I get it, you LOOOOVVVVVE running. If you could marry it, you would. You love the feeling of cruising along a well-known route and feeling light and free. You love how your breath sounds and your heart thumps in your chest. You relish looking at your mileage grow online, and the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the week for nailing those miles.
Honestly, I get it. And that’s why I’m writing this. Because I know way too many runners that love running so much they choose running over self-care every time.
I know way too many runners that get done with that morning run, do a few “quad pull and hamstring stretches” then head into the shower, then work, and then sit for the next 6-8 hours. I know way too many runners that pay no heed to any sort of mobility/recovery routine and after months and years of hammering away end up broken.
I want to help keep you from being broken. I want to keep you out there, enjoying those runs and those accomplishments. But it takes faith and patience on your end. Faith that the time you set aside to do some mobility work is worthwhile, and patience to see the results.
If you’re tired of getting out of bed in the morning knowing your heels and Achilles are going to be tender when you stand up, read on. If you’re tired of hobbling through the first mile or two of your run until you “warm up” read on.
If you’re not tired of or haven’t experienced these things, then please feel free to go enjoy a run. But if (and when) you do become tired of those niggles, nags, tweaks, and pains – I’ve got ways to help you.
Please continue reading and find some mobility pieces that work for you. But please visit our Rules of The Road to get a deeper understanding of how to best implement them into your training routine.
Immediately after a Run
Seriously, as soooooon as you get done, not two days later when you’re feeling tight and uncomfortable. Immediately after your run spend the time that your STRAVA is syncing with the cloud and you are sipping on a beverage to do these Mobs!
Pro Tip: Throw a towel in the car so you have something to sit on and use as a padding for your knee. We don’t want any excuses, do we?
- Achilles Stretch – You can skip to minute 6:00 to see the Achilles Stretch, but there’s some good info beforehand. I use my Subaru’s wheel rim for this all the time.
- Prying 90/90
- You can substitute the 90/90 with this Elevated Pigeon mob, you can use a tailgate, picnic table, etc. In fact, we like both of these some much that we make sure to rotate between the two often.
- Couch Stretch – if you don’t have a couch or suitable wall nearby you can use THIS (minute 1:25) modification.
- Another great hip opener – Hip Extension w/ rotation but you’ll need a resistance band
The premise is we are working from the bottom up. Play with the different mobs even if you’re not feeling any twinges or aches in that area. If it’s tender then you need to work it, if it’s not a quick run through will help prevent any aches from arising.
We have created a shopping list on Amazon, these are our go-to tools for self-care. Full disclosure, we are part of the Amazon Affiliate program, shopping through the links does not increase your cost, but it does help support us.
Create a habit of AT LEAST 10 minutes a day. This can be while watching a show on NETFLIX or listening to your child talk about their school day. Yes, when you start ALL of this will take a little longer, reviewing the videos, figuring out what works best, understanding how to make the most of your time, etc. YES, it will take a little time investment up front. But I promise you, that time will pay dividends when you can keep training while your friend is nursing a tweak in her knee that just doesn’t seem to go away.
- Foot Roll, Do it – its a beautiful little massage for those beat up hooves.
- Ankle mash – Don’t let the name scare you. We’re just getting some nice blood flow to those Achilles tendons.
- Achilles / Gastroc Roll – Not the best example but shows you what calf tissue mash should look like.
- Gastroc / Hamstring – This is a twofer. Open up your gastrocs and hamstrings at the same time!
- Shin Splints – Preventive and rehabilitative maintenance for the dreaded SS.
- Quad Roll – Even if we are using great POSE form, are quadriceps take a beating when we run. Thank them for the work they put in by taking care of them.
- IT Band – aka that thing that’s causes all those issues like twinges in the hips and “runners knee”. Do something about it, show it that you are in love with its awesomeness by taking care of it, BEFORE it starts to revolt.
- Hamstring Floss – Keep your hammies happy, and all you’ve got to do is sit for a bit (sorta).
- Butt Massage – I believe this is the video with the Butt Massage, but even if it’s not there’s some great hip opening work in the video.
- Low Back – Yes, your lower back needs some love and caring too. Plus it just feels good and is pretty simple to execute.
- PSOAS Flossing – There is nothing “fun” about this one. But it is OH SO IMPORTANT. Set a timer, do the work. Our PSOAS take a beating from all that running and desk jockeying we do. Love them by taking care of them.
- Belly Ball – It’s simple and effective. If this is excruciating then you should do it more often.
Short on time, can’t get all the above in? No worries, learn and perform the following and you’ll be well ahead of the curve.
- The Couch Series is perfect for a Runner to practice when they have little time and nothing but a chair or couch to get some mobility work in.
- The Runners Trifecta – practically the Couch Series but presented in a little different light.
Is this an exhaustive list of mobility work you should and could be doing as a runner. Absolute not. We didn’t touch on your shoulders or thoracic, we didn’t talk about abductors, adductors, or any such thing.
What we have given you the most straightforward, most often suggested mobility pieces we give our private training athletes. Please use it, ask questions, give feedback. We are always growing and evolving as athletes and coaches – and interacting with you makes that so much more enjoyable.
Train Smart :: Live Simply :: Dream Big