You’ve done a great job completing the run, now make sure to recover and cool-down to avoid injuries.
Immediately after your run, take a few minutes to perform these light, static stretches to help the key muscles lengthen after all the hard work they’ve been doing. Importantly, these stretches should be gentle and taken only to the point of feeling a light pull in the muscle. If there’s any painful or sharp sensation, you’re at risk of doing harm, so pull back.
1) Walk it out
Don’t stop straight after you finish your run or cross the line, walk it out for a minute or two to allow your body to calm down, control your heart rate, and start to settle your blood pressure.
2) Quadriceps stretch
The quads work hard during a run and respond very well to a light elongation afterwards. Stand upright and hold one foot to your buttock behind you. Gently push your pelvis forwards until you get a light pull through the front of the thigh. Hold each leg for 20-30 seconds.
3) Hamstring stretch
Lying on your back with one knee slightly bent, pull your straight leg up using your hands until you feel a light stretch through the back of your thigh. Again, repeat this movement for 20-30 seconds on each leg.
4) Butterfly stretch
Sitting on the ground with your feet together and knees dropped out to the side, gently let your hips open up and feel a light stretch through your adductors (inside thigh). Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.
5) Downward dog with gentle calf stretch
Ease yourself into the downward dog position and move your feet until you get a gentle stretch through both calf muscles. Hold for 20-30 seconds.