Perseverance is failing 9 times and succeeding the 10th.

Welcome to day 4 of the challenge. Today is a rest day with an optional activation session with Ashley. A lot of people think to become a runner means running most days of the week. False.

To keep your running journey long term, it's important to build up. Thats why you must listen to your body. If you feel up to the session today, go for it. If not get those feet up and enjoy your rest day!

Hamstring Pike Test

Stretching Hamstrings are vital to any runner's mobility but can also help with common running injuries, for example feeling burning behind the knees, or tight mobility. Completing the stretch pike test will show you instantly how stretching improves your mobility.

First complete the test below, followed by a series of stretches, then repeat the test to see the level of improvement.

Hamstring Stretch Pike Test: From a standing starting position, take a deep breath in and slowly bend forward, aiming to touch the ground with your fingertips, hand, or palm of the hand. Take a mental note of how far you can reach and where exactly you feel the tightest on the back of the hamstring. 

Hamstring Pike Test

Stretching Hamstrings are vital to any runner's mobility but can also help with common running injuries, for example feeling burning behind the knees, or tight mobility. Completing the stretch pike test will show you instantly how stretching improves your mobility.

First complete the test below, followed by a series of stretches, then repeat the test to see the level of improvement.

Hamstring Stretch Pike Test: From a standing starting position, take a deep breath in and slowly bend forward, aiming to touch the ground with your fingertips, hand, or palm of the hand. Take a mental note of how far you can reach and where exactly you feel the tightest on the back of the hamstring. 

Activation session

Banded Pelvic Tilts: Lay on the floor at your starting position. Wrap a band (or skipping rope / towel) around the foot and keep it secure. Lay in a flat (supine) position again the floor. Bend the leg not wrapped to ensure a neutral spine and that all vertebrae of the spine are touching the floor. With the wrapped leg, bring the knee towards the chest on the same side. Use the band to pull closer as you exhale. Hold for x2 seconds and repeat x15-20 times. Swap band when finished. 

Banded Straight Leg Pull w/ Sciatic nerve flossing: Wrapping the foot with the same band, adopt the same stating position as the pelvic tilt. With the wrapped foot, straighten the leg and bring the leg as high as your hip mobility allows. At the top, floss your foot and moving the foot back so the foot is flat to the ceiling. As you bring the foot back, you will feel a deep sensation within the back of the leg. Repeat on the other side. One minute on each leg. 

Banded Cross leg in: Adopting the same starting position as leg pull, wrap the band around the back of the calf and ensure that your opposite arm is grabbing the band. With a straight leg, pull the band across your bent leg and hold at the maximum range or x2 seconds. Aim for x10 repetitions. Repeat on the other leg. 

Banded Cross Leg Out Pulses: Adopting the same starting position as the cross leg in, wrap the band around the calf to the outside. You should now be holding the band on the same side of the leg which is wrapped. Bring the leg out wide and hold at your maximum range of hip mobility for x2 seconds. Repeat x10 times and ensure you do the exercise on the other leg. 

Elevated Toe Hip Hinge: Place the midline of your toe onto the side of a yoga block or book to elevate the toe. With a split stance and straight legs hip hinge forward to stretch the front foot. With a proud chest, straight back, you can balance with another yoga block in front to the feet. Move through the stretch by practising deep breathing. Complete for 10 repetitions

Foam Rolling Glutes: Sit directly on top of the foam roller, so that its right underneath your glute. You can use your left hand to gently place your right ankle onto your left knee. Gently roll back and forth until you find any other trigger point in the fascia tissue. You will feel where the trigger points are by the level of sensitivity. Complete for 1-3 minutes each side.

Foam Rolling Hamstrings:  Prop yourself up on your hands next to your glutes. Bend the leg that isn't on the roller and plant that foot on the ground. Walk your hands toward the roller so that it rolls up your hamstrings. Go slowly up the entire back of your leg until you get to the point where your leg meets your hips. Stop there and roll back down to the bottom of your knee. Complete for 1-3 minutes each side.

Repeat Hamstring stretch pike test

Repeat the hamstring stretch pike test. Compare your stretch from your initial test and see the level of improvement.

Hamstring Stretch Pike Test: From a standing starting position, take a deep breath in and slowly bend forward, aiming to touch the ground with your fingertips, hand, or palm of the hand. Measure your improvement from your first stretch.

RUNNER TIP

The hamstring refers to the three muscles on the back of your thigh. Massage balls and foam rollers are fantastic for helping to ease these tight muscles.

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