OCTOBER 18, 2014
Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon With Ivy Funds
RUN ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COURSES IN THE MIDWEST
5K HALF FULL RELAY KIDS
Stay Loose to Stay Healthy
by Coach Eladio Valdez III
In recent years, static stretching (holding a stretch for 15-30 seconds) has received a bad rap with studies showing that it weakens muscles which reduces running performance and doesn’t correlate with a decrease in injury. However, dynamic stretching (stretching while moving) has been shown to be beneficial and there are scores of anecdotal stories to back up the benefits of stretching in general. When you factor in other activities such as foam rollers and sports massages as well as a proper warm up and cool down, it’s easier to see the value in trying to loosen up the muscles that get tight from running.
The main question is what will it take for you make this a habit. For me, it took 30 years of running to realize that since my motivation was the highest during a run, maybe that’s when I should incorporate stretching. Thus began my routine a year ago of foam rolling & dynamically stretching a few minutes before the workout and stopping to stretch my glutes and hips as needed (usually for a minute or two) during the run, every 10-30 minutes, which resulted in finally loosening up my chronically tight hamstring from the previous 10 years! I realized that in stretching the major running muscles in the glutes and hips, it relieved the pressure on the hamstring, just as I had been instructed by a few health professionals.
If you have been dealing with ongoing tight spots, I recommend an appointment with a runner friendly health professional (we recommend a few in the health directory on our website) to find out stretches and activities you can do to loosen things back up.