This easy routine is essential for staying healthy as you become fitter and faster.
Static stretches are a good way to improve flexibility after a run. It’s important to do these stretches immediately following your workout because your muscles are warm and supple.
At the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST) in Greenville, South Carolina, we hear from runners who want to get faster, from those who simply want to enjoy the sport for life, and from those who’ve given up on running entirely. They’ve stopped because injuries have made it too frustrating or too painful to continue.
The two of us—both longtime runners—spend a lot of time discussing what we can do now to increase the likelihood that we’ll log miles well into old age. We want to be able to keep doing what we love to do—and that’s probably a goal of yours, too.
Based on our experiences as athletes, coaches, and exercise scientists, we developed the 7-Hour Workout Week, which is detailed in our new book Train Smart, Run Forever. The plan includes activities to enhance cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility. Many runners have confessed that they skip the resistance training, stretching, and cross-training we recommend, but these postrun stretches are critical for staying healthy as you become fitter and faster. Add them to your regular routine to run strong for life.
How to use this list: Perform the stretches below immediately following a run or workout. Each move is demonstrated by Runner’s World+ coach and certified trainer, Jess Movold, so you can learn the proper technique. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds on each side. Repeat as many rounds as needed. An exercise mat is optional, but will make each move more comfortable.