The importance of stretching for Broad Street Run
PHILADELPHIA - April 12, 2010 (WPVI) -- The Blue Cross Broad Street Run is less than three weeks away, so now is the time to be clocking in long distance runs and then start tapering down.
Just as important is stretching.
Logan Schrader, of Philadelphia, is looking forward to running her first Broad Street Run this year.
"I'm slowly but surely building up that mileage," she said.
As a former Villanova cross country runner and now working at Philadelphia Runner, she knows it's not just about the miles. Physical therapist and atheletic trainer Justin Shaginaw says stretching is just as important.
"Because most people have muscle imbalance so tight hamstrings, tight quads, tight calves and if there is tightness in certain areas it's sort of like your car being out of alignment. So if one area is tight it stresses other areas more which usually leads to overuse injuries in runners," he said.
Shaginaw recommends for all runners, novice to experienced, doing at least these four stretches.
Starting with a quadriceps stretch. Pull your leg behind you and hold your foot to your buttocks. Before running, stretches should be held only about five seconds. After running, hold longer about 20 to 30 seconds.
Next is the calve stretch. "So the foot is down, just lean forward to stretch your calf," Shaginaw explained. And if you bend your knee, you can get a deeper stretch into the lower calf.
Thirdly, the hamstring stretch.
"You want to keep your back up tall [head and chest up] and sort of lean forward at your hips," he said.
Fourth is a stretch for what's commonly called the IT band. Cross your legs and have your back foot away from the wall. Lean your hip in while keeping your shoulders away.
"You will feel the stretch in the side of the hip. You won't feel it in the IT band because you are stretching the muscle that attaches to it up higher," Shaginaw said.
Your post -run stretching should last about five to ten minutes. It can help boost your performance and help keep you injury-free. That's Logan's goal.
"Just to be healthy and kind of happy with that I did that day," she said.
To attend a free running clinic monday, April 12th or April 27th, visit: www.phillyrehab.com
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