Running Week 11: Reflection & Post-Workout Stretches

By Alexandra Caspero on April 18, 2013

I’m so glad I auto-scheduled both Tuesday and Wednesday’s post this week. I feel like I have been in a trance for the past three days, quietly going through the motions but not putting much effort into anything at all. Like the rest of the world, Monday’s event has shook me to the core, questioning why and draining my empathy for all of those who were effected.

Ironically enough, I have also lost all interest in running. I’ve read several other bloggers thoughts, on why they continue to run for those who couldn’t finish or those who lost the ability to ever run again. I can understand their point but personally, I’ve been completely turned off by the thought. I have however, thrown myself into my yoga practice. Yoga has always been like running: a safe place to get lost in and learn from. It’s probably no coincidence that I have started and ended each day with a longer practice, my way of reconnecting with the day and reflecting in the evening.

I had scheduled this week to be the second to last post of the running challenge, something I started earlier in the year and then neglected when I got sick and we moved. I have wanted to continue the series, but it didn’t seem right to post without remembering first.

This week’s series focuses on one of my favorite parts: the end stretch. Perhaps it’s because it focuses me to be still, an extremely difficult task for me, especially after a long workout. But- each time I push myself to be still, remain present, and stretch my tired muscles. Jon Stewert’s opening monologue resonated the most with me this week, the reminder that in each tragedy, you will find great humanity. Look for those who run towards, not away.

Below is the original post I had for the week but before we get there, I want to share with you my favorite mantra, and one that I share at the end of almost yoga class. It’s what I base my lifestyle choices on, and challenges me to constantly try to find love and kindness in each situation.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu. May all beings be happy and free.

Post Workout Stretches


If your hips are really tight, place two blocks underneath your knees for more support. Rolled up blankets can also work here.


Piriformis- outer hip stretch

Remember this one from gym class? I do it almost every day with my sculpting class. The piriformis muscle, an outer rotater, tends to be very stiff in a lot of runners. If you need less, keep your bottom foot on the floor. If you want more- gently press your bent knee away from you.

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Pigeon Pose

This pose will ever remind me of the power yoga classes at Zuda Yoga in Sacramento. Most classes would end with this hip opener- pigeon post to be held for 5 minutes each side. I used to dread the ending, my poor tight hips! But once I started doing it more often, the more I enjoyed it. I now try to do this after my own yoga practice or before bed.  Use a block or rolled blanket under your bent hip if needed. If you are tight, start with your chest lifted. Gently fold forward as you are able.


Down Dog

Try this modification! Down dog with legs closer to your arms than usual. Take your time and gently press your heels toward the ground. Hold for 60 seconds, release by bending knees towards your arms and try again.

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Chef, and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Kim
      March 7, 2014 AT 12:24 pm

      I do stretching after each workout and it helps a lot to release the tension in muscles. I have also discovered nice post-workout product which makes my recoveries easier and prevents injuries. This dietary supplement is Second Wind by Military Grade. It is available at amazon. I feel great even after tough workouts, and experience less muscle soreness.