Outdoor Fitness, Yoga

Short and Easy Pre-Run Yoga Sequence

Have you ever wanted to add yoga into your running routine, but you don’t feel like you have the time? Or you don’t know where to start. Well, let me help you! This is a pre-run yoga sequence that can be done standing, in your running gear, right before you take off! Yoga is extremely beneficial cross training for running and it can make a big difference even by adding small amounts into your routine. So, start here and enjoy the benefits! Here is a ten step sequence to get you started!

1. Bring awareness to breath
Step one! See you are already doing yoga! It all starts with awareness to your breath.

2. Standing Cat & Cow

Standing Cat & Cow is a great way to start moving. In Cat & Cow you move between extension and flexion of spine. This helps keep fluidity in lower and upper back, and the SI joints.

This two pose sequence can be done as many times as you feel needed. Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Bend knees slightly. Place hands on thighs just above knees.

Cow- Inhale and arch the back, gazing upward
Cat- Exhale and round the back, gazing towards stomach

3. Neck Stretches
It always feels good to loosen the neck up before a run! There are many ways to stretch the neck, the key is to take it slow and easy!

4. Shoulder and Arm Stretches
Your shoulders are likely to get a bit tense while you run. It is great to get them loosened up! Pictured here are two of my favorites. In the first pull one arm across your chest, and use the other arm outside the elbow to draw the arm close to you. Pull towards yourself until you feel a nice stretch. In the second bring your arms overhead and grab your opposite elbow, guide your hand down your back and between your shoulder blades by applying pressure to the elbow. Only go until you feel a nice stretch!

5. Standing Quad Stretch
Stand using a wall or tree, or anything for support. Using your hand gently pull your heel towards your butt. You should feel this is your quadriceps. Then repeat on the other side.

6. Standing Calf Stretch
Another part of your leg that will benefit from a good stretching! To stretch out the calf, lean forward, holding onto a wall or tree. Point your toe towards the tree and stand close. Bend the knee of your forward leg and then shift your weight forward until you feel the stretch in your calf, rock forward and backward, or hold it where it stretches, whatever feels best for you! Then switch and do the other side!

7. Wide Squat
This stretch will warm up your inner thighs and groin muscles. Begin with your feet slightly further than shoulder width apart with your toes pointing slightly outwards. Squat down until your butt in near the ground. Be careful your knees are not coming out over your toes. Use your arms to apply pressure to your legs and to help yourself to sit up straight, lengthening the back.

8. Wide Legged Forward Bend
From your wide squat, slowly bring the hands to the ground in front of you and straighten the legs without locking the knees. Rock from side to side or do anything in this forward bend that feels good on your legs! When finished, slightly bend knees to return to a stand.

9. Three Deep Sounding Breaths
I love to do this before a run! All you do is a deep inhale through the nose and then a nice loud sigh as you exhale through the mouth. Literally just letting all the negative energy out! Releasing everything and cleansing yourself for healthy go time!


10. Set Intention
Take a moment, close your eyes if you wish, and set an intention right before take off. I try to not make this a specific training goal but rather an intention about my attitude, or perhaps something to appreciate on my run!

Here are a couple examples:
– I will take time to appreciate nature today.
– I will listen to my body
– I will be grateful for the ability to push myself

After you have set this intention…..

I hope you enjoy this short and easy pre-run yoga sequence! Try it out before your next run and let me know your thoughts! Do you have favorite pre-run stretches? Please share them with me in the comments below!

Much love & Happy Miles,

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