While it may not be as much fun as running, stretching is the one of the most important things you can do to protect your body from injury. Regular stretching will also lead to reduced muscle soreness after running and better performance.
Of course, you won't get any of those benefits if you're not stretching properly. Follow these tips to get the most out of stretching:
Don't Bounce.It's a common mistake, but bouncing risks pulling or tearing the muscle you're trying to stretch. Make sure you stretch your muscles gradually.
Don't Rush It.Stretch slowly and hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
Don't Stretch Through Pain.Don't stretch beyond the point where you begin to feel tightness in the muscle. You shouldn't push through muscle resistance, and never stretch to the point of pain.
Don't Hold Your Breath.Stay relaxed and breathe in and out slowly. Make sure you don't hold your breath.
Stretch After You're Warmed-up.
Build stretching into your regular running routine. The best time for stretching is after your run, when your muscles are warmed up. If you feel tight and need to stretch before, do it after you've warmed up
with a slow five or ten minute jog.