Morton Stretch

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Mike Morton carrying the USA flag at the end of his record setting run.

This mid-run stretch is modeled after the stretch that Mike Morton did while setting the American Record for 24 hours (172 miles) at the 2012 World Championships. I saw Mike do this stretch repeatedly during that race, and I've since emulated it. I've found that it refreshes my legs in everything from training runs to 24 hour races. The Morton stretch is simple and quick, but does not act as a traditional stretch that holds a muscle at full extension. Instead, it moves multiple muscles through their natural range of motion. Unlike many stretches, The Morton does not fully contract any muscles, which can lead to cramping. I don’t normally have a problem with cramping, but the quad stretch where you pull your foot towards your buttocks can trigger a nasty hamstring cramp if I do it after the 50 mile mark. The steps to perform the Morton Stretch are shown with pictures below.

Find something solid to hand onto, such as a pole, fence, tree, bench or even a friend's leg. If you're running, slow to a walk before doing the stretch to let your heart rate drop. A sudden stop can cause you to faint.
Drop gently down into a crouch. This position stretches most of your quads, glutes and hamstrings.
Optional: I like to drop away from the support and tuck my head down to stretch my upper back and neck.
Optional: Pulling forward will gently stretch part of your calves (The Soleus, but not the Gastrocnemius).
Rise slowly, pausing part way. This pause should let your blood pressure rise so you don't faint. You can use this position to also stretch your hamstrings if you wish, but it's easy to overdo that stretch and damage the muscles.
Return to standing and then set off again.
An animation of the Morton Stretch.