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I've always done religiously extensive stretching and cool-downs after exercise, like it's some golden rule for avoiding pain and damage. I've found it's the best time for pushing the suppleness of my joints to new limits, probably because it's about the warmest they get. In terms of pain prevention though...judging by the levels of pain I get in subsequent days, it either doesn't work, or the potential amount of pain I could be in doesn't bear thinking about.

Reading through one of my old anatomy and physiology books yesterday about muscles and what happens to them during and after intense exercise....I can't logically see any benefit in more that just a little light stretching. It seems the most important thing is not to go straight from intense exercise to being totally stationary, but to maintain gentle movement until breathing has more or less stabilised. The continued muscle contractions would give a little extra help to the circulation of blood, restoring oxygen and pre-exercise muscle conditions.

And surely once normal breathing has more or less returned, surely even a period of just lying totally at rest rather than continuing to move around would be the best way of letting muscles recover uninterrupted for a while.


Does that seem to make any sense to anyone? If not, any suggestions as to why no amount of stretching seems to save me from agony the next day?
(Annoyingly, when I used to run a bit with my ex, he barely did any cool-down and never suffered any pain the next day. AND he had asthma, yet I was always the one struggling along. Grr. Men. haha:p )
 

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I find that doing some stretching afterwards, and every day is a good thing. I'm fairly flexible anyway, but I find when I don't do it, I get stiff, which can turn into pain. Anyway, I guess your problem is either that when you are running you're going to fast, OR another possibility is what you eat I guess. Anyway, post-exercise I don't think it's recommended to really push yourself in stretches, and you have to hold them for at least 30 seconds... I dunno, a lot of people have different idea really, so you should just try different routines and take a note of what really works, and what really doesn't work.
 

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I do a little bit of light stretching when I finish and it seems to help. Im careful not to over do the stretching though if it is just jogging I am doing. You could try not stretching as much the next time and see if it makes any difference.

Also what I do when I get in from a run is get in a shower, turn it to cold :eek: and blast my legs with it. Particularly my thighs and calf muslces. This gets the blood flowing and flushes out that latic acid from your muslces. The lactic acid can make your legs feel tired and sore. It works for me, might not suit everyone though.
 

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Yeah, I forgot to add that I often find a rather strong massage after a run can be really helpful :)
 

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I don't stretch before I run I use the first mile to running slowly to warm up, as lairdy says overstretching can be harmful and this could be what is causing your problems.

Once you have completed your run like you and others have said just do some light stretching and see how you go.

It takes a brave person to put a cold shower on themselves, but it is supposed to be very effective, Paula Radcliffe gets in a bath of ice after a race, I tried cold bath once got in as far as my ankles and got out again.

Hope things get better soon.

TT
 

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In the summer I like cold showers, they're refreshing... in the winter though... it's just not going to happen, is it?
 

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almost_no_specifics said:
In the summer I like cold showers, they're refreshing... in the winter though... it's just not going to happen, is it?
I think I tried it in the summer :eek:
 

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amybird said:
pushing the suppleness of my joints to new limits...
Why do you do that? :eek: How supple do you need to be to run? Are you also some kid of contortionist?... View attachment 75 Hmm, I'm afraid I'm one of those "men" who don't do any stretching... :embarrassed:

Over-stretching muscles results in the opposite of what you are trying to achieve... they sort of "fight back" and contract, rather than become supple...
 

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I agree with Pedestrian. If you're going to do any stretching at all you just want to start going in to the position... and as soon as you feel the stretch/tightness/pain, just stop, release a little and hold it there. Anyway, if you're not doing really intense exercise, there's not much point, if you're aching after somewhat low-intensity exercise, I'd say probably giving your theighs a good rub down will be helpful! The only reason why I do any stretching at all really is because I used to do gymnastics, and basically I don't want to get any less flexible... makes me feel... yuk. So I'm a lot more flexible than your regular runner anyway, so I'm not so prone to injuries I guess. Anyway, after my evening run, which was pretty intense, Mr. Octopus is going to come out now (it's this little plastic massager thingy, great for theighs and back).
 

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almost_no_specifics said:
I... So I'm a lot more flexible than your regular runner anyway, so I'm not so prone to injuries I guess. Anyway, after my evening run, which was pretty intense, Mr. Octopus is going to come out now (it's this little plastic massager thingy, great for thighs and back).
Yeah... distance runners are notoriously inflexible. (I had a friend at school who couldn't get anywhere near touching his toes... mid-shin level was the best he could manage. He ran a 4-09 mile aged 17!). :cool:
... But I've actually come across accounts which claim that a certain degree of resistance through the joints can actually be advantageous for distance runners. ;)

"MR. OCTOPUS"? View attachment 77
 

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Heh... I can bend forward enough from standing to kiss my knees, and when sat out on the floor my torso contacts my legs... but yeah, my boyfriend is rediculous, I don't think he can even reach to his knees, and he runs now and then really... but he's mostly into squash and what not, and muscle/body building/weights kind crap.

But yeah, being overly flexible has been a lil bit of a downfall for me and running... especially in my hips... Just standing up straight I can pretty much pop the joint out of the (femur and pelvis)... and you can imagine that if I were to go over something on a road, that made me lose balance, it could have a really bad effect - joints popping out because the ligaments aren't as tight as they should be. I've also heard stories of people simply getting off buses and their joints being cracked because of slight disalignment due to looseness of the ligaments... and personally I find that steep downhill can cause a bit of pain in my hips... but I just have to take it easy and make sure I've got a really good stance and everything... Anyway, it's kind of a case of balancing flexibility with general muscle strength... so I'm faring OK. When I said I don't get injured as much - I meant from stretching, ie going too far.


Mr Octopus rules. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
almost_no_specifics said:
Heh... I can bend forward enough from standing to kiss my knees, and when sat out on the floor my torso contacts my legs... but yeah, my boyfriend is rediculous, I don't think he can even reach to his knees, and he runs now and then really... but he's mostly into squash and what not, and muscle/body building/weights kind crap.

But yeah, being overly flexible has been a lil bit of a downfall for me and running... especially in my hips... Just standing up straight I can pretty much pop the joint out of the (femur and pelvis)... and you can imagine that if I were to go over something on a road, that made me lose balance, it could have a really bad effect - joints popping out because the ligaments aren't as tight as they should be. I've also heard stories of people simply getting off buses and their joints being cracked because of slight disalignment due to looseness of the ligaments... and personally I find that steep downhill can cause a bit of pain in my hips... but I just have to take it easy and make sure I've got a really good stance and everything... Anyway, it's kind of a case of balancing flexibility with general muscle strength... so I'm faring OK. When I said I don't get injured as much - I meant from stretching, ie going too far.


Mr Octopus rules. ;)
mmmmmm thanks for the gross info lol :p
I've got those elbows that slightly over-bend - so if I fell and put my hands down to catch myself, there's a chance my elbows might pop in the wrong direction and ping out. ew *shudders*
 

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Ok, ok, ok!!! thats enough posts from the circus freaks, alright?... I'm trying to digest a shed-load of pancakes here... Mmmmm... :p
 

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mmmmm pancakes... I did a lot of them last night. Think I have to pay for them in my running though.

As for stretching and post-running pain, the only answer is the cold.

Set yourself up in the shower, with normal temperature, then gradually get it colder. Once you have it as cold as you can stand, hold the shower in your head and target your feet/ankles/shins and slowly get the water colder and colder and colder until you're at your limit, move to the knees and the thighs and hamstrings, then back to the shins and you'll probably find you can stand it a little colder now. Basically freeze your legs as much as you can for 5 minutes, then warm the shower to the coldest you can manage on your body and finish your shower (you'll notice that your legs feel warm to this water as it runs down now which is wierd!!).

That's the way I *manage* a cold shower!

:)
 

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amybird said:
mmmmmm thanks for the gross info lol :p
I've got those elbows that slightly over-bend - so if I fell and put my hands down to catch myself, there's a chance my elbows might pop in the wrong direction and ping out. ew *shudders*
Don't all women's elbows over-bend (which means they're not over-bending really). I know when I did some archery the women were at more risk of the string hitting them on the forearm after releasing the arrow because of this extra bend to the elbow.
 

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Heh.. pancakes! I had the biggest savoury pancake ever ever ever last night, followed by a couple smaller sweet ones... mmmm...

As for elbows... mine don't over-end really... maybe a lil past 180 degs heh, but nothing freaky.
 

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That's just lazy... mine were like cheese and parma ham with a tiny bit of pancake hahahah..., and the others were like frozen yoghurt (as in yoghurt I put in the freezer) and this homemade chocolate ice cream stuff my friend made which was basically just cold chocolate.... soooooooooooooooooooooooo good. Good thing I'm going running again tonight. Wouldn't wanna start rippling over my running leggins heh.
 

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I had my pancakes too last night, sugar and Lemon rule, I did sneak in a maple syrup one aswell.
 
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