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The "Don't Be Sh*t!" Series - Stretching the Truth

The "Don't Be Sh*t!" Series - Stretching the Truth

Show me a research paper that says stretching is good for runners and I'll point you to another two that suggest you are just as likely to get injured with a diligent stretching routine. So...

Who to believe?

The general consensus these days is that static stretching before your run is a no-no and I wholeheartedly agree.

In my opinion the best way to warm-up for your run is to run, just a lot slower!

I start with a very slow jog and don't start to extend my stride until I'm confident that my old bones are ready for something more strenuous.

Post-run warm down routines are an area where my opinion has changed over the years. Early in my running career I used to do nothing and I got away with it!

However, just like a new car, once you have clocked up a few thousand miles you have to start thinking about a bit of maintenance otherwise things will start to break down on you!

Now I always finish my runs a little way from home and add a 5 min walk to the end followed by some dynamic and static stretching. My goal with this post-run routine is to ensure that when I next go for a run, my legs feel as fresh as possible.

I follow a general policy of "If it ain't broke don't fix it" so you are unlikely to see me do any quad stretching as I never have any issues with those. Hamstrings and hip flexors are a real issue for me though which is why you'll find me doing lots of lunges and trying (but failing!) to touch my toes.

Keeping track of what leads to a more comfortable run the next day is key, don't just follow a warm-down routine because some bloke in a magazine told you to, monitor what works for you and stick with it!

Monthly Tip

Progression Runs

If I’m doing a training run that is not a specific speed session I quite often make it progressive in terms of pace. As mentioned in this article, I always like to start with a slow first mile to warm-up but I also like to maintain control with my runs by gradually increasing the pace as I progress finishing off at a faster pace. It really helps with pace management and if you can manage a “Royal Flush” by making every single mile faster than the last one then just think of all those extra kudos you will get from all your Strava followers!

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