When training for a marathon or half marathon my body became incredibly efficient – at running. I could rock the miles like nobody’s business but found I was incredibly stiff and tight. My body was so accustomed to moving in one direction (as in a speedy forward motion!) that it resisted moving in any other direction. My muscles were tight and inflexible.
With this history, I was intrigued to read the claim “Give us three weeks and we’ll take your running to a new level,” by Jim and Phil Wharton in a Runners World article.
The Whartons, musculoskeletal therapists, claim that simply adding Range of Motion Exercises (ROME) to your running routine will not only improve running performance and increase flexibility, but will also lessen the chance of injury and speed recovery.
Would adding a few minutes of flexibility training to my daily running routine have made me a better age group runner or increased my chance to bust through a personal best? Maybe so.
“…by increasing flexibility, runners can enhance their performance without increasing their mileage or spending more time on the track.” Jim and Phil Wharton
The Whartons provide diagrams and instructions for 15 simple exercises that can be done both before and after a run. Each movement has an image showing a range of motion progression from tight, to normal to that of an elite athlete. It is recommended to test your flexibility at the start of the program, and again after 21 days to compare results.
Read the full article here for all the details and a simple 15 minute flexibility workout: Flexibility: Loosen Up.
I absolutely have to make stretching and flexibility a priority for my “mature” muscles and joints. I use PiYo at home dvd’s to make it easy. I credit PiYo with my return to running two years after knee surgery. You can read that here: PiYo, Running, Bad Knees and Arthritis
If you’re a runner or athlete, do you make the time to stretch and work on flexibility training? Do you notice a difference in your performance?