IT Band and Hip Flexor Stretches and Christmas Eve Short Run


Past Sunday (12/21), which was a rest day, I did some stretching along with my usual strength training (planks, pushups and crunches). Because I had been slacking off on the strength training, I wanted to get back to it, and I did. 

Ah, crap!

Every inch of my upper body, including the core, was in pain for the following three days. I still am but it is much manageable now. I knew it would be sore but didn’t expect that much of aching. And combined with the midday temperature rising (hovering above 72) and the whole Christmas festive atmosphere at work, I didn’t run 5 miles Monday as scheduled.

Yes, I know. It is an excuse.

So, earlier I stepped out to go for a 8 mile run. But, it was rather warm (72 degrees), so I decided to cut it short and to run longer miles tomorrow.

Christmas Eve short run, cadence, pace, stride length

Only 4.12 miles. Yes, it is my Christmas Eve laziness to blame.

Christmas Eve short run

However, what I wanted to blog about is this. My average cadence hasn’t changed even a single step.

My guess is that it is due to the tempo of 92  on MetroMeter. In spite of my Garmin beeping numerous times throughout my run, I mostly ran consistently to the tempo as it ticktocked my ears off. And even with the maximum cadence combined, it kind of really ‘averaged’ out, and basically I manage to have the same average candace even for an easy run. (Of course, the definition of ‘easy’ can be debatable, but I really didn’t try to run fast today.)

Of course, this theory stands till proven otherwise. I will increase the tempo back to 94 probably next week. Let’s see if stride length changes at the slightly increased tempo without running faster than now. Or would it increase my pace, but not cadence?

12:17:14 Wednesday Christmas Eve short run, cadence, pace, stride lengthAverage cadence (12/17, left, and today, right)

12:17:14 Wednesday pace Christmas Eve short run, cadence, pace, stride length Average pace (12/17, left, and today, right)

What I’ve also noticed from today’s run, compared to the last Wednesday (12/17)’s 6.1 mile run, is that my average cadence and pace (min/mi) are indeed correlated, like I pointed out here.

Although the distance that I ran today is shorter, and in spite of the fact that I didn’t even attempt to run any faster than the last few runs, it isn’t much, but my average stride length was a tiny bit longer. And I’d like to think that 0.01 m SL resulted in a slightly faster average moving pace.

Throughout this Christmas Day week, the temperature is expected to drop again to low 60s, so I am looking forward to cool early morning runs, including another 16 mile run on the weekend.


Now that I focus more on stride length, I find that it is natural to take a close look at stretching, especially, IT band, hip flexor, etc. Of course, I also can’t ignore the fact that it would keep me safe and injury free. So, I did some Googling and founds some articles and YouTube videos that I was able to copy and incorporate into my past Sunday gym workout.

The poses I’ve listed below consist of most common poses I have come across in terms of post-run stretching.

  • IT Band


  • Pigeon

it band, hip flexor, shin splits, back stretching

  •  Down Dog


  • King Arthur


  • Runner’s Lunge


  •  Shin Splints

it band, hip flexor, shin splits, back stretching

  • Back

it band, hip flexor, shin splits, back stretching

The first set of videos that I found useful was this Stretching for Runners video and this Post Run Stretch video. Seems like both of them are Yoga instructors who also run.

And, this Yoga for Runners video certainly looks very effective if one does it right. Of course, one can argue that this is definitely more of Yoga poses than runner’s stretching techniques.

And last but not the least, this Yoga for Runners, Cooling down Sequence video has more practical values for runners, in terms of doing stretching while still outside once the running is over, in spite of the impression that she is not really a runner at all.

In the past I tried a couple of sessions of Yoga, and I still remember how sore my whole body was for the entire following week in both occasions. It was quite physically grueling and mentally exhausting, so I thought to myself that either my body was too stiff  to benefit from any of it, or it’ll take forever for my body to become even moderately flexible.

It is quite amusing to me that I told myself that I would never do Yoga again then (and I still don’t know if I will), but that I find some poses and stretching techniques are not too far from each other. And now I hope that I can turn these stretching poses into a post-run routine so that I can actually benefit from it.

Do you stretch before and after a run? What kind of stretching do you do? Do you practice Yoga? Do you find that practicing Yoga is helpful for running?

Thanks for reading.


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About H Peter Ji Photography

I am a photographer. My photos have been sold on EyeEm, Adobe Stock and ShutterStock and also featured on ViewBug and G+ Landscape Photography Community, and via Death Valley National Park Instagram and Facebook. My work is the natural byproduct of my love for outdoors - backpacking, hiking and camping in nature.

3 responses to “IT Band and Hip Flexor Stretches and Christmas Eve Short Run”

  1. theblogrunner says :

    Thanks for the links! I don’t generally stretch before running but usually have to do a bit afterwards as everything tends to seize up as soon as I stop. I tried yoga before, but like you found it a bit too much and I ached a lot afterwards. I’ve read some other runners who stretch on their rest days, so might give that a go to see if it helps with the post-run twinges. 🙂


    • @ScorpioOnSUP says :

      I agree. Like you pointed out, my tryouts with Yoga were not that spectacular, to say the least. However, this tiny thought always lingered in the back of my head that it’d benefit me more than harm me. But now I seriously focus on stride length more and more, I found myself looking into IT band and hip flexor stretches and such, which turns out that they are not too far from those Yoga poses. I thought how ironic it was to see this all coming back to me and that maybe now is the time that I get on it, even to a small degree. Let’s see how it pans out and seriously helps me increase strise length. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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