How to Stretch Before a 5K Run

How to Stretch Before a 5K Run
Recreational road races are a fun way to stay in shape and meet new friends. The 5-kilometer distance is one of the most popular. It is short, fast and therefore intense. Be sure you are properly warmed up before the starting gun goes off to prevent injuries and ensure a great race.


Difficulty: Easy

Warm Up, Wake Up and Run

Step 1
Before you stretch, it's important you warm up your entire body. Racing a 5K is demanding. Do a brisk half-mile or so jog to get the blood flowing and all of your muscles warm and ready.
Step 2
After your jog, swing your arms a bit to loosen your shoulders. You might be tense, nervous and/or excited to be on your way. Loosen up your upper body and decrease tension.
Step 3
A few bounding and large skipping exercises (plyometrics) would help to awaken your sprinting fibers and get the blood flowing more.
Step 4
Start stretching your legs with the classic hurdlers stretch. Put your heel on a hip or a slightly lower than your hip surface (such as a fence, gate or table) and gently stretch forward over your extended leg. Do not force anything. Just feel a pleasant stretch down the back of your leg and your back. Repeat on the other side.
Step 5
Sit on the ground and put your feet out to the side, forming a V with your legs. Stretch gently from side to side to further loosen your legs and torso.
Step 6
Stand up and do a classic calf stretch. Be very gentle. Face a wall or other solid object and lean against it. Place one leg behind you and stretch your heel toward the ground. Repeat on the other side.
Step 7
Be sure to keep moving until the starting gun. Run in place or in little circles if you have to. Being properly warmed up is key to a great 5K.

Tips & Warnings

Being warmed up for your race helps you to be less nervous and will decrease the likelihood of injury.
Do not force any stretch. Gentle is best. Only stretch within your comfort zone

Article Written By Tanya Wyr

Tanya Wyr has 12 years experience as a professional writer and editor both in print and online. She has written for major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Macy’s and Mervyns. Wyr has also edited college-level textbooks. Wyr earned a B.A. in political science from the University of Minnesota in 1991.

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