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Be honest runners- how much do you stretch?(32 Posts)
As the title really- honestly, how much do you stretch after running? What do you do? I've been chastised by my massage therapist today for not stretching enough, and I agree I probably don't. But how much is really necessary? My massage was excruciating today, my calves are very tight and gradually as the the months go on and my training increases I am feeling more and more of the creeping body rot take over me (I lie in bed wondering which bit is going to creak most when I get up)
I know I am skating on thin ice with regards to injury so I really want to incorporate a decent stretching regime into my training.
I tend to do a quite cursory stretch after each run, and once a week or so I do a specific runners yoga on YouTube.
I bought a foam roller today- does anyone use these?
Not a lot. I stretch before I run, especially my calves. The longest run I do is 6 miles, I'm a plodder, and not far of 50, so should probably do a lot more stretching. I do a brisk walk after my run as a warm down.
No where near enough.
I run 5/6 times a week and now I need to stretch more . I get up and go straight out to run but must aim to do a proper cool down when I get back .
Soup 6 miles/10 km is a long way. That's usually my standard run these days too although I do a few shorter ones as well. I don't stretch before I run at all, I just walk/jog for a few minutes and stretch that way.
Miss yes I find that, especially if I get up and go out straight away, by the time I get home everyone's up and I just get on with the family stuff and forget to do it.
I live in a very hilly area so my calves are very tight, I am going to find some specific calf stretches in YouTube today.
I never stretched enough, now I can't run at all because my feet are buggered.
Never . I've been running half-marathons and training this year and would never think to stretch. I'll probably suffer for this at some point.
I do about 5 minutes after while my Strava uploads then I lie on the floor pretending to stretch while I look at my stats.
I never stretch either! I know I should
I stretch for 5 minutes and then walk briskly to the park where I run, which is 5 minutes away. I do the reverse after I've run ie 5 minutes brisk walk back and then 5 minutes warm-down. I am 58 so really need to!
I don't stretch after exercise as there is a theory that all you are doing is damaging muscles more. (Your muscles get micro tears during exercise which heal and make stronger muscles)
I do believe in doing an active warm up before exercise but static stretching before is not beneficial and can be harmful - you are wanting your muscles to be active during the exercise and static stretching stimulates the wrong fibres (or something...)
Stretching sessions such as yoga and Pilates as discrete activities are supposed to be good to keep joints mobile.
Foam rollers are ace!
Wizzy that's interesting, I had vaguely heard that before. I wouldn't say I actively don't stretch for that reason though, as in it's not a well thought out plan- I just find it boring.
Virtually every sporty person I know, either at circuits or running does virtually zero stretching- surely we'd all be getting injured if it was essential right? <clutches straws hopefully>
Stretching as an additional activity, as you say, such as Adrienne's yoga for runners- I do that, but only once a week max. Maybe I should factor that in a couple of times?
I'm a bit hit and miss. I'm much more likely to do a group warm up or post-run stretch than when alone.
I use a foam roller only when niggling.
I do a weekly Pilates class and quite often general class that involves resistance bands.
I should probably do more
I always stretch after runs and foam roll every time I run but not usually until the evening. I believe research shows no actual benefit from stretching but it makes me feel better so I carry on. If your muscles are really tight it may be that you would benefit from a good warm up ( I always warm up now before I go out) and trying foam rolling.
@thenewaveragebear1983 yep, I find stretching boring too but I know from experience that for me, a good warm up is key to avoiding most muscle injuries.
I've also come to realise that many niggles and aches are from lack of joint flexibility in your spine or can be from imbalance in how you move. I've had terrible lower back pain and seen a number of physios who have diagnosed different causes, but the last one I saw twigged that I'm not using my glutes evenly which means I was overcompensating with lower back muscles.
I think if you are doing a repetitive exercise like running then any imbalances get magnified and can cause problems.
But I still don't believe in stretching before or after exercise!
Never. Even when training for/running half marathons. Just go out, run the distance, go indoors and have a shower. This will bite me in the ass at some point I'm sure
Although does yoga later in the week count?!
Elm I think in many ways especially after reading this thread, doing it later in the week is more beneficial (although I must remember to actually do it!)
Also - cold shower? After she'd finished brutally massaging my calves while I whimpered in pain she said a cold shower after a run was 'essential' to make your muscles contract. Yay or nay? (Please say nay because it sounds horrific!)
@thenewaveragebear1983 oh no, hot shower hopefully the yoga does something but I think stretching post run on the same day is probably a better idea!!!
Cold showers or baths are supposed to help with inflammation. But I can't do that to myself.
Ohyou she said that the cold shower makes the muscles contract and squeeze out all the inflammation like a sponge which is where she lost me really. I may (May) be tempted to reduce the temp by a few degrees, gradually, but there is no way on earth I'm having a three minute cold shower!
All that aside though, yesterday evening I felt like I'd been in a fight, or run a marathon. Today, I feel light- my legs feel amazing, my clicky back of knee (IT band?) feels non-clicky and I have no aches and pains so she must have done something good.
Cold shower definitely not 'essential'! Like stretching the cold bath/shower thing is not backed by evidence. In fact I think the only proven benefit is from an ice bath at an eye-wateringl,y low temperature for a set time - heard this on an exercise science podcast. Again, it's just if it makes you feel better or not. I personally find that a hot bath with Himalayan/Epsom salts on a Sunday night after my long run reduces my stiffness and soreness in the next few day. Don't know if there's any good scientific evidence for it though!
I second the Epsom salt hot baths. I buy massive tubs online and then add my own essential oils.
Like others, I don't stretch nearly as much as I should do. But I'm training for a half marathon at the moment and having to consciously build in some core work to avoid injury.
Second the Yoga for Runners video series with Adrienne on YouTube: the pre- and post-run sessions are short and manageable. I get bored if it's anything longer than 10 minutes...
I also quite like the Running Channel, which has some useful exercises here: youtu.be/EbUysT2QD04
Elite sportspeople swear by ice baths.
Everyone else swears at them.
Never. I just foam roll when something hurts!
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