The Run Sandwich – A Runner’s Routine

After a break in late Dec/early Jan to allow my right hamstring to heal, I knew something had to change with my running routine.  Actually, I didn’t even have a routine.  Some days I warmed up, most days I didn’t.  I’d put on my gear and out the door.  Runners don’t just run right?  Let me rephrase, ‘healthy un-injured runners don’t just run.  They prioritize the supplemental necessities that makes them well-rounded athletes.  Enter the “Run Sandwich”!  No, we’re not talking an actual sandwich, but the two important elements to include before and after a run.

I listened to one of my favorite podcasts, Strength Running by Jason Fitzgerald during one of my easy runs. The episode was an interview with Nate Helming, co-founder of The Run Experience.  It covered what all of us runners should have as part of our training besides running – mobility, drills, strength workouts – to keep our bodies healthy so we remain injury-free and not have to take an unexpected break from running.

Jason Fitzgerald used the term ‘Run Sandwich’ in the podcast, where the run is sandwiched in between a dynamic mobility warm-up and a cooldown comprised of strength/core exercises. This is the routine I now strive to follow, although I admit there are still days when only one or the other happens. Again, establishing priorities.

Here are several dynamic warm-ups I like to incorporate into my run routine:

From Strength Running – Mattock Dynamic Warm-up.  I like to do this warmup when I start from my house.

From Runner’s World –  Five Exercises to Do Before Every Run.  This is my preferred warmup when I start elsewhere combined with standing hip circles, lateral leg kicks and front-back kicks.

And here’s what I like to do as part of my cooldown.  Main focus is core and hip/glute strength.

Strong Core, Strong Runner – I wrote this post last year to emphasize the importance of having a stable core before moving on to more dynamic and complex exercise.

Coach Jay Johnson – H Core – this is a more advanced core workout.  

Strength Running ITB Rehab Routine – focuses on glute/hips

Myrtl Routine – also focuses on glutes/hips which I sometimes use as a warm-up as well.

A Nightly Treat

In addition to the Run Sandwich, I like to give myself a nightly treat.  In the podcast Nate Helming mentioned the term “Netflix Mobilize.” You pick one or two problem spots to mobilize while you watch an episode of your favorite show. I like Kelly Starett’s monstrous book “The Supple Leopard” – as my resource for exercises to improve muscles and joint mobility.  So every night, after I foam roll, I pick at least one of the exercises to mobilize my quads or hamstrings while I watch TV.  Favorite exercise: Couch Stretch for opening your hips.  And I can attest that my hips need a lot of work!


This Week’s Workouts:

My 3 yr old was back in preschool and I had my 6 yr old attend camp for two days this past week so I was able to have all my planned workouts completed.

M:  4mi run with a modified Dynamic WU and Coach Jay Johnson’s H core workout.

T:  Intervals with Movin Shoes – Workout was 10/8/6/4/2min with a 2 min recovery. The goal was to finish at a faster pace.  10 min – 8:05/mi pace, 8 min – 7:40/mi, 6 min – 7:37/mi, 4 min – 7:19/mi, 2 min – 7:13/mi

W: Back on the trails with a 5 mi run and butterflies sighting!

A post shared by Elaine D (@myrunexperiment) on

R: Strength Train 45min
F: Off

Sa: Long run 12mi (9:02/mi avg)


Do you follow a Runner’s Routine?  What’s your favorite core workout?  Do you Netflix Mobilize?



I am linking with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap.  Stop by and get inspired by many women who share their weekly workouts.


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