Fighting tight muscles

  • It seems like my muscles have always been tight. I used to blame cycling, and now I blame running, but what I should really be blaming is myself for not stretching enough.

I go through phases (usually because things seem particularly bad) where I stretch as much as I should. That phase is often short-lived, and within a few days I’m stretching half as much. It’s easy to find excuses – in my case, it’s not having time. I always feel under enough pressure with other things I need to do, or places I need to be, and the tightness that caused me to start stretching has eased enough to have that time taken up with just the run part of the routine (an extra mile or two instead of stretching – sure, I need the miles, why not?).

I have to find a way to break this cycle, and while I feel I got close this time around, I’m starting to slip back into those bad habits. Perhaps the London Marathon will force me back into that stretching routine. I need to make sure I’m at least in a reasonable state to run the Newport 10k three weeks later. Fingers crossed.

How do you manage your stretching routine? Do you have any methods that work to make sure you get the correct level of stretch (before and after the run)?

Here are examples of stretches I try to incorporate.

Stretching prior to a run:

Dynamic stretches

 

After a run – static stretch 

A variety of stretches ensuring a focus on the: hamstring, calf, quad, IT band.

Sometimes I will include a plank.

 

 

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