To Stretch or Not to Stretch

To Stretch or Not to Stretch

Post by Francis R. Lando » Thu, 14 Sep 1995 04:00:00


I have been running for about 15 years. I have never stretched either
before or after running. I am now in my mid 40's (ouch) and am either
becoming less tolerant of pain or am in more pain. I have pain in my
buttocks, insides of legs (at the tops), and sometimes in the hams.
Generally it feels better when I am running, but gets really sore
if I sit for a long while. I ran 186 miles last month, train at
an 8 pace and race at a 7 pace. Friends have advised me to stretch
before and after running. However, I am aware of a school championed
by George Sheehan (sp) that says if you don't stretch and havn't had
injuries, then don't start. Is stretching worth the investment? Will
it have an effect on my aches and pains?

 
 
 

To Stretch or Not to Stretch

Post by Tom Carmina » Fri, 15 Sep 1995 04:00:00


Quote:

> I have been running for about 15 years. I have never stretched either
> before or after running. I am now in my mid 40's (ouch) and am either
> becoming less tolerant of pain or am in more pain. [...]
> Is stretching worth the investment? Will
> it have an effect on my aches and pains?

I suggest stretching after running or after you've warmed up. If that
takes too much time or is too inconvenient, you can pick another time of
day to stretch *gently*, perhaps before bed.

Stretching cold muscles can lead to more injuries than not stretching.
(Stretching has to be gradual, gentle, and "non-competitive"- you can't
try to stretch as far or further than last time, today you might be as
flexible.) For what it's worth, I've read that the Kenyans routine at
their training camp leading up to the world cross country championships is
to start runs very slowly (they may start at 8 or 9 min/mile pace and
finish the run at sub-5) without stretching before and to stretch
thoroughly after the run.

Bob Anderson, author of 'Stretching' advocates stretching before and after
running. If you stretch properly (i.e., gently), you can use it to warm up
before exercise. Based on studies of runners and stretching, I wouldn't
stretch as a warmup unless you're certain you're doing it right.

--
Tom Carminati
U S WEST Technologies


 
 
 

To Stretch or Not to Stretch

Post by William Bahnfle » Fri, 15 Sep 1995 04:00:00

Quote:
Tom Carminati writes:

...

Quote:
>Bob Anderson, author of 'Stretching' advocates stretching before and after
>running. If you stretch properly (i.e., gently), you can use it to warm up
>before exercise. Based on studies of runners and stretching, I wouldn't
>stretch as a warmup unless you're certain you're doing it right.

...and to be sure you're doing it correctly, get a copy of the book--it gives
a very thorough description of proper technique and provides routines tailored
to different types of activity.  I've been using them for at least ten years
with great results.  I would agree based on personal experience that the
post-run stretch is more important for development of better flexibility (if
that's what you need).

Bill Bahnfleth

--
William P. Bahnfleth
Department of Architectural Engineering
Penn State University-University Park


 
 
 

To Stretch or Not to Stretch

Post by Kenneth M. Rober » Fri, 15 Sep 1995 04:00:00


Quote:
>I have been running for about 15 years. I have never stretched either
>before or after running. I am now in my mid 40's (ouch) and am either

    .
    .
    .

Quote:
>injuries, then don't start. Is stretching worth the investment? Will
>it have an effect on my aches and pains?


Ever since I hit 30  I have been having some pain problems ( mostly in the
calves ) that I never had before.  I was never too rigorous with stretching, but
I now find it is the only way to run without pain.  It seems to be a combination
of age and spending more time sitting in cars and airplanes and at my desk.
( let's not forget those nights sitting at the computer reading newsgroups! )

Be careful when stretching.  Stretching a "cold" muscle too fast is just as bad
as running on it without warming up.  Try a mixture of warmup and stretching,
esp. if you hop out of bed and go right out for a run.

kmr

 
 
 

To Stretch or Not to Stretch

Post by Ray Charbonnea » Fri, 15 Sep 1995 04:00:00

I warm up with The Stick and some slow running, then cool down with slow
running, streching (unless the muscle is tender), then The Stick.  With
this routine, I can now touch my kneecaps when bent over.

More seriously, I try to strech, but sometimes you just have to stop.  
With some problems, streching causes more problems than running.

--
Ray Charbonneau    |
MIT Library Systems|    3:09:59

 
 
 

To Stretch or Not to Stretch

Post by Mr GS Dietachmay » Fri, 15 Sep 1995 04:00:00


: I have been running for about 15 years. I have never stretched either
: before or after running.
I am a fitness leader and I have always done a lot of stretching.  I have a
high degree of flexibility so I don't stretch before a run but I always
make sure I am properly warmed up before I start.  Directly after my
run I stretch my calves, hamstrings and quadriceps.  Every evening, after
dinner, when I am really relaxed I hit the floor and do a full stretching
routine.  I have been an exercise freak for 13 years now, I exercise 6
days per week, mostly swimming and running.  Given the amount of exercise
I have done over the years I have remained pretty injury free and I
attribute that mainly to flexability.
You would have to start very gently and gradually build up your stretching
ability, but please....do start and start soon.
Tracey

 
 
 

To Stretch or Not to Stretch

Post by J C Zahorch » Fri, 15 Sep 1995 04:00:00

        Grab a copy of the stretching FAQ.  

The fastest man I've known in my life (now plays NFL football)
religiously did *NOT* stretch.  It worked for him.  

As I approach the big three-oh, I've noticed low back pain on
runs of over twenty km.  Stretching has helped.  So have (believe
it or not) crunches.

 
 
 

To Stretch or Not to Stretch

Post by Richard Ottoli » Sat, 16 Sep 1995 04:00:00

One alternative is "warm up" by jogging easily for the first 15 minutes
or so before more seriously running or fartleking.
SOme days I don't really feel loose until 30 minutes into the run.
 
 
 

To Stretch or Not to Stretch

Post by Stephen M. Prib » Sun, 17 Sep 1995 04:00:00


R. Landolf) says:
->I have been running for about 15 years. I have never stretched either
->before or after running. I am now in my mid 40's (ouch) and am either
->becoming less tolerant of pain or am in more pain. I have pain in my
->buttocks, insides of legs (at the tops), and sometimes in the hams.
->Generally it feels better when I am running, but gets really sore
->if I sit for a long while. I ran 186 miles last month, train at
->an 8 pace and race at a 7 pace. Friends have advised me to stretch
->before and after running. However, I am aware of a school championed
->by George Sheehan (sp) that says if you don't stretch and havn't had
->injuries, then don't start. Is stretching worth the investment? Will
->it have an effect on my aches and pains?

Hi Francis,

The statement attributed to George Sheehan is based on the concept that
if something isn't broke don't fix it. My instinct would be to also
tell someone who has run for 20 years without a problem to not change a
thing.Right now, however, you have pain in your buttocks, insides of your
legs and hamstrings. That counts as a problem. It is time to start some
gentle stretching.

George Sheehan was better known for championing the Magic Six Exercises.
This was done to try to prevent injuries in new runners.
I have a list of these with some minor modifications at my home page:
(This Saturday morning - seems to be a slow server this morning - come
back if there is a problem)

http://www.clark.net/pub/pribut/spsport.html

Dr. Steve Pribut