Stretch to Success – Fitbit x Royal Parks Half

This week’s Royal Parks Half Marathon training tips are focused around one key area of preparation: stretching! For those running the Royal Parks Half Marathon, there is just two weeks to go until race day. Check out the video above for some of my most common pre-run stretching techniques.

Warm-up stretches is a vital part of good preparation when training; in particular, I would definitely recommend getting into the habit of foam-rolling any areas of tightness each night, before bed. If you don’t have a foam roller, you can get a similar effect with an empty hair-spray or deodorant can. Aside from rolling, there are a few key stretches I like to do when warming up before a run. With the exception of some static calf stretches, these focus on dynamic stretching, activating your joints and encouraging flexibility of muscles.

Pre-Run Warm-Up Routine

Alternate Leg Swings
Aim: activate your hamstrings and hip flexors
Amount: 15-20 reps each side

Knee to Chest (with calf raise)
Aim: emulate the motion of running, activate calf muscles
Amount: 15-20 reps each side

Weaving/Cross Overs
Aim: Activate hip flexors
Amount: 4x50m stretches

Lower and Upper Calf Stretch
Aim: loosen off any tightness in calf and shins
Amount: hold for 30 seconds and repeat

This weekend I am set to do my longest training run ahead of my upcoming marathon in November. It’s been nearly 8 months since I’ve run further than 20 miles so it will be really interesting to see how my body reacts to that kind of distance. With a lot of travel coming up, I’m not sure how consistent the last few weeks of training are going to be so it’s vital I get a really good base down this weekend.

Have a great week of running and be sure to check in next week for my final week of tips!