Two hours south of Barcelona, we found a great spot, Playa la Punta del Fangar (mouthful, I know). A natural beach, with nobody around. We arrived a few hours before sunset – the perfect time and space for some running!
We had to give Michiel a rest from running for a while, due to the risk of dreaded shin splints! I didn’t want to push him any further with running until his legs could recover from some intense sessions. So it was important for the first run back to be on Sand! (see beach running).
Stretching after a run is a subject that is commonly discussed and disagreed on. Post-run stretching makes you more flexible. That is pretty much the key thing it does. It extends the maximum range of motion, which in Michiel’s case, is a great thing. Plus, I think it always feels good, and rounds a session off well, a nice way to reflect, come back down to earth and regulate breathing.
I don’t want Michiel to become SO flexible that it detracts from performance. But I don’t want him to be so inflexible and off-balance that it detracts from the performance either – a fine balance. We are seeing improvements in flexibility, aches and pains. Stretching also helps to alleviate soreness and avoid muscle cramps afterwards.
I always encourage people to listen to their bodies. Really LISTEN. Are you mega achy after running? Stretch more. If you experience aches and pains, stretching might be part of the prescription that gets you feeling healthy again! So, after your next run, give these a go!
We finished stretching just in time to catch the sunset on the way home – got to love a Spanish sunset!