Stretching before you run used to be the thing to do. Then it went out of favor, to be replaced with post-run stretching or stretching after a warm up. Stretching a cold muscle can do more damage than you want to it, but loosening a muscle up before a run, especially if it isn’t practical to warm up with a short jog first, is still a good idea.
Here are a few easy stretches that you can safely do before your run as presented by Michael Gaige before our group run with the folks we coach at Maine Running Company last week:
The trick is to keep gently moving and not to hold a stretch or move ballistically back and forth as you try to get into or out of each stretch.
If you are interested in the sun salutations that Michael mentions, or want to watch the entire Yoga for Runners DVD for free online, you can learn how here: