11 Jul Is stretching going out of fashion? Plus my number one stretch.
Theres often a debate amongst runners.
To stretch or not to stretch?
There is the camp that religiously stretch – hit the same routine post run and might even attend a pilates/yoga class to keep on top of things.
But then theres the camp that ignore things completely.
In fact, a bit of a secret of mine is how I’ve been avoiding it as a bit of an experiment over the past few months… But lets just say it’s safely back in my routine now!
But what should you be doing?
And more importantly – why should you be doing it?
Its this second question which should dictate your actions.
Lets take an example.
Janice (totally made up) is a 38 year old mother of two, she runs for the social side of things and for the medals… 😉
She has a 9-5 desk job, and when she isn’t working, she is ferrying the kids about, and sometimes she might even find time for herself to be able to run.
Stretching is an after thought – if there is time, there might be the odd calf stretch, this becomes more of a priority if the calves are a bit tight of course!
Should Janice be stretching? Yes. Well, I am supposed to say that!
Why should Janice be stretching?
I would start with her desk job, chances are she has certain tightnesses in her body that need correcting, particularly in the hips from spending a large percentage of her day seated.
This comes under – Stretching to IMPROVE range of motion, she is tight in a certain area and would ideally like to improve this to help with her running and general wellbeing.
BUT… If she is stretching to relive pain the day after, the old DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscular Soreness) I’m afraid this isn’t the best strategy…
She’d be better off hitting the foam roller for a few minutes or getting a stick (more on this in a later post!) to self massage – unless of course she’d rather get booked in at RunCamp for a Sports Massage… 😉 https://runcamp.co.uk/home/sports-massage/ for even better results. 😉
When should she be stretching?
Definitely post run, spending 15-45 seconds on key muscle groups that she wants to improve range of motion on.
As an example… If she spends a lot of time seated at work and in the car, a hip flexor stretch should be one of her key daily stretches…
She could include this stretches before a run too – however, this must be after some aerobic activity to ensure that the muscle is warm before stretching (very important), rather than going in cold.
Theres so much more we could talk about, in terms of different stretches, how we can adjust the tension during a stretch and even dynamic vs static stretches.
Actually, theres so much that we are going to dedicate a session to it on the next RunCamp Weekend…:
Check out the details here: www.runcamp.co.uk/runningweekend
Theres even talk of a stretch related challenge in next months Run365 Facebook Group.
P.S. Well done to everyone who raced over the weekend, it’s been great hearing stories from the New Forest 10 mile and Wyvern 10k, and also how important it is to run happy and love what you do:
Ant is the creator of RunCamp. Everyday his goals are to educate, motivate and inspire runners and triathletes to make themselves better than they were yesterday.
Running in his eyes is a journey, and through his coaching he aims to make everyone’s journeys more enjoyable.
As well as running, you’ll find Ant regularly taking part in triathlons, from sprint distance up to full Ironmans.
He also has a big weakness in the forms of Papa John’s pizza and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, so if you ever want to get an easier session, thats one way to get one!