Stretches To Include In Half Marathon Training
Are you guilty of not stretching enough after long training runs? If you’re training for a half-marathon, here are the stretches you must be doing.
Kneel on the floor with your knees slightly apart. Lean down onto your knees, bringing the chest to the floor. Allow the head to relax and stretch the arms out in front with the hands on the floor. Relax in this position and feel the stretch in the arms, shoulders, back and hips.
Downward Facing Dog
Another yoga pose which is a fantastic stretch for runners. Begin on all fours and then push up onto hands and feet, keeping your hips and bottom high. Your body forms a triangle, with your legs straight, and your torso straight from the high point of your hips down to your neck. Lift your bottom and press your chest towards your legs, pushing into your hands and feet. Feel the stretch in your back, hamstrings and calves.
Lie on the floor with one leg outstretched and the other leg overhead. Hold the lifted leg with both hands, behind the ankle, calf or thigh (not the knee). Keep the leg as straight as you can, flex the foot slightly and pull the leg in towards the body without forcing the stretch. Repeat on the other side.
Runners need to stretch the hips as well as the larger leg muscles. Kneel down in a lunge position with one knee on the floor. Both legs are at right angles. Push the hips forward slightly, to feel a stretch in the front of the hips.
Stand up and bend one knee, taking hold of that foot behind you in your hand. Pull the foot into the bottom and push the hips forward, but keep both knees together (this is important). Feel a stretch in the front of the thigh.
Stand on a step or stair and allow the heels to drop off the back of the step and hang lower than the foot. Then, for a second stretch, lean on a wall facing it and step one foot back (with the foot pointing forward). Keep the foot flat and lean forward to feel a stretch in the calf of the leg you have move backwards.
Pair these stretches for runners with some foam rolling and you’ll be less sore, less stiff and less prone to injury as you increase your mileage to half-marathon and beyond.