Most runners now do some kind of pre-run activation routine, but anything post-run can get ignored. When the workout is over, even a cool down can feel laborious. However, incorporating some kind of post-run routine into your schedule is great for injury prevention, especially for runners who sit at a desk all day. While 2017 steeplechase world champion Emma Coburn doesn’t have a desk job, she does ask a lot of her body. Here’s how she winds down after a hard session to ensure she’s ready for her next run.
Sit on your feet
Coburn writes that most of her post-run mobility is focused on her hips and ankles. She starts this routine by sitting on her feet for 30 seconds.
End range squat holds
Squat down and hold something (preferably at chest level, like a railing or coffee table) and hold for 30 seconds. This exercise is great for hip mobility and posture. Runners can make this a little more challenging by swaying over each ankle, which is good for balance.
Put your back leg up on a couch and leave the other leg bent, like you’re lunging. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. You should feel this stretch in your hip flexors and psoas, both of which are chronically tight in runners. The psoas is a muscle which extends through the pelvis to the femur and is activated by lifting your leg towards your body.
Banded upper-thoracic stretch
This exercise requires a band. On all fours, using your outside arm, pull the band (attached to a table) through to full extension. Be sure to keep your hips square with the ground. Repeat 10 times per arm.
Runner can overlook their backs, but it’s a crucial part of running performance. For those who sit at a computer especially, your thoracic spine and shoulder mobility can suffer, so this exercise is crucial. Most runners think of overuse injuries stemming from their spines, but everything is connected.
Banded ankle mobilization
Runners’ ankles can get really locked up, which can cause issues up the chain. If you move your ankles around post-run, this can keep you whole body in line. Start by wrapping a band around your ankle and flexing it forward. You should feel this in your shins and calves. Repeat 10 times on each side.