Call Me A Sceptic

Well I might have been but I am a convert now. All through the programme my legs felt ok with very little stiffness after a run so I never felt the need to stretch post run and to be honest was a bit sceptical as to what difference it would make. I was quite diligent about doing my run down walk.

I had seen lots of posts on here about the benefit of stretching after a run although there was some debate about pre-run stretching. Last week I watched a programme that gave credance to post run stretching and agreed that there was no benefit to pre-run stretches in fact that stretching before might have a negative effect on performance.

Long story short last week I started to do a few stretches after my runs and I have continued doing them after both my runs so far this week. And lo and behold I have certainly felt a difference on the following runs. Call me doubting Thomas but I am a convert now.

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  • When I read the start of your post I thought I knew where it was going and would end up with you on the i.c. (which is what happened to me). Glad you saw the light in time!

  • I have stretched religiously after every run since the very early days of C25k. What I have noticed recently, after three years of running, is that I can identify assymetries in my body when I stretch, eg. one hamstring feeling tighter than the other, when stretching. By giving those assymetries a bit of extra stretching, I have to date managed to keep everything equalised and swear by the process as an opportunity to check out the feel of the major muscle groups and get them realigned.

    As for pre run stretching, from what I have read, some believe that it may reduce potential muscle power but that it may also reduce the risk of injury. I do very gentle calf stretches after my warm up walk, which seems to have kept the Achilles problems that I used to suffer at bay, so I am willing to accept the reduction in power.

    It is all part of learning to listen to (or feel) your body.

  • I always stretch after a run I find it helps me a lot x

  • i have suffered with a tight calf muscle and resorted to a sports massage. The therapist suggested more post run stretches but also to stretch before runs. So i now drop my heel off the bottom step and use a foam roller before running. I am not worried about times. more important that i run and remain injury free so i can keep running! I went back for a second massage and the therapist commented that she could tell id been stretching more.

    Like IannodaTruffle you do learn to listen to your body - this tight calf led to putting more pressure on the other leg and I can feel that now, but more stretches before and after runs and I can feel it improving and think I'll be able to sort it without a professional massage.

    So i suppose stretching before a run depends on your aim. Mine is definitely to stay injury free!

    Happy running :)

  • NIGHTINGALE1 you really shouldn't tempt me to call you things but since you ask so nicely...! You're a previously sceptical, stretchy musketeer ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • I totally agree - I began stretching on Week 2 of C25k and it made all the difference to my calves during and after my runs. I wear high heels all of the time when I'm not running and have done since I was about 14 so I need to stretch my calves out before the run too otherwise my legs wouldn't be able to manage going from one to the other. I have noticed the difference in the flexibility of my muscles too as at the beginning I only had to lean forward to feel a stretch in my calves but now I have to do the full on stretch against a wall that you see all pro sports people do! I'm such an advocate of stretching so glad there's another convert! :)

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