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Your Body Isn’t Invincible! The Importance of Pre-Run Stretching 

Speaking from my own experience, there are many evenings when I get home from work and all I want to do is throw on my running shoes and hit the pavement. Whether I’ve had a good day or a bad day- sometimes I just need to disconnect from everything going on around me and find my inner peace on the road – and I don’t want to waste any time getting to that point!

I am working on fighting this urge and taking the time to go through all of my pre-run routines. As each season passes, I get a little older and my body becomes less immune to the physical strains a run can bring. 

Stretching and warming up the right muscles before a run is critical. I subscribe to the quote “You wouldn’t start your car in sub-freezing temperatures, rev it up to 70 mph and expect it to hold up and perform well” If you start a run without a proper warm up – that’s almost exactly what you’re doing.

I wish I would’ve taken this advice seriously when I was running marathons! 

In my later years of college and first few years of being in the workforce, I trained all winter long in preparation for the Pittsburgh Marathon. It was a fun and exciting time, I look back at those days fondly and have no regrets…except for thinking my body was invincible. 

I would often go on 10-15 miles runs and completely neglect any sort of pre-run stretches or exercises. Why did I need to? My body never hurt, I never had any lingering issues. Well, fast forward a few years and I’m paying for it now! Although my back ailments are minor, my chiropractor has told me that if I’d taken pre-run stretching more seriously over the years, I probably wouldn’t have to see him once a month. 

So just because you haven’t had any running related injury yet – doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen in the future. My advice? Do your hip flexor stretches, your lateral squats, and your side-bend lunges. Take all the necessary steps before your run to ensure that your body can handle a run today and years into the future!

-Mark Wagner

About the author: Mark is the Operations Manager of the 2 AppRunCo stores in the Pittsburgh area. Mark loves running through the city and taking in all the cool views Pittsburgh offers.  If Mark isn’t in a shoe store, you can find him at all the local disc golf courses throwing around a frisbee.