If you remember back to Part One (our previous post), we wrote about how stretching improves flexibility, and that it happens slowly over time. Static stretching is a relaxing activity that should be worked on at all times, except maybe in the warm-up before your event. Stretching will down-regulate your body, making your joints more relaxed than usual. Relaxation and the impact from running (joint impact) don't necessarily go hand in hand. You want your body to be warm, alert and activated, not loose, asleep or relaxed.
Rather than static stretches, focus on full body blood flow and keep an eye on the clock. You don't want to miss the start. Go for a little slow jog before the race begins.
Start Line Warm-up:
While you're at the start line in the massive crowd, there's little room to move, but it's important to keep moving. Here's a few ways you can warm-up on the spot.
● Ankles: Complete some ankle circles and create as much mobility in your ankle as possible. Tip toe the ground on one foot, and move your heel side-to-side, then draw a circle. Shake your ankles out.
● Calves: Give your calf muscles a vigorous self-massage.
● Hamstrings: Gently reach for your toes (with knees slightly bent) and rise back up, repeat.
● Heart Rate: Do little gentle jumps or alternate side to side hops.
● Relax Upper Body: Swing your arms, roll your shoulders, stretch your neck muscles, front, back and each side.
● Mobility & Activation: Don't be afraid to move those hips side-to-side or some lateral leg swings to activate your rotational muscles before the gun goes off.