Alright runners. This one’s for you.

Last week I did a specialty workshop at work called Stretching for Runners. Somewhat of an oxymoron since we know many runners do not stretch.

Stop lying to yourself, you probably don’t either.

Hey. I’m right there with you! I certainly don’t as much as I should. But after one marathon and before #2, I am changing my ways. Or at least trying. Baby steps.

So here are 5 biggest issues runners face and how to “fix” them by strength work and stretching.

 
1. Runner’s Knee


Strengthen: Weak glutes and hips. Using a mini band, practice glute walks, clam shells or X walks.
Stretch: Lacrosse ball mobility (video below)

http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/ppDlKAmlcS4&source=uds
Until I get my YouTube channel up and working…

2. Achilles Tendinitis
Strengthen: Weak calves/tight calves. Using a superband, practice the mobility technique used below.
Stretch: Superband ankle mobility

http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/1BCICZ297tM&source=uds


3. Hamstring Issues
Strengthen: Make sure when you are training you are creating a muscle balance between your hamstrings and quads. People with over dominant quads can experience weak hammies, which results in greater tension and more prone to injury. In the same light, those who are hyper mobile in their hammies, may experience greater vulnerability and damage.
Stretch: Leg lifts against a wall corner are a great way to stretch out and get greater range of motion in your lower extremities.

 
 
 
 
4. Plantar Fascitis
Strengthen: Individuals with very high or very low arches, extreme pronation or supination are at risk here. Tight hip flexors, weak hips and/or weak core and lower back pain are signs that you could be experiencing PF.
Stretch: Time to go out and buy a good ‘ole lacrosse ball if you haven’t already! Nothing feels more divine than taking off your shoes and rolling that thing underneath your feet. Back and forth, side to side. Another great tip is using a frozen water bottle! Try multiple times per day if you can! The lax ball trick can even be done at the office under your desk :)
 


5. Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Strengthen: Ah. The dreaded IT band. Can’t we just take those suckers out? Well, no, since it helps stabilize the knee in lateral movement. Ya, kind of important. But you can help it out by strengthening the hip abductors (or outer thigh muscles)! Grab one of your mini bands and start doing some glute walks to work those puppies out.
Stretch: The juries still out on whether or not foam rolling this is effective. But you can certainly try rolling up and down the side of your leg for pain relief. Also good, the superband!

 
 



I hope this was helpful for all of those runners out there! I’d love to know…

How do you stretch? Before… After? Both??

-TTT

3 Comments

  1. I'm a runner who totally stretches (not!) I really need to more. I kinda of stretch as an after thought. I'll be eating lunch and thinking I really should have stretched after my morning run. Great post! :)

  2. I'm so glad I stumbled upon this! I actually do stretch and strengthen but only being I have learned my lesson the hard way with Runner's Knee!

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