To stretch or not to stretch?

Hi guys! So the last couple of weeks I've had quite a few people ask whether they should be stretching before or after workouts, or not at all! There is so much talk of what not to do pre-run these days and confusion about what is best for a running warm up. So I thought I'd just write a quick blog on what I personally do, and give you a few threads of thought so you can make your own minds up!

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A typical running warm up for me looks a little something like this...

Get Blood Pumping and Elevate Core Temp. I do this by jogging for 5-10 minutes, (can also ride a stationary bike/cross-trainer etc if you're in a gym)

Getting Out Stiffness. Not a very technical term I know - but I do this by going through a few dynamic stretches...particularly in my key stiff sites which are hips/hamstrings/back! I don't usually hold stretches very long, and like to keep the muscles moving while stretching.

Getting Technique Right! This is a few technical drills that help me hold my technique right during my training session. Things like high knee walks, glute activations, and some quick/snappy drills keep my muscles warm and help train my technique. Open the Lungs. The last couple of things are to open my lungs and really get my legs moving. I do 2-3 run throughs of 80-100m at about 80-90%, then I complete one lap of the track of 50m fast, 50m jog etc.

This is my training and race warm up, I find it prepares me mentally and physically for tough sessions well. By the time I've completed the whole process there is no stiffness or soreness in my legs and I am ready to go!

Last important thing to note is to do what you feel works for you!! Everybody is different and every body is different - so just because something works for me doesn't mean that it is going to work for you too!

Happy training!

A. xx