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That One Thing You Need To Do......

What is it???????

It's that one thing that we all know we need to do post run. That thing we say, "oh I'll do it after I eat, I'll do it after I have coffee, I'll do it after I shower, I'll do it after my hot tub, I'll do it after"......................... And then we just don't make the time to do it.


Yes that's it

It's kind of the dirty word of running in my group. I'm not going to speak for the rest of the group but I know I'm bad for not stretching post run. I know how much better I feel the next day if I do.

I was laying in savasana couple of nights ago at the end of a yoga class reflecting on my week of exercise. Monday and Tuesday I was tired and achy from my previous day/night run, no stretching after, Wednesday I felt better and Thursday felt great! You guessed it, I stretched after my runs.

OK let's serious here

Why do my muscles, etc, ache after a run? I did a little research on the almighty Google and here's what I found.

"Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common result of physical activity that stresses the muscle tissue beyond what it is accustomed to," says David O. Draper, professor and director of the graduate program in sports medicine/athletic training at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

To be more specific, says Draper, who's also a member of the heat-responsive pain council, delayed onset muscle soreness occurs when the muscle is performing an eccentric or a lengthening contraction. Examples of this would be running downhill or the lengthening portion of a bicep curl.

"Small microscopic tears occur in the muscle," he says.

The mild muscle strain injury creates microscopic damage to the muscle fibers. Scientists believe this damage, coupled with the inflammation that accompanies these tears, causes the pain.

"The aches and pains should be minor," says Carol Torgan, an exercise physiologist and fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, "and are simply indications that muscles are adapting to your fitness regimen."

Stretching after a run can take as little as 7-8 minutes. Me personally I'm done my stretch in under 10 minutes and it's worth every second! If you're not sure how to stretch correctly I recommend asking an expert and having them show you. Maybe attend a few yoga classes and take some of the stretching you learn home with you as stretching wrong can cause further injury. Something else you should consider is adding a yoga class in to your weekly workout routine. A good 60-90 minute stretch once a week does the body good!


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