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Calf Stretch

May 08, 2010

Runners need loose calves!  A tight calf will cause the hamstring to tigheten...and a

tight hamstring will cause glutes and hip rotators to overextend and tighten....That's why

stretching the whole chain of muscles is so important.



Leg Swings

May 07, 2010

This can be fun exercise, but don't just swing your leg with abandon.  Make each swing

a deliberate motion and think about the muscles that you are activating.  You'll

strengthen your abdominals and stretch your hamstrings, pelvis, and hips in the

process.



Foam Roller

May 06, 2010

Using the foam roller might hurt a little at first, but keep at it!  Over time, you will see

what a difference this "self massage" technique can make.  Foam rollers are a runner's

best friends!



Distance runners need strong calves and feet in order to reach the finish line of a

marathon or half marathon.  This drill will help activate all the tiny muscles in the feet

and challenge your calves. 



Like the previous drill, heel walking targets the muscles of the lower leg, ankle, and

foot.  More of the emphasis, however, is on the shin.  This drill plays an important role

in the prevention of shin splints (one of the most common complaints of distance

runners).



You might think that marathoners don't need high knee lift, but they do!  This drill will

help strengthen your hip flexors, improve your flexibility, and lengthen your stride.




With every step you take on a run, you want your foot to strike off the ground with as

much power as possible.  This drill will prepare your body to do that. 



As high as you can get, as quick as you can get, as high as you can get, as quick as

you can get....keep repeating that to yourself as you do this drill.  That increased

turnover and increased knee drive will soon carry over to your running form.



Butt kicks are a great way to stretch the quadriceps (the muscle in the front of the

thigh).  The quads are important for lifting your knees and increasing your speed.

Quads are often the first thing to go at the end of marathons, causing runners to come

shuffling across the finish line because they have a hard time lifting their feet off the

ground.  This drill will keep that muscle flexible and ready for action




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