Stretching before a run? think again!  5 things you should do instead..

Saturday morning 8.45 am, The Quarry Park,  Shrewsbury and Parkrun will start in 15 minutes.

I look around and see roughly 300 runners of all ages, shapes and sizes. The fastest runners, the ones that start at the front and regularly finish in the top 20 have done some of the routines that every runner should do before starting a run, never mind a race. Out of the other 280 or so runners, maybe 20 to fifty are doing the wrong prep for a run and the rest are doing absolutely nothing!!!

The first lot (the fast ones) have been doing sprints, the second lot are doing static stretches and the other 200 plus runners are just chatting away! 

You could say that not everyone takes it seriously and that’s a fair comment, to some Parkrun or any run is a social event or just a reason to get out of the house for some exercise. 

Whatever the reason you are running you have to understand that our bodies are not machines that you can switch on and off as you please and expect them to run, sprint, climb or descend without any risks.

If you do any static stretches (like stretching your quads by bending your knee for a while, or hamstring /calves stretches) you are putting your muscle into a relaxed state. 

You’re practically sending it to sleep and then asking it to sprint into action!

It makes more sense to prapare your body for what’s to come, easing it into run/race mode.

The list below has worked for me, three and half years of injury free running, over 3000 km including 25 Half Marathons in 2014 and almost 70 Parkruns. 

  1. Front leg swings (gluteus max/min, hip flexors) 10 reps for each leg
  2. Lateral leg swings ( gluteus medius, ITB) 10 reps for each leg
  3. Standing hurdles (gluteus,hip flexors) 10 reps clockwise and 10 anti-clockwise for each leg 
  4. Jog
  5. Short sprints ( or High knees running on the spot)

These 5 exercises also release oxygen to your muscles so it’s readily available for optimum performance when the gun goes off 🙂

(Lateral leg swings)

         (Standing hurdles)

Any questions please comment below or email me :

RRR (beep beep)


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