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Discussion Starter #1
I've been running for many years just to keep fit, but never bothered to find out the proper way to do things. I was once advised that it wasn't good to cool down too quickly after running, but someone else recently told me just the opposite. Can anyone tell me what is best. Currently I just throw on a sweatshirt and joggers when I get in and wait till I've cooled down.
Jude:rolleyes:
 

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IMO, when someone says cool down i belive that they mean to strech your muscles/ settle your heart rate down at the end of your run, rather than letting your body temperature cool.

i see cooling down as a period where i continue to use the same muscles but at a lower rate... i.e. if ive been running i will then walk for 5-10mins to let my heart rate settle down again and stop my legs from cramping up.

if you are asking about body temp, my gut feeling is that it would be bad to cool too quickly... although i have nothin to back that though, the concept just feels wrong
 

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I agree with Beasty.

Warming down is essential, but cooling down too quickly may cause a chill, or assist in tightening up the muscles and tendons.
 

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I agree, the first time I went jogging I didnt bother cooling down properly and the next day my legs were really sore. Now after each session I walk briskly for a good ten minutes then stretch
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone. Since I have a 50 metre walk up a steep hill to the house after my run I guess I'll call that my cooling down time. I've never bothered too much before, and so far in 20 years never had any adverse effects. Now in the upper age brackets I feel it may be advisable to look after myself!
Thanks again.
 

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For me it's bringing the pace down gradually to a walk then stretching the muscles. Breathing and heart rate will come down naturally.
 

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For me it's bringing the pace down gradually to a walk then stretching the muscles. Breathing and heart rate will come down naturally.
You've got it exactly right. Not that I do much by way of a cool down nowadays! The only stretch I do is my aforementioned Saigon Squat that lasts no longer than a minute - followed by a glass of isotonic drink, a shower (if I'm in my country seat!) then into something warm. I'm getting lazy in my dotage. Perhaps I should do more.
Cheers!
 

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Seems I do less than anyone. My routine is usually a couple of stretches of the hamstrings and then once my heart rate is back to resting I get in the shower. I've never really felt the need for it. Likewise the warm up before hand. (Probably why it takes my lungs almost two miles to catch up with my legs!)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Loved your last comment Scr8pe - lungs having to catch up with legs! That's exactly how I feel! My warm up is a gentle jog downhill from the house.
 

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Seems I do less than anyone. My routine is usually a couple of stretches of the hamstrings and then once my heart rate is back to resting I get in the shower. I've never really felt the need for it. Likewise the warm up before hand. (Probably why it takes my lungs almost two miles to catch up with my legs!)
I think I do least. I get home and have a shower. that is my cool down. I have never stretched before or after a run. Sometimes I'll walk to the coffee shop after a run and a shower, but that's about it. I think this stretching and cooling down lark is a bit overated. I can see the need if you are an Olympic athlete, or doing some serious workouts, or perhaps are prone to injury, but most people don't really need to do this IMO.
 

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I think its important, if I dont stretch properly after a run I ache the next day
 

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My other half is a physio, and as long as I can remember has consistantly maintained that my warm up is abysmal, and my cool down non existant.
I just find the whole thing so... tedious. Yes, I know, I know, I'm a bad boy. But since I don't get pulled muscles and excessive soreness I just figure I must be doing something right. I do a bit of stretching, bit of jumping about for a few minutes, then nip out the gate to disapproving looks from the kitchen window.
(It was interesting to look at my heart rate for the first time though, and see a sharp peak a few minutes after I started the run. Apparantly, this is one of the things a good warm up should avoid.)

I think a big part of the warm up/cool down thing is very dependant on body type. I've always been naturally pretty flexible but I can see if you're not then it would be much more important.
Know what I hate? Needing to be somewhere else quick after my run, diving in the shower and finding that my body just will not cool off because my blood temperature is still too hot. Get out, get dried, realise I'm still sweating. Damn.
Best cool off - a dive into the kids paddling pool in summer. Remember to eject kids first..

(Its nice to see a few other heretics confessing their sins on here!)
 

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The physio I saw the other week said it isn't too important when you are younger but as you get older your muscles lose some of there elasticity and the need to stretch increases.
 

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stretching isn't essential by any means, and some people will feel no need to do it... though as has been mentioned, some people will find they ache the following day if they don't stretch and cool down.

I'd recommend it to anyone who pushes themselves hard in their training routine, it certainly won't do you any harm to stretch after a run so can surely only benefit you... If you can get away without stretching though - fair enough!
 
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