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Pre Run Stretch : Brooklyn Half Marathon Edition

Brooklyn Half Marathon 2017 is two weeks away on May 20th, nerves are high, and our runners are asking us what is the best pre run stretch routine? This race is the largest half marathon in country and completely sold out! We have so many runners limping into Urban Wellness Clinic after their longest training run for the Brooklyn Half. Most of our runners like to simply put their shoes on and go. But this mentality can lead to injuries like hamstring pulls, tight hips, and foot pain. Some runners can recover during their taper before the race with rest, ice, and compression socks. But most would benefit from hands on Active Release Technique to break up nagging scar tissue, and a clear warm up plan before race day as well as the pre run stretch detailed below.

Static Stretching vs Dynamic Stretching vs Active Mobility

We believe the best way to prepare for a run is not static stretching with long holds but rather active mobility. Studies show static stretching can increase range of motion of a joint but can lead to “stretch-induced strength loss” which can diminish running performance. Before we run, we want our muscles to be supple with good flexibility AND strength to have the best, injury-free race day. What we don’t want is overstretched muscles that are “turned off” and have a hard time firing while we are trying to find our perfect stride.

What is the secret sauce solution? Active Mobility baby!

Active mobility is a sweet balance of strength, stability, and stretching where you move into positions similar to how we learned how to move in our first year of life. We learn how to roll over, press ourselves onto hands and knees, crawl, half kneel, and then walk  without anyone teaching us the moves. These movement patterns are learned deep in the spinal, brain stem, and sub-cortical parts of the brain, that allow for innate learning. When we get injured, sit too many hours in a row, or have surgery these movement patterns become difficult or weakened. Urban Wellness Clinic’s approach is active mobility, which can retrain these good healthy movement patterns.

We share our perfected pre run stretch for runners, move by move. Just what you need before race day:


The Brooklyn Half is a gorgeous run with a stunning finish at the ocean. You start near the Brooklyn Museum and run past the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and around Grand Army Plaza before entering Prospect Park. After a loop around the park, you exit from the southwest corner onto Ocean Parkway and cruise toward world-famous Coney Island for a triumphant finish on the boardwalk.

To get the most out of this course, here are our top 5 tips to prepare:

  1. Rest– Sleep is your best friend right now, quality and quantity both matter here. Send us an email: with the Subject “Sleep” and we will send you an infographic with all of our tips for the best night’s sleep.
  2. Ice – I know the jury is out on the effectiveness of ice on decreasing inflammation but in clinical practice I’ve seen the most benefit with icing after a long run. Cycling the ice 20 minutes on and 60 minutes off has great benefits to decrease acute pain.
  3. NormaTec – Think marshmellow man from ghostbusters leggings that you wear to speed up recovery.  An innovative compression system with a pulsed air technology to push inflammation out of the legs. We just ordered ours for the clinic to stay on the cutting edge of healing and injury prevention.
  4. Nutrition – What you eat is often overlooked but should be at the forefront of how we recover from inflammation. Here are our top nutrition recommendations and supplements to help with recovery (see infographic below).
  5. Get Assessed – Wondering what to stretch? Why you are having pain? Will you make it across the finish line? We are here to help! Come into Urban Wellness Clinic, meet the team, and get assessed. We go into a deep dive with a full movement assessment and we have so many tools in our toolbox for healing.

Best way to reach out is or schedule a quick call to get a better idea of how we can help you make Brooklyn Half your best race day, 212-355-0445.

Best in health,

Dr Emily Kiberd

Brooklyn Half nutrition guide

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