MISTAKE: Stretching Too Deeply During A Warm-up
You know how crucial it is to stretch. But you also need to know not to take it too far. Instead, save moves like deep lunges, butterfly holds, and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls for a post-run release. If you’re running a long distance, like a half marathon, deep stretching during a warm-up could do more harm than good, says Keith Jeffers, D.C., C.C.S.P. For example, having someone push you forward for a deeper stretch fires off spindle cells and golgi tendon organs, which can make your muscles feel sluggish—meaning it’s tougher to get moving.
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FIX: Walking It Out
Warm up with a 3-5 minute gentle walk followed by a 5-minute run-walk, says Jeff Galloway, an Olympian who has coached over 1 million runners to their goals. If your usual run:walk ratio is a 3:1—where you run 3 minutes and walk 1—use the first 5 minutes of warm-up as a chance to slow things down to a 1:1 ratio. Then, gradually ease into running slowly for another 5 minutes before picking up the pace and moving into your goal for the day.