My Picks: Top 7 Stretches for Runners

With race day less than one week away, thoughts turn to recovery and preparation. Hopefully, the training that I’ve been able to fit in with my injury-altered schedule has been enough to cross the finish line on Sunday! No matter how much running, cross training and strength training I’ve been able to finish, beating myself to the ground this week won’t help me finish any faster. :)

So this week, I have a few short runs on the agenda and am aiming to get plenty of sleep, eat nutritious meals and kick the last bit of this cold I’ve been fighting. Also on part of the game plan? Stretching!

I’ll be the first to admit that early on during this half-marathon project, I would pat myself on the back for finishing my run and rush off to the shower. Quickly (and stiffly), I was reminded why stretching is so important. From that day on, I vowed to pop in a workout DVD to follow the cooldown/stretch segment or at least complete these stretches (holding for about 30 seconds per stretch or side) after each workout.

  1. Pigeon
  2. Hip Flexor Stretch
  3. Leaning Quadriceps Stretch
  4. Lying Hamstring with Ankle Circles and Trunk Twist
  5. Figure 4
  6. Downward Dog and Three-Legged Dog
  7. Child’s Pose with Angled Reach

This routine, along with some post-run dates with The Stick, really helped decrease next-day tightness…which likely helped consecutive runs go more successfully. It’s worth it to invest 10 minutes to feel better later!

I’ll be back on Friday to talk half-marathon gear and final pre-race reflections. Who wants to help me pick an outfit? :)

Quote to consider this week:

“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty and persistence.” — Colin Powell

Do you find it hard to invest the time, after already squeezing in a workout, to stretch properly? What are your favorite cooldown moves?

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