: to make (something) wider or longer by pulling it
: to become longer or wider when pulled
: to put your arms, legs, etc., in positions that make the muscles long and tight
We all know we are supposed to do it. We all pretend we do it at least a little. I’ll let you in on a secret, I am very bad at stretching and I would bet many of you are too. I go through stages where I try to be better. Usually if I’m running with other people, I’m better but only if they are a person who stretches. Then there is the post workout stretches. I’ve been known to do them while in the shower as time is limited. Admit it, you’ve done it to. You go out for a run with limited time, realize that school pick-up or anything else is sooner than you realized. So you stretch while conditioning your hair. You do what you have to do.
Then there is the whole debate weather runners should even stretch before heading out the door. Some say you should. Some say you shouldn’t. I’m in the category in between. I think that each person needs to decide what works for them and their body. I, personally, think it is more important to warm up before going full speed than it is to stretch. I don’t do any real stretches before hand unless it is something as simple as hamstring stretch. I am trying to be better about warming up before a run than stretching before one. I’ve recently started going out the door at a brisk pace and then do a short warm up with a slower pace. This may be why professional athletes warm up with a few miles before a race. So since I’m not a professional athlete and I don’t want to add more miles, I will just continue to warm up the way I do.
As for post race stretching even though I am bad about doing it; I do think it is something that I should be doing more of. I think that the post run stretches can help alleviate the soreness many of us feel after a long run. Why wouldn’t it? We all know that there is nothing better than a good stretch. So why not do more of them? I with everything else in life am trying to be better. I know that if I take a few minutes post run to stretch that maybe I will feel better later and less sore. With anything else it is getting into the routine of it which I am trying to do. It will take some time, but I do think it is worth doing.
Some of my favorite post run stretches.
Do you stretch before or after your run?
What is your favorite stretch?