Stretching before / after / both?

I have been doing 15 min stretches both before and after the runs. But I have come across quite a few articles saying that stretching before the runs doesn't help, in fact it slows you down. So I decided to avoid stretching before the run today - my first run after graduation. Turns out this is my best run so far - I managed to complete 4 kms in 30 mins! Should I continue to avoid stretching before the runs? I want to hear the experience of others.

6 Replies

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  • I've had a similar experience, though I don't stretch for anything like 15 minutes! I think that as long as I do the 5 minute warmup walk stretching beforehand is unnecessary or even counterproductive, it sort of makes my leg muscles feel too loose. Stretching afterwards seems to help reduce fatigue and achiness in the muscles, but not by very much. Sometimes I don't stretch at all and I don't notice much difference.

  • Bit of a mixture from me Carrot. Like Olivia78 I'm still warming up with a walk 5-10 mins but then I do the leg stretches from the Strength and Fitness podcast for calf, thing and hamstring ..... and finally I'm ready to go :-)

  • > But I have come across quite a few articles saying that stretching

    > before the runs doesn't help, in fact it slows you down.

    Stretching muscles when they are cold, can also cause injury.

    I do dynamic stretches for warm up: lunges (front, side and back) and an aerobic routine (marching, dancing-sort of movements for my whole body, not just my legs).

    Now I'm very thorough with my post-run stretching. I've previously suffered with an Illiotibial Band injury, which may have been exacerbated by insufficient post-run stretching.

  • I'm with Swanscot - a good warm up before, then stretches after the run. I stretch calf muscles, quads, hamstrings, gluts. At the gym I use an electric massage roller (before stretching) which is incredibly good and is really what's keeping me running inside atm, and after outside runs I foam roller a few times over the next day or so.

    Before I was injured I never used to stretch regularly but find it does help now.

    Pic of electric roller:

    wakefield-mi.americanlisted...

  • I agree with Swanscott, stretching cold muscles is risky could do more harm than good, 5 minute warm up walk is what I do. 15 minutes of stretching after run holding stretches for 30 seconds, stops stiffness next day.

  • found this chat really interesting I always thought you had to warm up with stretches before. Will try next run just doing the 5 min walk warm up. thank you

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