Friday, September 24, 2010
Do you stretch?
Yesterday morning, I did my normal 6km run in the morning and arrived home to 2 year old Sweetpea up and about. Rather then take my usual few minutes to stretch, I immersed myself in Mommyland. (On a side note, could somebody remind Sweetpea that it's okay to sleep in a little more.)
Later in the day I found I was pretty stiff. This morning, I still am, and I have a bit of soreness in some of my leg muscles.
This isn't usual for me. I didn't push myself more then normal yesterday morning, and the distance is one that I do a few times a week, every week. The only thing that is unusual in my routine is that I missed my stretching time.
If you google stretching, you'll find all kinds of recommendations, some of which contradict each other. When I was a preteen, and legwarmers were in style, you were supposed to do bouncing stretches before exercise. Now, you'll find recommendations that you stretch before and after, only after, not at all, etc.
One of the recommendations that makes a lot of sense to me is that you should never stretch cold muscles. So, rather then stretching before I run, I usually do a short walk first. (Although, admittedly, I cut that short yesterday too, since it was cold outside and I wanted to get warm faster.) Then, I run, and I stretch afterwards.
The stretches I do are shown here: Stretching for runners
I have considered stretching after my warm up walk and before running, but to be honest, I just don't feel like it. Since some of the information claims it's not necessary, I've decided to skip stretching then. I do better when I remember to stretch afterwards though, so I need to fit it in.
I know some runners/exercisers that never stretch and do well. I've also seen an article somewhere that claims you can actually injure yourself more by stretching then not. (I'm afraid I can't remember where, so I can't provide the link.)
What about you? Do you stretch?