Hard runs are my favorite workouts. Track, tempo, hills, 400s, whatever. I like to run fast. But in order to run fast, I need to feel loose and strong. Flexibly powerful. Flaccidly forceful. Maybe not that last one, but the following is a basic breakdown of how I prepare for fast running that feels good (well, good aside from the massive amounts of beneficial pain).

Before I drive to the workout (the places I run hard are about a 20-30minute drive away), I’ll have some coffee and do prone leg swings, both on my front and on my back, in order to loosen my back. I also do 3-5 hip raises, followed by placing a trigger point roller between my knees and squeezing. This helps adjust my pubic symphysis and, I feel, makes my hips more even (video demonstration below):

Once I arrive at the track, I have a bit more caffeine (this is a theme of my training. Or motif perhaps? Maybe even a symbol) followed by a 15 minute jog. At this point in time I still haven’t found  what session I’m about to do, but I’m never wrong in assuming that it will be very difficult.

To further loosen up, I do some leg swings, stretch out my hip flexors and briefly open up my adductors:

I don’t like too much stretching before a hard run, or any run, because it temporarily weakens the muscle. The only exception I make is the hip flexor, because it’s so key to having proper stride length. With how much cycling I do, I have to stretch out my hip flexors at least once a day to keep them from tightening up.

I try to sneak in a few strides and drills before my coach, amidst a 45 second countdown, tells us the workout. After that, game on!


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