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:
- IT Band
- 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!*
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!