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Stretching before/after Running?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, I guess the old almanac showed its face, in my knees! I'm 50, 12-15 pounds overweight, run about 7K, 6 days/week, and my knees have been mildly molesting me. No pain, just things I'd never felt.

I think my last change in skiing form (way too bent at the waist and my knees way in front of my toes, NEVER again of course) had something to do with this, but I must get in better shape for up-coming ski season.

Is it REALLY helpful and healthy to stretch before, or after, or BOTH for running those distances? I ask because a friend (62) runs 10 miles/day and NEVER stretches and is in fantastic shape!

Gracias!
post #2 of 15
Yes mild static stretching is good both before and after. See if you can get a copy os A. Anderson's book on stretching. Don't forget to hydrate properly and you may try Glucosomine 1500 and Condroitin 1200 mg per day. It works very well with knees. You won't see any improvements for about 45-60 days but as long as you keep taking it, you will see improvement. Some recommend a loading dose.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Tks Finndog! Seems you know your stuff, I've heard that for those of us who've had a heart attack either the Gluco. or the Cond. is not recommended. Do you have any knowledge of this?
post #4 of 15
no, not aware but the standard "consult your physician before taking any drug" applies here! Good luck and I hope it works out. Another product for joints is green lip mussels which can be bought in a powder form. I have never used it but I know some swear by it.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gpaul
Well, I guess the old almanac showed its face, in my knees! I'm 50, 12-15 pounds overweight, run about 7K, 6 days/week, and my knees have been mildly molesting me. No pain, just things I'd never felt.

I think my last change in skiing form (way too bent at the waist and my knees way in front of my toes, NEVER again of course) had something to do with this, but I must get in better shape for up-coming ski season.

Is it REALLY helpful and healthy to stretch before, or after, or BOTH for running those distances? I ask because a friend (62) runs 10 miles/day and NEVER stretches and is in fantastic shape!

Gracias!
Depends to some extent on the pace of your runs - leisurely running obviously requiring less strenuous pre-running stretching. From personal experience I've found that stretching after warming up with a slow 1/2 or 1 mile is what works best. Stretching a cold muscle never feels very good, and some places suggest that it could be harmful.

Stretching after running is a must.
post #6 of 15
Findog, sorry not trying to flame here but,
neither Glucosamine or Condritin supplements have been proven to have a positive effect on recurring joint pain (none approved by the FDA as far as I know), and as for reccomending dosages/ loading doses, I think medical advice regarding any type of theraputic agent should be left to a medical professional...just my 2 cents...
As for the OP, at the 2 group runs I do, we almost never stretch until we're done with the run. We do start off at a relatively easy pace to warm things up for the first 1-1/2 miles. After the run, a generous stretching of all associated muscle groups is the norm. This is pretty much how it's done at the high levels; there's a few sub 3hr marathoners at the group runs i attend, two sub 2:30's and a girl who placed top 20 women in the '04 NYC marathon so they're pretty much versed as to what good and bad stretching for running should entail.
Distance running will make your lower body extremely tight (hip flexors and IT especially) so take some time after the run and do a thorough stretch....
As for the knee pain, just like in skiing, so go a speciality running store and get the right footwear....footlocker just won't cut it.....my knee pains literally vanished when I purchased the correct shoes, they're worth the slight extra(compared to ski gear) expense....
post #7 of 15
http://www.stoneclinic.com/glucosamine_chondroitin.htm
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/fact/thr_r...pcategory=Knee
http://www.arthritis.org/conditions/...lucosamine.asp


www.nih.gov then search under glucosomine, condroitin. There is a lot of info on the current study underway now.

Here's some reading for you! PS, they all recomend 1500/1200. Gloc/Cond has actually shown in many studies to help reduce pain but not rebuild cartiledge. I was told to take it by my orthorpedic Dr, as was my father,sister-in-law and close friend by their dr.s. It is commonly given to dogs, cats and horses for joint pain and problems and widely used throughout the world and the US. It, like any other drug, is not a panacea, it's level of efficacy varies just like Bextra didn't work for me where Viox did with a different injury. It has helped me with my knee tremendously and I have condromylacia. It is most effect with Knee joints. AS I STATED, CHECK WITH YOUR DR.!
post #8 of 15
finn: I do agree with you that there may be potential benefits to taking gluco/chondr. sulfate based on the biochemical reasoning for additional C.sulf./gluc. and that many MD's recomend it (as in your case). However, the claims that they reduce pain are still not scientific (or even deemed to be valid health claims). If you take a look at the link below, many of the studies that are/were presented to the FDA were deemed unreliable due to different factors and thus couldn't back up the claims of pain reduction.


http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/qhcosteo.html

Cartilage construction is pretty fascinating stuff in vitro (and in vivo under non intervention circumstances aka. during regular 'day-to-day' growth and repair) and it would theoretically, make perfect sense to take these supplements because, for example, chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid are vital in forming the procollagen which in turn is used to make collagen, the basis for all connective tissue.

Viscotherapy is an FDA approved therapy where Intra-articular injections of hyaluronic acid HAVE been shown to reduce pain and improve joint mobility. However, chondroitin is a glucosaminoglycan which goes to form the actual cartilage whereas hayaluronic acid (another glucosamionoglycan) goes on to form synovial fluid, thereby not acting on the cartilage proper but still part of the joint system as a whole. Therefore, as a drug, until glucosamine/ chondroitin sulfate are approved (via scientific proof), it's still speculative therapy.
post #9 of 15
Stretch AFTER running. You can injure yourself more easily stretching cold or before activity.

http://www.marathontraining.com/marathon/m_stretch.html

http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/0396.htm


Of course, glucosamine isn't a sure thing, but I know several people who can't stop talking about the amazing results they've had with it. It didn't do anything miraculous for me, but I think it's worth discussing with your doc and giving it a try if he/she gives you the go ahead. Mine recommended trying it. I've had better results with SAM-e (but it's also more expensive. And again, ask your doc.)
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
YELLOBOY & MAKWENDO99, much obliged! I never stretch before a 1/2K walk.

ALTAGIRL, any Knee-Specific stretching you can pass on?

MAKWENDO99 and FINNDOG, Glucosamine (sans the Chondroitin) seems to be popular, so I'll give it a try. One of the articles you kindly advised states that Chondroitin may be ill-advised for us taking blood thinners due to Cardiac crap.

Thanky!
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gpaul
Well, I guess the old almanac showed its face, in my knees! I'm 50, 12-15 pounds overweight, run about 7K, 6 days/week, and my knees have been mildly molesting me. No pain, just things I'd never felt.

err , maybe all that runnning is the problem. How about running 3 days a week and biking 3 to give those knees a rest. I'd even say bike 5 and run 1 till you lose extra pounds.

I know too many people who ran themselves into problems. Esp. if big or overweight or both. Just so much strain on knees.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
DOUGW tks! I actually beat you to it- decided to run 4 days and swim 3 days, and am actually enjoying the swims more (it's 90-95F during the day) right now!

Cheers!
post #13 of 15
I just know I couldn't run that many days a week. But I need to run once and a while to use the muscles that other things don't tax. Even walking and hiking . Went home recently and was nice to run in 60°F rather than 100°F every day temp. Flew through my normal run but was sore in muscles the next day that weren't use it.
post #14 of 15
I'm a pretty avid runner and have been running for over 25 years, about 10 of those relatively competitively (high school, D-I NCAA, road races). Like others have said, if doing long, slow to moderately paced distance runs stretching after running is the way to go. Stretching before does very little and you do put yourself at risk of injury when stretching a cold muscle. If you're going to be doing a more intense interval type workout, do a slow to moderately paced warm up run (1-2 miles), stretch and then do some 100 meter striders (8-10 total: 1-2 50% effort, 1-2 80% effort, 1-2 100% effort, 1-2 80% effort, 1-2 50% effort), workout, cool down (~1 mile), stretch again. This was the standard protocol for all workouts.

That being said, without more specific infomation (where exactly are the symptoms, when do they occur, how often does it happen, how long does it last, how long have you been runnning for, etc., etc., etc.) and without being able to examine you, it's impossible to determine what exactly is causing your knee problems. In general, though, stretching may not help a knee problem. If someone is complaining of knee problems I usually think cartilage, ligament or tendon issues (ie tendonitis, osteoarthritis, MCL/ACL/medial meniscus tear). Usually stretching doesn't help alleviate these issues. If it's really becoming a problem the best advice is to go see your doctor.

Something else to consider is your shoes. Whenever my joints start feeling a bit achy in between runs and right at the beginning of my runs, invariably it's about time to get a new pair of shoes. If you don't know whether you have motion control issues I'd advise that you go to a reputable running goods store, bring your old running shoes with you and have the sales person do an analysis. To maximize the life of your running shoes only wear your running shoes for running. Also, when taking your shoes off, untie them completely and pull the laces loose for the first 2-3 eyelets.

Hope this has been helpful.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi Prosper. Whopper of a reply! Been running for 3 years, but actually only Sept-Dec as training for skiing (my wife is the runner, Chicago will be her 3d marathon). Another imporatnt reason for running is weight loss, it's the only way I can shed as many as 30 pounds (3 years ago).

The slight pain is in both knees right smack in the middle, in front, and in the legs JUST before the top of the knee cap. X-rays showed "a 50 yr. old knee", my doctor's diagnosis. No liquid, no major inflamation, nothing there. He gave me some pills (Evantyum) which did no good. What's really helped is ICE after a run, and nightly rub of local gel that is in fact for horses and cows, containing alcanfor,guayacol,trementine,sallycillate of methyl,eucalyptus oil, pine oil, lanolin, paraffin, solid petrolate (cps). This a rustic translation from spanish to english. It was recommended by a fellow runner who is a pediatrician, and a friend who owns horses.

Much obliged!
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