Post Race Yoga for Recovery
Lead legs. Booty lock. Zombie walk. Sound familiar?
Post-race can be, well, painful. I hear ya — the last time I ran a half marathon, I had a few beers afterward and didn’t stretch before I went to bed. The effects weren’t pretty — I was a hot mess the next day.
Just 15 minutes of yoga tailored for your running body can help reduce lingering race tension and stiffness. So, after you’ve completed your victory lap and celebration, use this short sequence to help kick start “reset” mode. This month, we’ve picked poses that address a few of the key areas we often hear runner chicks moan about post-long haul. So get in there and restore balance — your muscles will thank you tomorrow!
Spend about 10 deep breaths on each pose/movement…
All Fours Calf Stretch — For calf relief
- From all fours, straighten your right leg behind you and tuck your toes under on the floor.
- Gently rock forward and back on the ball of your foot, lengthening the entire back of your leg and stretching your calf — be sure not to lock your knee.
- Try to keep your shoulders and neck relaxed.
- Continue rocking or be still in a spot that feels like a good stretch.
Child’s Pose — To help wind down and reduce tension in your back
- From all fours, drop your hips back toward your heels.
- Your thighs can be touching to support your torso, or wide apart so that your torso to drop toward the floor.
- Keep your arms extended out in front of you or bring your hands back toward your feet.
NOTE: If your knees are really uncomfortable like this, just lie on your back and hug your knees into your chest.
Prone Windshield Wipers — To restore hip mobility and give your quads a massage
- Stack your palms to make a pillow for your forehead.
- Bring your legs about hip’s width apart.
- Bend your knees and flex your feet so that they face the ceiling.
- Drop your shins toward the right, then take them all the way toward the left.
- Continue to “windshield wiper” your shins side to side, feeling that the movement originates from your thighbones rotating in your rips so that there’s no strain on your knees.
Variation: “Criss/cross” your ankles — notice what part of the movement feels like more of a stretch and pause there for a breath (pulling the shins apart is a great stretch for those stiff outer hips).
Once you’ve hit up that trio of poses, go put your legs up the wall (just what it sounds like!) for at least 10 minutes to help recirculate the blood in your legs and reduce lower-body heaviness.
Major props to all you fasties who are throwing down this marathon month!