Limber up before a run with our simple routine. It’ll help to boost your performance and to keep you injury free.
SUMMER’S in the air and the longer evenings and higher temperatures are an open invitation to lace up, get outside, and get running.
“At this time of year, novice runners enthusiastically sign up to charity races and fun runs.
"They then take to the road with out proper stretching and end up back on the couch with an injury,” says Ray O’Connor from Run Ireland.
Ray is helping self-confessed beginner runner Lottie Ryan to get race day ready for the Breast Cancer Ireland Great Pink Run 2016 with Avonmore Slimline Milk on Saturday, August 27 at the Phoenix Park, Dublin.
Here, Lottie goes through the pre-running stretching routine Ray has devised for her to follow throughout her training.
* You can register for the Breast Cancer Ireland Great Pink Run 2016 with Avonmore Slimline Milk at www.breastcancerireland.com/event/great-pink- run or directly at www.greatpinkrun.ie
WHY? The piriformis (one of the glueal muscles) is engaged with every step you take when running, and is essential for keeping the hamstrings and hips happy.
* Stand straight with feet shoulder-width apart.
* Raise your knee in front of you, use your hands to hold it at hip height.
* Slowly swing your knee across your body.
* Hold for 10 seconds and repeat with other knee.
Tip: To help you maintain your balance, you can lean against a wall or tree.
WHY? The groin area is also vital for a runner as the legs are connected to the hips through the groin. This stretch will help to avoid groin strain.
* Stand with a wide stance while knees are straight.
* Bend one knee and lean on that side.
* Feel the groin being stretched as you hold it for 20 – 30 seconds.
* Repeat on your other side.
WHY? To increase your running back kick and lengthen your stride by stetching your quads.
* Bend your right knee and grab your right foot or ankle from the outside.
* Pull your foot in towards your right buttock and hold it there for a count of 10.
* Keep your torso upright and your head and shoulders aligned over your hips.
* Repeat 3 to 5 times then switch sides.
WHY? To loosen the main muscle groups — quads and hip flexors — used when running.
* Stand with your feet together and step forward with your right foot.
* Bend the right knee to 90 degrees and the back knee until it almost touches the ground.
* Hold for a few seconds and then straighten the back leg to feel a stretch at the front of your left thigh.
* Stand up, take a big step forward with your left knee and repeat for 10 lunges.
TIP: Keep your back straight.
WHY? Beginner runners often experience stitches, this move stretches the torso to help prevent them.
* Bring your arms up over your head and tighten your abdominal muscles.
* Lean to the right and then to the left, bending at the waist. Do this movement dynamically holding for one or two breaths on each side.
TIP: To avoid getting a stitch when running, breathe deeply through your mouth, and try and to get into a rhythm
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