You Gotta Stretch it Out

Before the Run Stretches

I don’t typically stretch before my run, but if I do I focus mainly on my calves and my soleus muscles.  I’m really hard on these muscles, especially when I run in my minimalist shoes.  Dynamic stretching is the way to go, whatever stretch you do.  I like walking lunges (step forward, long strides, making sure that your knees never go past your toes).  Five for each side going one direction, then turn around and do another five for each side.

Post Run Stretches

So you’ve finished your run!  HOORAY!!!  Most people will go straight to relaxing and will skip THE most important part of the post-run: STRETCHING!  No, I say.  You must stretch to keep your body healthy and flexible for your next run.  Here are the areas to really focus on, post-run:

  • Quads
  • Calves
  • IT Band
  • Hamstrings
  • Hip Flexors

To cover all of these areas, I refer to RunnersWorldTV’s  Post-Run Yoga Flexibility Routine

Rest Days – YOGA!

I like to practice yoga.  What?  You don’t like it?  You’re not good at it? So what, big deal!  You don’t have to be good at it.  That’s why it’s called “practicing!”  If you’re just starting out, try some routines at home to get yourself familiar with the poses.  How did I start?  I youyube’d it!  These first three were my intro into the wonderful practice of yoga:

I also went to YogaDownload.com and looked up all of the FREE yoga classes.  You can download them onto your computer and play them whenever you like.  Have an Apple product?  They have a free podcast!  Take your mat and your iPhone/iPad outside and practice.

Right now, my favorite routine is Lululemon’s SeaWheeze 2013 Yoga Practice. It’s 34 minutes of awesome stretching.  Some of the poses were difficult at first, but I kept at it and now I can do all of them.  “I GOT IT!” I yelled when I stuck the hardest pose, and my husband smiled at me.  *still tearing up about it- sniff!*

Fellow WordPress blogger, Andrea Drugay has guides on several poses on YogaOutlet.com.  I found one for runners that you might want to try.

I have found that since I’ve been practicing yoga that I’m overall healthier.  I get over colds really fast.  I’m calmer, and when I run, I can breathe through the pain and focus (yoga really focuses on breathing).  I really hope you give it a tryl  Happy running, future yogi!

2 responses to “You Gotta Stretch it Out

  1. Great topic for me. My hip flexors where so tight after Wine and Dine and then after a 9 hour plane ride home I was all mess up. Now I have been seeing a Chiropractor and get active release therapy. I now have learned the hard way. thanks for the tips. joanne

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