps. Then you have to exert more energy and leave yourself open to injury,” Gurka said.

“Swimmers with tight shoulders have a shortened arm stroke. People spend a lot of money on equipment. I tell my clients: ‘You get the most expensive bike, the best shoes and suit. You should put more into your body.’ ”

Gurka offers a special class for participants in Coconut Grove on Mondays and Miami Beach on Thursdays.


Do you have what it takes to swim with the best?

Some of the best open-water swimmers in the world are expected to come out for the 2013 Swim Miami, to be held at the Miami Yacht Club on April 6. The swim will take participants along the downtown skyline for an intense open-water race.

Participants will have several courses to choose from, including The Miami Mile, 5K, 10K and 800 meters. Registration runs from $25 to $55 depending on which event you choose.

For more information, visit www.swimmiami.net.


If you would like your event listed, send your info to Corey W. Campbell at campbell.corey@gmail.com.

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