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Warm up- To do or not to do this is the question- Listen to your body

January 9, 2013

Warm up & Stretching in your routine

Right its January its week 2 of the year, there are loads of runners out continuing their New Years resolutions.

I thought I would post a bit about warming up, this is something I have never done properly before as I thought well I am young and fit I do not need to do this. I am now 30+, so I am still young and fit, however my body over the last year has told me different! I have had a lot of problems with calves and knees.

There is much debate about whether you should warm up or not from the experts. With anything people can give advice to you to make an informed decision, whether you decide to take this is entirely down to you. The only advice I can say, based on we are all individuals, is listen to your body this is your master. If your not stretching and your muscles feel tight this is something you may want to add into your routine

So if you would like to reduce the likelihood of injuries it is (up to you) best to include some type of warm up/ warm down stretching into your routine. This would be the same if you were going for a 10 minute run, 30 minutes or even 10 miles.

Important body parts for runners to stretch are: shoulders, triceps, lower back, hip flexors, hips, groin, quadriceps (front of thigh), hamstrings (back of thigh) and calves.

A few tips

  • Do not stretch cold – I would suggest some light activity before stretching as you are then not trying to stretch cold muscles where you are likely to pull something
  • Stretch on both sides – Do not just stretch on the side that is sore, stretch equally across your body
  • Hold the stretches- You will get deep into the muscles if you stretch 15-30 seconds. Sorry you will have to count!
  • Do not bounce- This will not help think of your muscles as an elastic band. You need to stretch gradually
  •  Try to breath!- With everything your body needs oxygen to perform.
  • If it hurts do not try and stretch past it- this is your body telling you to rest

Here is a link to Runner’s World article that has some example stretches, also have a look on youtube there is a number of demonstrations of stretches.

Remember the best expert is your body and listen to this

Happy Running

Thanks for reading Louis


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