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4873 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Jan 10, 2011 11:35 PM by Shivan RSS
jimbeam34 Amateur 27 posts since
Dec 30, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 3, 2011 5:11 PM

Stretching

Ok, I have been on the forums for over a weke but honestly have not seen anyone mention stretching.  I know that stretching can reduce the risk of injury and help prevent soreness and/or help speed recovery up.

 

I try to do the following three stretches for 15 seconds each, two times:

  • Heel to Butt to stretch the quads
  • Touch my toes to stretch my hammies
  • Toes/Ball of Foot up on wall with heel on floor to stretch my calves

 

So how about all you expert runners give us some more info on stretching.  I am sure some of the other newbie runners could benefit from it as well.

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,332 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jan 3, 2011 5:27 PM (in response to jimbeam34)
    Re: Stretching

    There's not really a whole lot of evidence that stretching helps prevent injuries or is particularly beneficial.  Take a look at the thread below, in particular the reply from JamesJohnsonLMT.

     

    http://community.active.com/message/914090#914090

     

    Len





    Len

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,332 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jan 3, 2011 5:45 PM (in response to jimbeam34)
    Re: Stretching

    After 25+ years, I continue to learn.

     

    Len





    Len

  • Marykb Legend 1,347 posts since
    Jan 16, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jan 3, 2011 7:53 PM (in response to jimbeam34)
    Re: Stretching

    I do little, if any, stretching when I run.  If I feel tight I may do a few limbering up moves to loosen up but that's about it.  Not only has stretching not necessarily been proven to reduce injury, it can actually lead to injury if you overstretch cold muscles before running.  Any stretching you do should be after you are warmed up - and never force a stretch.  For my own humble opinion, less is more when it comes to stretching.





  • Bimma Amateur 25 posts since
    Dec 15, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jan 3, 2011 10:20 PM (in response to jimbeam34)
    Re: Stretching

    What a good topic! I've always been the lazy stretcher. Lenzlaw posted a very interesting link. I just find it sort of hard to believe. I will definitely test it out on myself a little. I've just always believe that stretching was beneficial. Have any scientific facts surfaced to prove otherwise?





    Bimma

    http://claimyourjourney.com

    2011 Race Schedule:

    Dirty Soles 5 Miler | Mandeville, LA (1/15) - 32:11, 23rd Overall, 1st in my age group (25-29)

    Head Hunter | Baton Rouge, LA 10k (3/19)

    Hell's Hills | Ruston, LA 10k (6/4)

    Battle Field | Jackson, LA 5mi (10/15)

  • Dog-lover Legend 373 posts since
    Mar 5, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jan 4, 2011 6:35 AM (in response to jimbeam34)
    Re: Stretching

    Really good topic.  I've been there and back on the value of stretching and here is what works for me.  I've read the pros and cons of stretching many times, and have gone from serious stretching everyday to no stretching at all.  What I've found that seems to work very well for me it to do several reps (30-45 sec)of light stretching after all speed runs, long runs and tempo runs.  I don't stretch after recovery runs. The important thing for me is to keep the stretches light and relaxed, I just ease into and out of the stretches. The thing that I've noticed is a huge reduction in stiffness and soreness.  I'm 52 yrs old and am training pretty hard,  usually 2-3 miles a day in the AM and then 6-8 miles a day in the PM plus long runs on the weekends.  I found was that my recovery wouldn't allow me to run twice per day because I would be pretty stiff and sore still by my PM run. By doing light stretching after harder runs and by using my AM runs as recovery runs I've been able to maintain the twice per day schedule with much less pain and stiffness.  I don't believe that stretching has improved my abilities but I believe it has allowed me to run higher miles which should help me improve.  Not a scientific approach, but it works for me.  Hope this helps,  good luck with your running!

     

    Pete





    Quote from Bob Moawad  " You can't make footprints in the sands of time if you are sitting on your butt. And who wants to make buttprints in the sands of time"

    2008 - Grandma's marathon - 4:51            2011 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:46

    2009 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:49    2011 - Green Bay marathon - 3:51

    2009 - Grandma's marathon - 4:13            2011 - Grandma's marathon - 3:45

    2009 - Twin Cities marathon - 4:02           2011 - Minneapolis Pride 5k - 21:31

    2010 - Grandma's marathon - 3:58 ya hoo!

    2010 - Twin Cities marathhon - 3:55

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jan 4, 2011 7:00 AM (in response to Dog-lover)
    Re: Stretching

    I believe that it is very important to long tern health, especially when my miles are up.  I always do dynmic before I run and try to do some rope streches after I run for my hips.  My hips need this more when my runs are long.

  • runningangelinvt Pro 137 posts since
    Dec 7, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Jan 4, 2011 10:07 AM (in response to BOSNPM)
    Re: Stretching

    Hi all,

    Does anyone have any suggestions for stretches for below the calf to ankle? Thank you





    Kerry

    Life is too short not to waddle......

    2012 Events:

    Crowley Brothers Memorial 10k Road Race 6/10/12

    Finish time- 1:38:23

    Colchester Triathlon 7/29/12 (Kayak 2mi, Bike 12mi, Run 3.1mi)

    Finish time- 2hrs 38min 04sec (Will never do the kayak part again!)

    2011 Events:

    Crowley Brothers Memorial 10k Road Race 06/12/2011 Finish time:10k event 1 hour 39 minutes 40 seconds

    Colchester Triathlon 07/31/2011 2hr 24 min (not my best ever! but I finished)

    Started C25K 12/15/10

  • Marykb Legend 1,347 posts since
    Jan 16, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Jan 4, 2011 10:29 AM (in response to Dog-lover)
    Re: Stretching

    Dog-lover wrote:

    The important thing for me is to keep the stretches light and relaxed, I just ease into and out of the stretches. The thing that I've noticed is a huge reduction in stiffness and soreness.

    I don't put in nearly the mileage you do, but whatever stretching I do is like you describe.  The goal is to loosen up - I pretty much do what "feels good" as far as some light stretches to alleviate stiffness.

     

    But back in the "old days" when I first started running I faithfully did an entire stretching routine after every run and although it didn't hurt, I don't see any difference now when I don't bother.  The only significant injury I've ever dealt with (some kind of torn/worn cartilage in my knees) doesn't really have anything to do with stretching or not stretching.





  • Dog-lover Legend 373 posts since
    Mar 5, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Jan 4, 2011 11:29 AM (in response to Marykb)
    Re: Stretching

    Mary,

     

    Totally agree, the goal for me is to just loosen up.  By doing that it allows me to train more with much less stiffness and soreness.  I'm just getting back into a new training cycle for two spring marathons so I'm really trying to increase training intensity.  To avoid injury I've tried very hard to maintain a patient approach to training intensity over the last 4 yrs.  Build the base slowly and accept slow steady improvement is my goal. As my base is building (intensity increases) recovery becomes so much more important which is why I've kind of been there and back on the stretching thing.  There are a lot of opinions out there that's for sure but keeping it simple like you said,  just stay loose, is what I've found works the best for me.  One thing on stretching that a PT told me and I totally agree with is that it's very important when recovering from an injury to stretch the injured area during recovery to gain back mobility and range of motion.  Word of caution though, make sure you follow the PT's guidelines to avoid re-injury.

     

    Gotta love running!!  Good luck

     

    Pete





    Quote from Bob Moawad  " You can't make footprints in the sands of time if you are sitting on your butt. And who wants to make buttprints in the sands of time"

    2008 - Grandma's marathon - 4:51            2011 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:46

    2009 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:49    2011 - Green Bay marathon - 3:51

    2009 - Grandma's marathon - 4:13            2011 - Grandma's marathon - 3:45

    2009 - Twin Cities marathon - 4:02           2011 - Minneapolis Pride 5k - 21:31

    2010 - Grandma's marathon - 3:58 ya hoo!

    2010 - Twin Cities marathhon - 3:55

  • This IS my race pace Pro 103 posts since
    Oct 19, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Jan 10, 2011 9:02 AM (in response to jimbeam34)
    Re: Stretching

    EVERYone has an opinion, so here's mine. 

     

    I believe that "stretching" and "warming up/cooling down" for runs are two distinctly seperate, unrelated activities.  Stretching is supposed to increase flexibility in muscles and joints whereas warming up and cooling down is preparing those same muscles and joints for activity and recovery.  One could argue that stretching in and of itself is an activity, ergo one needs to warm up before attempting to stretch, correct?  When was the last time anyone was in a yoga class and they went from "hello" directly to "wrap your leg around your neck from behind like a pretzel"?  Football players ride stationary bikes to stay warmed up and loose on the sidelines, they don't try to touch their forehead to their knees and just hang there.  Does a kicker or QB throw or kick a ball and then hold the final pose for 30 secs. to get warmed up?  Did America give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?  (thanks to all the "Animal House" fans for your support).

     

    Easy repetition.

     

    In my experiences, I have found that stretching is a good thing to do because it does help me keep loose and flexible, and it does help w/ my running form and it makes it easier for me to just move overall.  To warm up before and cool down after a race, 10-15 mins. of simple plyometric exercises like side shuffle hops, sideways runing and the twisting back and forth, skipping, high kicks, elephant walks and running backwards get me warmed up without getting me worn out.  When I stretched before a race it took me well over a mile to get comfortable and find my groove, but when I did the dynamic warmups and the plyometric things, I was settled in and going steady within a few hundred yards of the start.  I noticed I was also a lot more relaxed.  There was an article either in Runner's World or Running Times (?) about how the Kenyans warm up and cool down a few months back.  The overview is they start w/ walking and gradually increase effort thorugh various drills for 30 mins before they start running, and then another 30-45 mins. to cool down.  It was very interesting.

  • Shivan Rookie 6 posts since
    Jan 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Jan 10, 2011 11:35 PM (in response to jimbeam34)
    Re: Stretching

    Hello All,

     

      I am just a newbie, but I find the following to be very useful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79sXwpZUeBw

     

    I usually have sharp pain in my legs after my runs, but stretching seems to ease the pain.

     

    Shivan

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