The Best Stretches To Prepare For Your Half-Marathon

Here are 6 simple stretches you can do at home in the lead up to the Windsor Half Marathon

Don’t wait until after race day to do your long-run stretches. There are lots of simple, effective stretches you can start doing this week at home to help your body get ready for the Windsor Half Marathon. Here are 6 of our favourites. (Yes, we honestly do them!)

 

When To Stretch

In the morning after your shower or dog walk

When you get home from work

After your longer runs

After your post-run or evening shower

 

Quad Stretch (front of thighs)

Lay on your front with your forehead on the floor (resting your forehead on one hand if you prefer). Bonus: lying down to stretch helps lower your heart rate and blood pressure, ideal for post-run stretching. Reach around behind you to hold your left foot with your left hand. Press your pelvis and hips down into the floor to increase the stretch in the front of your thighs. Keep your forehead down. Do this on the other side too (right hand, right foot).

Level up: reach round with both hands to take hold of both feet at the same time.

 

Glute Stretch (bum muscles)

Lie on your back with feet flat on the floor, knees bent. Lift your right foot up and place the right ankle over the left thigh just above the knee. Then lift the left foot off the floor and use your hands to bring the left knee in towards the chest. You should feel the stretch on the outside of the right hip. Do this on the other side too.

 

Hamstring stretch (back of legs)

Sit on the floor with your legs out straight. Try to sit on your “sitting bones” (you might need to manually move your bum cheeks a bit!) Fold your upper body forward, bending at the hips rather than slumping over with a hunched back. Once you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, let your head hang down.

 

Hip flexors (front of hips)

Get into a lunge position with your right knee on the floor behind you. Lift the right arm up to the ceiling and push your bum forwards to feel a stretch in the front of your right hip. Lean over a bit to the left side to deepen the stretch. Repeat on the other side.

 

Calf stretch

Stand on the bottom step of your stairs, or use a solid surface about 6 inches high. Stand on one leg (hold on to something with both hands either side of you – this is a stretch not a balancing challenge!) Allow the heel of your standing leg to move below the level of the step. Don’t bounce or pulse, just let the stretch work into your calf and Achilles. Swap to the other leg.

 

Pigeon stretch (his and back)

This is one we love to hate! Start on all fours with hands shoulder distance apart. Bring the left knee forward to just behind the left wrist. Your left heel should be pointing tornados your right hipbone. Stretch the other leg out behind you in a straight line so you are rolled on to the top of that thigh. Now bring both hands back towards your hips with your chest up. You should feel the stretch through the hips.

Alternative: stretch both hands out in front of you, lower your chest the floor, and relax.

Don’t forget to do the other side!