Stretching is imperative to running, sports and fitness in general. It can save you from some really nasty injuries. Believe me… you don’t ever want to hear a loud “snap” come from your calf!
Physical Therapist Debbie Pitchford says, “Stretching is important during your warm-up, before you run, because it increases blood flow to the muscles. But stretching during your cool-down may be even more important. “After running, stretching helps to remove lactic acid from the muscle, which in turn reduces muscle soreness. That promotes better flexibility. Stretching afterwards also will help you relax.”
Linked here is a pdf with some stretches. These are merely examples of some that you may want to try to loosen your muscles up before and after a run. In talking with other runners, about 15 minutes worth of stretching before a run is usually about right.
Always consult your doctor or a qualified, licensed professional before attempting stretches. You don’t want to do something incorrectly and do more damage to your body than good.
– Your’s in fun stretchyness, Mike