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Old 11-13-2012, 07:47 PM   #1
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Default Runners do you stretch before you start?

There seems to be two very different schools of thought when it comes to pre run stretching. The old school way I was taught back in the 1980's as a cross country runner was to spend a good 10-15 minutes doing static stretches before running at all. The new school of thought is that static stretches should be avoided before running. I have been using the new school of thought if for no other reason than I am lazy and/or always pressed for a time when I can run and not spending 15 minutes stretching is good for that. However, it seems like I get a lot of nagging injuries as I start to increase my mileage. A little tendonitis here, a pulled calf muscle there, etc. Now I am wondering if the new school way of doing things is right. I always start with a five minute brisk walk before running but maybe that isn't enough. Just curious what some of the experienced runners here are doing pre-run. I am 43 and nothing is loose anymore when it comes to my legs it seems.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:55 PM   #2
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I've seen and read both sides. I'm stiff in the morning. I run in the morning. I do some 'light stretches' and some hand kicks, and some hip swings. I do yoga a couple of times a week. I foam roll after runs when i can. The one thing that I always do is 2 sets of 15 negative 1 legged heel drops a day - it plain old cured all of my foot/ankle problems. Full disclaimer - I've been running for a year, but I've been struggling to stay injury free - and so far succeeding (knock on wood).
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:01 PM   #3
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Warm up a little bit on the spot and then do some light stretches then go run?
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:57 AM   #4
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light quarter mile jog, good stretching in place, take off and run
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:20 AM   #5
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Light stretches for 1-2 min (mainly on the quads and hamstrings), go on my 50-60min runs and do the same stretches afterward.

Been doing this for more than 2 years and it's worked out well for me.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:09 AM   #6
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none at all
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:24 AM   #7
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Nope. Maybe a warm up run if I am running a 5 or 10k at a considerable pace.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:44 AM   #8
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I used to after about running a mile or two but pretty much never nowadays. The last time I think was after running 20 miles and my groin was tight, so I did some post run groin stretches.

I believe a number of marathon winners don't stretch either.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:59 AM   #9
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Thanks for the replies.

Perhaps I should start doing some flexability training on my off days rather than trying to loosen up right before my runs. Time to get a beginner's Yoga DVD I believe.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:56 PM   #10
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Long time runner here. I've never stretched, but I've never had an injury other than the two times I sprained my ankle from things I've stepped on.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:08 PM   #11
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I don't stretch before running, but always stretch after for 10-15 minutes. If I am doing a hard workout or a race, I will warm up for 15-30 minutes and then spend 5-10 minutes stretching before the hard effort. If you're feeling really sore and tight when you run, you might want to do you brisk walk for 5 minutes, then a light jog for another 5, then stretch for a few minutes, and then set off into your main run.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:12 PM   #12
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Don't stretch at all. I used to in high school XC, but in college I discovered that my time was better spent warming up instead (I both got faster and had fewer injuries after that). I'm pretty young though, so maybe I'll change my mind in the future.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:32 PM   #13
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Yeah, stretching was debunked.
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