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a woman's guide to running in Gainesville
>Stretching and Weight Training


Stretching, Warming Up and Weight Training are perhaps the three most important components to beginning your physical training period.




Stretching

Basic stretches should be done everyday, at the beginning - and especially at the end - of each run, when your muscles are warm and loose. Stretching will improve your physical condition after a run, help to improve your stride, and prevent injury. Stretching keeps your muscles flexible and helps to establish and sustain a fluid running motion.

Hold your stretches for about 15-to-30 seconds each and repeat each stretch about 3-to-5 times. Stretching should provide your body with slight muscle tension, but not pain. Some basic stretches include:

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-Calf Stretch

-Quadriceps

-Hamstrings

-Groin

-Lower Back and Outer Thighs


Warming Up

It is advised that you do a five minute warm up and five minute warm down before and after each run. No matter how long your run, whether it be a short, mild, or long run, you should make sure to do a moderately paced warm up to loosen your muscles and get your blood flowing, and do another moderately paced warm down to bring your body down and help neutralize your energy levels. Warming up and down will also help repair any strains placed on your body during your workout, as well as keep your muscles relaxed for your next workout.


Weight Training

The idea behind strength training is protecting your joints from injury and keeping your body in balance. Basic strength training should be concentrated at the beginning of your training period. In the three months prior to your run, do 8-to-12 repetitions of basic, minimal weight training for about three days a week. Two months before your run, you can reduce this to two days a week. If necessary, you can continue minimal strength training up until your run, but it is not necessary or advised.

Remember, the key is to strengthen your core: avoid heavy lifting and don't neglect your abdominals and lower back. This will provide your body with the core strength it needs during your run.





This site created by Jaime Weisser, 2008.