Stretching and Core Work for Runners

After a bit of excitement with my ankles, I made a few corrections and additions to running. Most notably, I stopped wearing shoes for my cross training workouts.  I'm opting for the Vibram Five Fingers instead.  I'm wearing them a lot now so I'm sure I'll have a follow up post soon.

Stretch! Step two was to be more intentional about stretching.  I tried a few different things.  I looked up some yoga videos online, and some other things.  The yoga videos just weren't quite right for what I wanted.  Then I started sifting through the eight billion 'stretches for runners' videos on You Tube.  There's really a lot of bad videos out there.  I prefer the videos where the leader does the stretching workout for me to follow, times the stretches for me, tells me when to move on.  I've found two videos that I really like.  The first video I've been doing almost every day for a couple weeks and it's really made a big difference in the way my body feels.  The second video I just found while looking for more variety but I find it helpful as well.

Core! Step three will be to add more core workouts.  I went back to Pilates the other day at the gym and found it a useful refresher.  I'm not sure I can make Pilates fit in my regular schedule so I started looking for some core workout videos.  I'm having a harder time finding runner specific videos of any quality.  The runner specific videos tend to teach the proper form but not do the workout with me.  Which means I have to write down the workout and look back for reference.

The runner specific workouts I found are Premier Coaching Runner's Core Routine.  It's a really great explanation of the exercises, but the whole workout is a bit longer than I was looking for.  It takes about 15 minutes to get through it all at the recommended times for holding planks.  I was looking for something shorter I can do at the end of a run.  The second one is The Standard Core Routine which looks interesting, and the right amount of time to take after a run.  I haven't tried it yet.

The rest of the videos I found were more general ab workouts but still quite helpful.  Tip: Google "8 Minute" and then look at all the video hits that come back.  There's some great workout stuff in there for pretty much every muscle system, or whole body or stretching.  This last video is just creepy.
 Eight Minute Abs.
Eight Minute Abs - Core Series
5 Minute Standing Ab Workout
Eight Minutes Abs - Level 2.  Animation should never be used like this again.

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