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 Stretching Success?
Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Stretching Success? Posted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 9:52 pm 

I'll admit that I don't stretch much, and especially since I read several sources questioning the value of stretching for runners, I've done it even less. Until yesterday, I literally hadn't stretched even once in months. But all this week my legs were feeling a bit tight and heavy, and so I decided to do some stretches. Nothing fancy, just two minutes or so of basic calf and thigh stretches in the evening, and again the next morning before my run. Well, I ended up feeling better than I had in ages, and I ran my home loop a whopping 40 seconds per mile faster than I had been over the past few weeks.

Sure, it was only one run and not something you can draw any deep conclusions from, but it sure looks like zero stretching is not the way to go, at least not for me. I've decided at the last minute to run a half marathon tomorrow, so we'll see how well the stretching carries over into the morning's race.


terrysquier

Canon City, CO
Joined: 09 Jan 2005
Posts: 44

Re: Stretching Success? Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 5:07 pm 

I myself do very little stretching, if any. Once in a while I'll stretch my calf muscles but that's about it. So maybe, like you, I'll try a few light stretches for my thighs and hamstrings and calf muscles tonight and see if it has any effect. I know a lot of runners stretch quite a bit and tout its importance. Maybe we can both be guinea pigs and see whether it should be more important to us or not.

allen

Utah
Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 27

Re: Stretching Success? Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 9:08 pm 

What works, works! In my case, I stretch before and after each run. I do basic stretching for my knees, groin, legs, buttocks, lower back, stomach, and arms (so I can run my rototiller). Most of my stretches are to losen muscles, but a few are to strengthen muscles. If I don't stretch at the end of a run, I have more stiffness from lactic acid.

Some people say they don't stretch, because it can cause injuries. They're right, it can. Anything that puts stress on our body has the potential to cause injuries. In my case, I do easy stretches without pain and stay away from the bouncy things. In 31 years of running I've never been injured by stretching (or by running for that matter).


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Stretching Success? Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:59 pm 

I usually spend 5-10 minutes stretching after a run. Occasionally I'll skip if I'm in a hurry. I try to stretch using the "Active Isolated Stretching" technique. You have to contract the opposite muscle to relax the musle you want to stretch...and then only stretch it for a couple seconds before it has a chance to react my tightening. Repeat for 10 reps. See http://www.aistretch.com

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Stretching Success? Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:59 am 

After a couple of positive results last week, I've gone back to stretching again. Nothing fancy, just a few brief static stretches. Sometimes right before or after a run, or sometimes just in the middle of the day when I have a few minutes to kill.

Minnow


Joined: 20 Jan 2005
Posts: 19

Re: Stretching Success? Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:27 pm 

I usually stretch before and after an interval workout, and also before and after competing - i find my competition times are better after stretching. I always do a small warmup (about 10min) before hand, hold each stretch for 15-20sec, and never bounce. However, i never stretch before or after a longer run.

I once knew a guy whose coach was a big fan of stretching. When he bent over and tried to touch his toes he was about 10cm off the ground. His coach put him on this extreme stretching program where he would hold stretches for up to 30 minutes! The result? In 6 months he was able to put his palms flat on the ground, and most importantly his running improved.

I definitely believe stretching to be beneficial, but maybe once or twice a week seems to work ok for me.


Kuzdpyro82


Joined: 05 May 2005
Posts: 2

Re: Stretching Success? Posted: Thu May 05, 2005 9:09 am 

I am at work so I have to be brief. I had a coach in college (just graduated last year) that was big into current athletic and medical theory. He did a lot of reading and went to a lot of seminars, so our training regimen changed pretty drastically year to year as he learned. He found that dynamic stretching before running and static stretching after running gave the maximum benefit. Static stretching before you run doesn't do much. If your muscles are tight or need to be warmed up, that is what the dynamic stretching is for. The research he read stated that static stretching after running helped with the recovery process, so we static stretched after harder and longer runs and were encouraged to do it after most runs. Since we had a pretty successful running program I still use the dynamic before, static after approach.

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