Originally Posted by krjames
Just a question.
Shouldn't we be warming up before we start? Everyone seems to be stretching, and that's not the same thing to me at all.
I read an article a year or two ago about the Kenyan runners, and they don't apparently do any stretching before they go for training runs, but they do start off very slowly. However they do according to the article I read do a fairly extensive stretching workout after training.
What do others think? I know the only time I have ever pulled a muscle (very minor) was 10 or 15 minutes into a run. That was years ago. Nowadays I always do a fairly basic set of stretches after running or riding. Mainly for achilles and calf protection. I have to do heel drops for the achilles too.
I have achilles and foot problems from running, which mean I tend to do some stretching every time I run, as tight muscles are one contributory factor. However I only stretch after running when the muscles are warm - as mentioned, stretching cold muscles can itself cause injury (I do do some foot exercises when cold, but that's somewhat different to stretching big muscles). Sometimes stretch after uni riding, but only because it helps with the running injuries - though admittedly they were bad enough a few months ago to mean that I couldn't do any hopping on the uni, and for a short while kept me off it altogether.
Mostly do some sort of warmup when exercising, but it depends what sort of exercise - often I'll just set off steady, which is fine as a warm-up. Have never felt the need to warm-up doing something other than the activity I'm doing (for example when on xc ski courses there have been group warm up sessions involving stretching and stuff - I've always gone for a gentle ski instead, maybe catching the end of the group session). Would always warm up properly if doing a hard interval session or a race though. Certainly before uni riding I don't really bother with a warm up as such, though I'll not go straight into hopping before I've ridden around a bit.