Training from the mile to the marathon.
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  • Nice Calves

    Posted on December 21st, 2011 CoachNoah No comments

    Nice Calves

    Nice Calves

    Flexing your calf muscles looks nice, but tight calves can cause a lot of problems for runners.

    Injuries such as Planter Fasciitis, Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (shin splints), Achilles Tendonitis, Morton’s Neuroma, and Iliotibial Band Syndrome are all linked to tight calves.

    Much like other areas of your body, there are a lot of stretches that can be used to loosen up your calves.  Don’t be afraid to try a few different stretches to find out what works best for you and what fits into your routine.

    Last week at our Couch to 5K group workout I added a second calf stretch to our post workout routine.

    calf-stretch2

    Push Up Calf Stretch

    • Get into a push-up position
    • Put one foot on top of the other and put pressure on the bottom foot
    • You will feel the stretch in the back of your lower leg
    • Hold the stretch for about 20 ~ 30 seconds then switch to the other foot

    As always, there should never be any bouncing while you stretch.

    calf-stretching

    Cute Calf

    It might not be as cute as a calf stretching, but adding this stretch to your routine may help reduce the chances of a running injury.

    Coach Noah

  • Kiss My Glute, Just Don’t Pull It!

    Posted on December 12th, 2011 CoachNoah No comments

    That soreness in your backside may not be your boss.  It could be that your gluteus maximus and gluteus medius are just tight (oh the jokes just keep coming)…pain-in-the-glute

    One of the places you may feel tightness and a loss of flexibility after you run is in your glutes.   This may lead to back pain and stiffness, especially when you get up from your office chair or first thing in the morning as you get out of bed.

    There are a lot of benefits to stretching each day and having an after run stretching routine.

    • Increased mobility
    • Reduced stiffness
    • Reduced injuries

    I shared a few simple stretches last week with our Couch to 5K group and added one more to the routine:

    Sitting Glute Stretchglute-stretch

    Sit on the ground with both legs stretched out.  Cross your left leg over your right leg while raising your left knee to your chest.  Gently pull your knee closer to your chest.  You will feel the stretch in your glutes at this point.  You can also slightly rotate your upper body (while holding your knee) to the right for a deeper stretch.  Hold for 15-20 seconds and switch legs.

    As always, there should never be any bouncing while you stretch.

    Add this to your routine and tell stiffness and injuries to kiss your gluteus maximus (and medius)!

    Coach Noah

  • Simple but Important Stretches

    Posted on December 5th, 2011 CoachNoah 1 comment

    stretchingweb

    Every time I go to a race I see people doing static stretches right before the start. Most of them are bending over and bouncing up and down as they try to stretch out the morning tightness they feel. Although many of us were taught in gym class that this was the right thing to do, its not the best way or time to stretch.

    Coach Greg did a great job of showing our Coach to 5K group how to warm up muscles with Dynamic warm ups last week. The important thing is to warm up muscles with movement and to stretch warmed up muscles for flexibility.

    Flexibility is key to limiting injuries. The more flexible you are the less tight you are, the less tight you are the less likely you are to have an injury.

    After a nice warm up or after a run its a perfect time to work on flexibility. I showed our group these basic stretches to get them into the habit of stretching after each workout:

    • Standing Hamstring Stretch: Bend forward keeping the head up and reach toward your toes. Straighten the legs and hold this position for 10-15 seconds (no bouncing)
    • Standing Hamstring Stretch (crossed legs): This is just a modified standing hamstring stretch with crossed legs. Alternate each leg 10-15 seconds (no bouncing). You may not be able to reach your toes, but ultimately this is your goal.
    • Standing Hip and Lower Back Stretch: Spread your legs shoulder width apart. Gently, reach down to the middle. This is a relaxed position and your weight should do the stretching for you (10-15 seconds). Move to the right (hold); then back to the middle; then to the left (hold); and back to the middle. Gently go back up (no bouncing).
    • Standing Calf Stretch: One of the most important muscles to keep flexible (in regards to injury prevention) is the calf muscle. There are several variations of this stretch. Extend one leg in front of the other. Bend your front leg while keeping the back leg straight. Place your hands on your front bent leg and lower your body until you feel the stretch in your back calf muscle (10-15 seconds – no bouncing).

    Nothing too complicated here. I believe in simple, relaxed and enjoyable stretching. Next week we will do a few more on the ground!

    It’s not too late to join our Couch to 5K program. Contact Coach Greg Shore or Coach Noah Moore and we’ll get you started.