We all know the importance of each and every mile we run. Easy running builds an aerobic base and helps recover for and from harder efforts. Speedy stuff such as hills, intervals or tempo improve speed, efficiency and power. Needless to say, the running you do matters most.
But what you do both immediately before and after you run can also play an important role in maximizing the gains you get from running and also keep you consistent and injury-free.
Warming up and cooling down with some very easy, slower running before and after a harder effort is essential but it’s not the only thing you should do.
Adding a few dynamic stretches and exercises can go a long way. As few as 5-10 minutes of lunges, leg swings, high knees, butt kicks and skipping will help to specifically prepare the body for the upcoming run and also enhance the connections between body and brain. If you’re tight on time, here are the three most common and useful exercises to perform before a run:
The same goes for after you run. Follow your cool down with a few more minutes of strength and flexibility exercises. You don’t need to do all the exercises/stretches before and after you run but do choose to add a few on some, preferably most, of the days you run. Another excellent option to improve hip strength and flexibility is the Myrtl routine as demonstrated below: