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Back Opening Stretches

My return to running has been going much better than I could have expected 1 month ago. In addition to my strength training, there is one thing that I think is really helping me… back stretches. Going into my race in February, my left side felt congested and like it wouldn’t move right. It amazes me how much more freely it moves now. These are the three stretches I do morning, afternoon, and night – every single day.

1) Downward Dog

2) Bow Pose

3) Upward Bow Pose (although I do not look nearly as flexible as this guy)

Sometimes I think to myself I don’t have time to these poses. I should just go run. Then I remember my suffering at the beginning of the year. I make time. And that includes waking up at 4:45 am, doing yoga before lunch, and always stretching before bed. For my body and for my weaknesses, I know these three stretches are greatly helping my running form. And my running couldn’t be happier. 🙂

Happy Trails & Happy Running,


Running Update: Ran to the gym, followed by leg weights & abs, and then ran home. I was super impressed at how easy this run felt. Run stats here and here.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. There’s nothing better then a back stretch!!

    April 24, 2013
    • I agree! They even help me wake up when I’m feeling sleepy during the middle of the day.

      April 24, 2013
  2. Dale #

    Hi Tracie – we don’t know each other but are mutual friends with Jenny. She linked to your blog or mentioned you running one day on FB and I wanted to add my two cents here! I recently ran my very first (and perhaps last) marathon. It was something I’d wanted to do but had been sitting in the back of my head forever…until someone mentioned a winter marathon on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, where I live. I have MS and don’t do well in the sun, so the odds of me doing any summertime marathon or even summer training for a fall marathon are pretty much out of the question. I was intrigued by the winter marathon (I’d have to be covered from head to toe during the training and again on race day – worst conditions I’ve ever exerienced – 8 degrees wind chill thanks to the 17mph head winds). I was never a runner before; the longest I could run before the actual training started (trained with Danny Dreyer and a group of fellow Chi Runners-in training) was 6 miles. I finished the marathon (took me six hours and was near to the end… but I finished!). And part of my recovery after the long weekend runs was to visit my Bikram yoga studio on Monday morning – the warm room, the still poses and the sweat – it was like a perfect massage after a long workout. I finished the marathon on a Sunday and suffered a slightly swollen ankle after being cut-off on a rocky trail, but went back to yoga the next day and was fine. Keep up the good stretches!! Perhaps I might have finished sooner had I done a “fun run” on the Mondays instead of yoga but I think my slow time was due to being a first timer and dealing with such awful conditions. Happy running!

    April 25, 2013
    • First and foremost, CONGRATULATIONS on your first marathon!! What an accomplishment in such tough conditions and under difficult circumstances. Kudos to you! I absolutely loved Bikram when I did it. It’s just like you said – the perfect massage. If there were more hours in the day I would love to do Bikram and running, but it’s hard to do both in a day. Running really is a balancing act. Yoga, strength training, stretching, eating right, etc… It’s so much more than one foot in front of the other.
      Thanks for the comment and happy running to you!

      May 6, 2013

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