Staples Center downtown LA

The Two Stretches I Do After Every Run

Good morning,

How was everyone’s Monday? Does anyone out there care about hockey at all? If so, you may be impressed by the fact that Andrew and I went to the Maple Leafs game last night. Perhaps the rest of you might be impressed by the wine selection at the Staples Center? I am, every time.

Staples Center downtown LA

I actually really do enjoy going to hockey games; they’re really fast-paced, there’s a lot of action (fist fights), and the black puck on white ice is easy to follow, unlike some other sports (football) where all of the action seems to take place under a big tackle-pile and I have no idea what’s going on.

 

The Leafs sadly did not win, but we had a good time.

 

My two favorite after-run stretches

When I first started running, I made every mistake. I was over-eager and under-stretched. I’ve rolled my ankle a few times, had several bouts of plantar fasciitis, and I’ve even fallen on the sidewalk (you should really see these sidewalks). It’s taken a couple of years, but miraculously I’ve stuck with running long enough to finally develop a sustainable habit. The key to my newfound success? Stretching.

Every body is different, and different people will benefit from some stretches more than others. I, in particular, find that my feet benefit significantly from adequate post-run stretching. There are two foot stretches that I do after every single run. It’s important to note that they feel amazing.

As soon as I walk in the door after a run, I take off my shoes, roll out my yoga mat and kneel down into this position:

11315 plantar stretch

After holding for anywhere from 30 – 90 seconds, depending on the day, I’ll flatten out my feet into a standard kneel, lean back slightly and hold for another 30 – 90 seconds.

11315 feet flat

The extent to which I can hold these positions varies from day to day, but they always feel amazing after a run where my feet have been hitting the pavement repeatedly, in the same motion, for the past half hour.

I also love these stretches because they’re simple and don’t contort your body into an awkward position. Even when your feet are really tight, these stretches will still just look like your basic kneeling position. Everybody kneels!

I certainly can’t give this stretch all the credit (I now frequently foam roll after running, too), but I have been injury free for the past 6 months and counting. Knock on wood! …as I head out the door for a spin class.

Have a wonderful Tuesday and don’t forget to stretch!

Amy

[Photo credit: stretch 1, stretch 2]

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