By Ganteng Boy
2016 has shaped up to be a busy year for me: I have a sprint triathalon coming up in July, a half marathon coming up in December, and potentially a marathon relay in September. Ok, I get it dude, you like to run.
Ironically, I have not always been a runner. I have been an avid cigarette smoker all throughout my undergraduate years in college. It has been 7 years since I decided to stop smoking. Initially, running my first 5k felt great. Then it was a bigger accomplishment for me to finish my first marathon. And so forth and so on. I ran to say that I did it.
But this year is going to be different. I know that I can run long distances, but can I run faster? I get it, not everyone has time to run 14 miles on any given day. It takes about 1.5-2 hours for me to do that (which is super slow by some people’s standards). And then there is the nagging obligations of everyday young adult life – work, visiting with friends, running errands, more work, rinse and repeat. And so the question becomes a bit more complex, now that we have those variables acting against us.
My hypothesis is that there is a way to increase my running efficiency by running less and stretching more.
I call this stretch: The Running Man Static Stretch (see GIF below).
Step 1. Start by positioning your body at a near 45° angle to a sturdy wall. Push up against the wall using your hands, and make sure that your forearms are nearly parallel with the floor. Pretend that you are using all your might to push the wall. You will be on your toes throughout this excercise. Make sure that your back is straight, and not arched. Flex those abs (yes, everyone has abs.. some abs are more shy than others)
Step 2. Bring your right foot towards the wall. You want to imagine that there is an invisible string between your knees and your forearms. Bring your right knee up, towards your forearms. During this entire stretch, remember to maintain a straight back and abs flexed. Hold this pose for about 1 second.
Step 3. Slowly bring your raised foot down to the starting position from Step 1. Repeat Step 2 with the opposite foot.
After my runs, this simple stretch has helped me improve my running posture. I am not a physical therapist, nor do I claim to be an expert in this field; however, I am testing my hypothesis to see if this simple Running Man Static Stretch can help improve my running speed and efficiency, for the long run.
Did you find this helpful? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.