OK Hawks, time to begin planning for long-term excellence. That means thinking about different aspects of our training. Today I’ll write a little something about flexibility.
Range of motion is a crucial part of elastic force generation in track and field events. Consistency is key to improving flexibility. A daily commitment to improving flexibility and range of motion pays long-term dividends. Check out this short video for a great discussion of why flexibility is critical for runners:
The great news is that, for distance runners, it doesn’t have to be a huge commitment. But doing a little every day will truly make a big difference, so here are some tips to think about this summer and moving into XC season.
First, dynamic stretching (while moving) is more effective than static stretching (standing still). This is why we do drills before practice during the season. So a good way to incorporate stretching over the summer is to remember to do your drills before your easy runs each week.
Second, we aren’t aiming for gymnastic-type flexibility. Many world-class runners cannot touch their toes – and that’s ok. Key areas of flexibility for distance runners include your calves, quads (thighs), and most importantly your hip flexors. Range of motion is important, so be sure to stretch all around, but if you don’t have a lot of time then focus on these areas. This video identifies a number of great stretches to learn and implement when you can.
Finally, for overall health and mobility, there really is nothing better than a little yoga to get you going. Honestly, I have found Yoga with Adriene to work best for me and our family (you can search for her free videos on YouTube or check out the links below). She has some great, short yoga videos as well as longer ones for those who want to go further, she is very accessible and chill, and she doesn’t charge for any of her videos. Here are a few links to her running-specific yoga videos:
I am sure there are many other great yogis out there, I am just giving you one place to start if you don’t already have a favorite.
So that’s about it for now, check in regularly for more focused posts from the coaches. And, as always, fly high Hawks!
Delta Hawks Coaches