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Stretching for Runners

Happy Saturday! This morning’s workout was a 3 mile run on the gym treadmill. My training plan only called for 2 miles, but I felt so good I decided to keep going. It’s beautiful outside today and it really feels like spring even though there is still snow on the ground. Hopefully I’ll be running outside sooner than I thought.

protein shake
Perfect post-run snack.

I followed up my run with a vanilla protein and strawberry shake. I used frozen fruit instead of fresh fruit this time, which gave my smoothie a thicker, creamier consistency that I love. It makes the drink a lot more filling too.

What I really want to talk about today is stretching. I never stretch, which is a horrible habit, but I’m impatient and just like to get moving. I was talking about this with Brian today before my run. Brian is really into biking and he has a series of stretches he does before and after he rides. This got me thinking that I should probably start stretching too, especially if I’m serious about increasing my mileage.

I did a little research and here’s what I found:

Runner’s World : “A flexible body is more efficient, sees more gains in strength and endurance, enjoys more range of motion, is less injury-prone, recovers more quickly, and simply feels better. Regular stretching is a must.” —Ok I’m convinced….stretching it is!

Active.com : 5 Key Pre and Post workout stretches—Leg swings, walking lunges (before you run) and Kneeling hip flexor and hamstring stretches, standing quad stretches and standing calf stretches (after you run).

Spark People: This link goes to a 10 minute stretching routine. While I don’t think I would actually stretch for that long, there’s a good overview of the types of stretches I might want to start incorporating before and after my runs.

Hopefully this will inspire all you non-stretchers out there (like me) to give it a try!

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2 thoughts on “Stretching for Runners

  1. I’m so bad about stretching as well…. I was a dancer from childhood through high school and had all the flexibility in the world – and then I went through an inactive period in college and lost most of it. Now my toes seem SO far away!

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