To stretch or not to stretch? A subject of debate for years within the running community. As someone who spent years running out the door without stretching, I am now a convert. I am convinced that stretching both before and after a run are crucial to long term wellness and success. How can you maximize your Pre & Post Run Stretch Routine?
“Daily stretching is the yin to our running yang. We need it to aid in staying free from injury & to be able to move freely”- Stephanie Mitchell Fitness
How to Maximize Your Pre & Post Run Stretch Routine
First, a quick recap of Pre & Post Run Stretch basics. Pre run warmups should be dynamic in nature meaning they are active movements that warm up the body to perform and to reduce the risk of injury. Ideally, they are priming our joints and muscles to run (knees, hips, ankles etc) while at the same time, mimicking the movements we use to run. Walking is also a great dynamic warm up. (See Dynamic stretching do’s and dont’s) Pre run warmups are best done immediately before running for 5-10 minutes. Post run stretching should be static in nature. These stretches isolate one muscle group at a time and are usually held for 30-60 seconds. This allows your muscles to loosen back up, increase flexibility and aid with recovery.
[you may also like 5 pre run stretches you have time to do]
Now that we got that straight, here are 4 tips on how to maximize your Pre & Post Run Stretch Routine.
Schedule your stretch time into your planned workout
Just as you might schedule your run workout into your day, add in time for your stretch routine. Treat it as part of your run and not to be overlooked.
Focus on your hot spots
Spend a little extra time warming up those spots that tend to give you issues. Whether it’s your hips, knees, hamstrings or ankles, those joints will thank you.
Have a routine ready
When you are rushing out the door to get your run in, it can be hard to remember which stretches to do. Write out a few of your favorites and store them in the notes section of your phone. I bookmark a few pre and post run stretch videos as a fool proof way to ensure they are handy. (The Peloton app has hundreds to choose from.)
Just as you might make some notes on your running pace and distance, it is interesting to keep track of how your body responds to stretching.
[You may also like rope assisted stretches for runners]
So tell me, do you have a pre and post run stretch routine? How does your body respond to regular stretching post workout?
Thanks for helping to make the Runners’ Roundup a huge success by visiting all of the hosts: Me, Debbie, Rachel, Jen , Sandra and Lisa