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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, have been running now for about 3/4 months and progressing quite well.
My question is about warming up. Before a jog i walk for about 5-7 min then light jog, followed shortly by my regular pace. I never stretch before i jog as i have been told never stretch a cold muscle.
Is the 5/7 min walk im doing a good enough warm up or do i need to stretch when the body is warmed up.
 

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Ive only recently started running but i did play a lot of football before so have a good understanding of warming up and my own muslces.

I recently have started off with some 30 minutes runs and i dont stretch before i start. As I finish I go for a 5min walk then stretch before muscles get too cold. At football we always had a warm up run before stretching before sprints etc. Think because of this I feel comfortable of not stretching before this kind of run. Anything longer I would def stretch however.

Also heard theories of stretching only after exercise and workouts and it reducing soft tissue injuries. How does this relate to running? As i think this theory was only carried out for Rugby training.
 

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I have been running for 2 years now and have never done stretching or proper warm up exercises before running. I know this is probably not a good idea, but to be honest I have never had an injury or even a slight niggle. What I tend to do is not push too hard on the first mile. I ease into a fast pace and consider that my warm-up. I'll usually go for a short walk after showering. If you are prone to niggles or injury I would get some expert advise on stretching and warming up.
 

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The current thinking among most coaches (although there are plenty of traditionalists, including at my own club who still swear by static stretching before running) is that static stretching - which is what most people mean by 'stretching' - reduces performance, especially power production in the muscle. Think of 'mobilisation' rather than stretching - skipping, hopping, walking, 2-footed jumps, leg swinging, bumflicks, side-to-side skipping, arm swinging - yes, and jogging, and also some fast run-throughs, all these get you ready to run. The length and type of the session you are planning dictates the warm-up: for a hard interval session, a good long mobilisation and warm-up; for a 30 min easy run, very little is required. Monitor yourslef for stiffness after running and stretch where it's stiff, too.
 

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I figure that since our Hunter/Gatherer ancestors probably didn't stand around stretching every muscle in their body for 15 minutes before they went to get food, we could also get away without doing it :p Frankly, I'd rather be on the road actually exercising than spending 15 mins on the floor stretching. Time is short as it is when you work full time.
 

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I believe the long and short of it is that some people need to stretch whereas others don't! Most people tend to not bother stretching much, if at all... then if they suffer with stiffness and soreness they'll introduce stretching to aid it, and it usually helps. For most, as long as they don't just jump into full-on activity they should be alright :)

Personally I tend to just take the first mile slow and the last 1/2-1 mile slowly with 5 mins stretching at the end.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the useful replys it seems when you start off jogging every one will give you there own opinion, " you should do this or do that". When i first started i was told YOU MUST STRETCH BEFORE YOU JOG, that was when i tore a muscle and was out for about 2 months.

Thanks
 

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I was told you must NOT stretch before, but Must stretch after; apparently the big no-no is yanking your cold muscles out of shape, then running on them for a few miles, then yanking them again. If you wake them up gently, and leave the stretching til after, they seem to enjoy it :confused:

Anyway, there's 1001 theories, probably best to just find one you like :)
 

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Katten said:
Anyway, there's 1001 theories, probably best to just find one you like :)
I get the feeling that this is the case with practically every request for advice which lands on the forum... so many differing theories and opinions. You can almost see the forum members shaking/nodding their heads in disagreement/agreement to the opinions and answers proffered! (More than one member here has admitted to having had to bite their tongue to restrain themselves from replying to posts in a manner unbecoming of the well-mannered norm we seem to encounter here!)
The more of these requests I read; the more I'm convinced that (as Katten suggests) you should find whatever solution or method suits you best. Who knows... you may find an answer quicker by your own experimentation than you would by trying to sort through every "solution" offered here. :confused:
 

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Stretching...

Remember... it's very easy to OVER-STRETCH which actually causes the muscles to (for want of a better term) "retaliate" :eek: ... Potentially worse than not stretching at all. :rolleyes:
 

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While everyone seems to have slightly different opinions it is still good to see them as everyone is different and as you learn more about your own body the more you see whats best for you.

The big thing is not to stretch cold muscles. I too tend to take the 1st mile or so easy as my warm up and at the end walk of any potential stiffness and stretch what i feel is stiff or where i am worried about. Seems to work for me.

I agree with the over stretching thing too, no point in continuingly stretching out one muslce. If one muscle continues to be stiff no matter how much you stretch it might mean your doing too much and it needs more of a rest (and a massage!)
 

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All depends on what kind of stretching you're doing. Static stretches from a cold start are a no-no but there's generally no problem with dynamic stretches with minimal or zero warm-up.
 

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For me it would depend on the type of run and to an extent the weather, for a long or recovery/warm run I wouldn't bother, but for technique/intervals/threshold/cold runs then I would have a warm up first but no stretching really. Perhapse some very light stretches/calasthetics (sp?) but only when warm.
 

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personally im a huge fan of stretching,
although anything done pre-run is a lot more gentle than post run.. i think ive always done so i know how far i can push it.

on a training run, i always take the first mile a lot easier aswell..
 

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A someone who has had recently a calf muscle pull I always stretch now before a run and if i remember throughout the day.
My problem is lack of flexibilty in my ankles so I like to stretch gently before subjecting my muscles to the pounding that they receive on the roads, I wouldn't dream of running now without stretching properly first. Advice from my physio, good enough from me!
 

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I am more a fan of post-run stretching - and propert stretching classes in between running days (Pilates or Yoga)... I think pre-run a jog, bottom kicks, and a few strides sessions once warmed up can help before a race... a training run you just start off slow like the others say.
 

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I always stretch before and after a run, ever since getting an injury last year. If I stretch and still get an injury at least my nurse wife can`t say

"That`s your fault :mad:you should have stretched:mad:.....blah....blah....blah:p"
 

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i forgot to mention in my other post..
the sports massage chappy that i see said that some people say do it and other say dont.. although he personally does stretch pre run
 
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