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Stretching after your 5k training workout is a great way to cool your body down and transition yourself back to normal. Since runners tend to get tight hamstrings and piriformis muscles, make sure your post-run cooldown especially includes stretches for these two muscle groups.
Post-Run Stretching Plan:
Directions: Hold each stretch for up to 30 seconds.
Lying Hamstrings: Lie on your back and extend one leg up to the ceiling. Grab it with both hands and pull it towards you. Hold the stretch once you find the spot where it feels uncomfortable but not painful. If you’re extra tight and aren’t able to reach your leg with your hands, wrap a towel around your leg and use your hands to pull your leg as close as you can. Repeat on the other leg.
Lying Piriformis: Lie on your back with feet flat on the ground and knees bent. Cross your left ankle over your right quad. Use your left hand to press your left knee away from you to deepen the stretch. Hold and then repeat on the other side.
Lying Spinal Twists: Lie on your back with feet flat on the ground and knees bent. Drop both knees to the left. Use your left hand to press your knees down farther so the stretch deepens. Right arm remains along floor straight out to right side.
Side-lying Quads: Lie on your left side. Bend your right knee so that your right foot comes as close to your glutes as possible, keeping your knees together. Grab your ankle or foot with your right hand and hold the stretch. Repeat on the other side.
Standing Calf Stretch: Stand in a forward lunge. Press your back heel down into the ground. Hold and then repeat on the other side. You can use a counter or a wall to brace your arms against to help deepen the stretch on the calf.