Static stretches like these are a good way to improve flexibility. Do them after your workout, when your muscles are warm and supple.
At the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST) in Greenville, South Carolina, US, 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 keep running 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 exercises are critical for staying healthy as you become fitter and faster.
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This workout was adapted from Runner’s World Train Smart, Run Forever: How to Become a Fit and Healthy Lifelong Runner by Following the Innovative 7-Hour Workout Week, by the Experts at FIRST, Bill Pierce and Scott Murr (Rodale).
Kneel on your right knee, with your left foot in front of your body. Lean forward from the hips. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Hamstring Stretch with Rope
Loop a strap around your right foot. Gently pull your leg toward the ceiling until you feel a light stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Lie on your back. Bend your right leg and place the ankle in front of your left knee. Pull your left thigh toward your torso. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.