Your Cart is Empty

  • Jun
  • 6
  • 2018

Static Stretching for the Long Run

Static Stretching for the Long Run

We’re continuing our series on recovery this week and often recovery can be one of the hardest parts of our training. It’s a vital part to the process, however – without adequate recovery our body will not reap the benefits from our workouts and we put ourselves at higher risk for injury.

Last month we focused on foam rolling. Foam rolling is great for loosening up tight muscles and improving mobility, and if you have to choose between foam rolling and stretching in a time crunch, I always advise my runners to foam roll. If you’re able to do both after running, though, that’s ideal. But sometimes you don’t have a foam roller handy, or you’re out and about and not about to plop down on the ground with your foam roller. This is where stretching comes in handy.

Static stretching (holding a stretch) is best done after running or a workout. The benefits of stretching include increased flexibility (range of motion around a joint) and reduced muscle soreness the day after, as well as cooling down your body and mind after a hard workout. Each stretch should be held for at least 30-40 seconds for best results.

Below are some pictures to help you get started.

Glutes/IT Band – Figure 4

Push your toes toward your knee for a deeper stretch. This one can also be done lying on your back.


Quads – Standing

Knee should be directly under the hip.


Hamstrings – Standing



In the first picture, the calf is being stretched on the side with the foot up on the wall. In the second picture, the back calf is being stretched – bending the knee slightly will get deeper into the soleus (one of the two muscles that make up the calf). Because the calf is a muscle that is tight for many runners, I recommend doing all three.

One additional “stretch” that can help with recovery is legs up the wall. I recommend doing it after longer runs to refresh the blood in your legs, as well as stretch out the backs of your legs a bit. Simply find a wall and put your legs straight up it, with your glutes as close to the wall as possible.

Just like with foam rolling, it’s important to stretch all parts of the leg equally. Incorporating stretching into your daily routine will eventually lead to greater flexibility, which can help lead to less injuries. Happy stretching!


Tammy Whyte is the owner and head coach at TW Training and Wellness and is both a certified personal trainer (NASM) and certified running coach (RRCA). Summer Marathon and Half Marathon Training Programs are open for registration, and they include monthly workshops on topics such as recovery and injury prevention. Programs are open to all levels of runners and start in June. Check out more information and her training programs at  www.twtrainingwellness.com. Feel free to reach out with questions at [email protected]

Share This

Pacers Re-emergence Plans

Pacers News || May 27, 2020 || Posted by: K Dalby

“You know our story is kind of like The Very Hungry Caterpillar; when we are ready, we’ll emerge from this cocoon a butterfly.” Michael Prather, Pacers Alexandria You may be wondering what a story about a famished caterpillar has to do with a small business like Pacers Running. We’ve been asked about our re-open plans […]

Learn More »

One Weekend, Two Events, Three Medals

Pacers News || February 19, 2019 || Posted by: Ryan Callahan

  Dear Pacers, Why do I want to race two days, back to back, in March? Your Friend, #ForEveryRunner Great question, #ForEveryRunner! Let’s take a look at what St. Patrick’s Day weekend looks like bit by bit. Day 1: Four Courts Four Miler in Arlington On Saturday morning March 16  at 9:00am the Four Courts […]

Learn More »

Snow Hours

Pacers News || January 13, 2019 || Posted by: K Dalby

January 13, 2019 Due to snow conditions we have adjusted our operating schedule: Pacers Alexandria: open 12-5pm Pacers 14th Street: open 11am-5pm Pacers Navy Yard, Pacers Fairfax, and Pacers Clarendon are closed today. Hours for Pacers Alexandria (703-248-6883) and Pacers 14th Street (202-506-2029) may modify based on conditions.   Thanks and enjoy the snow!

Learn More »