New runner worries
Now I am upping my distance a little I am sometimes stiff the next day, not much and not sore. I do warm up and I do stretch after a run. I understand that you should only do stretches when the muscles are properly warm. So.o.o do I stretch out the stiffness next day or not ??? I don't run two days in a row.
I have noticed that if I have put in a fastish lap I have some discomfort soon after the run at the top of my thigh in a ligament that attaches top of quad to my body, is my gait to blame or is it just my ancient body trying to adjust to unaccustomed exercise.
Yes, you can stretch the next day but ease into the stretches rather than pushing yourself to the absolute limit of your flexibility within the first few seconds. Stretch very gently and hold it for 20 seconds, go a bit futher into the stretch, hold for another 20 seconds and continue like that. That way you are warming up the muscles as you do your stretching routine
The discomfort you are describing sounds like your hip flexors - try this stretch:
There is nothing wrong with stretching cold muscles as long as you do it properly. Keep the stretch gentle, and as xine says, increase it slightly after 20 seconds or so.
Stretching after exercise serves a different purpose, and these should be a bit more intense and held for shorter periods - 20-30 seconds only.
Stretching for flexibility is different to stretching after a hard session (is different to stretching in prep for a session or race). Present UKA advice for stretching after a session is shorter, as Caz says, about 15s which is enough of a stretch to get the muscle (tendons, ligaments, etc.) back to the position it was before you started the session.
Stretching for flexibility is safer/better if you warm up a little. Nothing serious but maybe a couple of easy miles or a few laps of the track. It can also be done cold with care as above, but why not do a little bit of warming up? You can jog on the spot, do a few easy exercises, anything to get the blood pumping a little faster. This will also help with the recovery, helping to get rid of the stiffness you're feeling.
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