Friday, April 17, 2009

Running stretches and weight lifting exercises for runners

The running shoes are back on!!!

I am ecstatic to report that my Physical Therapist let me run for 2.5 miles yesterday.

I noticed that, after a week of non-weight bearing exercise, my ankles became sore during the beginning of the run. As I warmed up going into the second mile, everything calmed down and the wonderful rush of endorphins washed over me. I ran for fifteen blissful minutes with a giddy smile on my face.

I'd like to share 5 stretches and 6 strength exercises I use as part of my 10K (now ramped back to beginner 5K) training running workout. I have kept on stretching regularly in the past week, even though I haven't been able to run.

Debbie Pitchford is a physical therapist for Novacare and works at Medical Group Outpatient Rehabilitation in Michigan City, Indiana. She recommends the Quadriceps Stretch, Hamstring Stretch, Piriformis Stretch, Gastroc Stretch and the Soleus Stretch for runners.

The website has tips and photos of each stretch:

I do the stretches after each of my runs. I especially like the Piriformis muscle stretch because I can rotate my ankle and stretch my shins at the same time as I perform the piriformis stretch.

Cathy Vasto, a personal trainer with The Lodge & Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida recommends six strength exercises for runners, including the bench press, the row, the overhead pull, the curl, the crunch and the lunge.

Photos and advice on performing these strength exercises are here:

I like the arm exercises, which I perform as a part of my Firm workout at home. Vasto recommends lifting weights two or three times a week, after you run, not before.

What are your favorite stretches after running?

Related Article:
How to reduce injury on long runs and How to use a stability ball in workouts

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