We all know you’re supposed to stretch before and after a run, but ask a room of runners for a show of hands and you’ll likely get a half-raised arm indicating a,“I know I should” or “I try to at least a few times a week but my run already takes up all the spare time I have in the day.”
Here at Night Runner, we’re advocates of year-round running, whether you’re training to race or focusing on your overall health. We’ve compiled some tips and tricks to make sure that pre-run warm-up happens so you can continue to run without injury.
We’ve heard every morning trick, from sleeping in your running clothes to the classic alarm on the other side of the bedroom maneuver. While those are all great (keep doing what you’re doing!), let’s talk about those first moments in bed. Before immediately putting on your shoes and racing out the door, spend a moment stretching. Moves like a forward toe touch and child’s pose can be done effectively in bed and will allow your body to adjust from a night of sleeping to gentle movement before going straight into your run.
A good run does not always equal your fastest run. Spend the first half mile of your planned jog at a much slower pace. A light jog will help warm your running muscles and prevent injury. If a PR-only Strava run is your jam, record your warm-up jog and your workout jog as separate activities.
Depending on what your workout calls for, a rest period can be a great time squeeze in a few quick stretches. An interval rest period is intended to lower your heart rate before running again, so there’s no rule that says you can’t stretch a little while that’s happening. Use that opportunity to do a quick quad or calf stretch to get your body relaxed and ready for the next interval.