minutes per mile blog

stretching and running, fish and chips

Thumbs up for running! IMG_0362Thumbs down for 32-degree mornings in APRIL. April, people. I am not okay with that and Anthony is getting a bit sick of it too.IMG_0364BUT we didn’t let the wintery blues get us down and clocked in another early-morning track workout. Done and done.

This week I’ve been feeling reaaallllly tight and a bit sore (all over, but especially in my hamstrings, quads, and calves). So yesterday I downloaded a 30-minute “yoga for athletes” video from YogaDownload.com, did the routine over my lunch break, and came back feeling a lot better. Still a bit sore, but I felt like I did a good thing for my legs by stretching.

When I came back to my desk, I saw a friend had emailed me an article about stretching and running. A BIIIIG debate.

Before we dive into this riveting discussion, let’s lay out some particularities in arguments. The main things that need to be defined (in my opinion) when you’re going to make a statement about “stretching” and whether it’s “good” for your running are: 1) are we talking dynamic stretching, or static stretching? and 2) do we mean “good” as in, less risk of injury, or “good” as in, increase in performance?

I skimmed some articles and tried to clearly clarify the points made about stretching and running. Looks like the general consensus is that dynamic stretching is better than static stretching (in terms of injury prevention, and maybe in terms of increased performance), doing a warm-up jog/jumping jacks to complement pre-run stretching is also a good idea, and that listening to your body and doing what feels best for you personally is the safest bet. 

  • The best way to prevent injury is to (statically) stretch or to not stretch before a run — do whichever your body is used to. (Daily Mail)
  • Static stretching before physical activity decreases performance — however, for endurance sports, it might not not decrease performance. (The New York Times)
  • Static stretching is highly debated and you should do what you feel is best for you; but if you do decide to stretch before a run, you should warm up by jogging a bit beforehand. (About.com)
  • Static stretching hurts performance; dynamic stretching increases performance. (Runner’s World).
  • Definitely do stretch before and after a run; before a run, make sure to jog a bit to warm up the muscles before you stretch. (Cool Running)
  • Static stretching does not prevent or increase rate of injury — but changing your stretching (or non-stretching) routine does increase rate of injury. (New York Times)
  • Static stretching does not prevent injury or improve performance; dynamic stretching and warming up does. (Runner’s World)

I think for me, I’ll keep stretching/doing yoga on my own time (not before a run) because it makes me feel good. The end.

Onto more exciting news: there is a new pub on U street and it is covered in grafitti. P1010096Anthony and I forgot to bring our Sharpies to the bar at The Codmother, but we did have a blast eating fish and chips like true pub-goers.P1010098I don’t know what the green sauce they served was but it was strange. Tartar sauce, on the other hand, is amazing and I forgot about its existence until it magically re-entered my life again last night.

The Codmother hosts comedy performances on Wednesday night, so we had a few good laughs too! What a weeknight.

P1010095And because you missed out on the show, here is a joke for you. What do you call a hippie’s wife?

Mississippi!

  • What is your favorite sauce to eat with fish?
  • Do you stretch before you run?
  • Has winter dragged on forever where you live?

0 thoughts on “stretching and running, fish and chips

  1. We just checked out the Codmother a few weeks ago… Scott said the green sauce is mashed peas, apparently a UK thing. Who knew!

  2. When push comes to shove, its WWJMD (what would Jillian Michaels do) and she says its got to dynamic stretching before, but static stretching after is fine :)

  3. As both a runner and foodie, I’m so pleased to have happened upon your blog, and I look forward to digging into your archives for more great posts :) At school in England, we were served mushy peas with our fish & chips, so maybe that green stuff is that!? Did they serve vinegar with the meal, too? That’s a very popular and traditional fish & chip topping, but not many people that I’ve met in the US take a liking to it ;p

    • thanks! yes, mystery solved – mushy peas! haha. i actually lived in england for a few months in norwich and did get into the vinegar and chips habit, but never saw the mushy peas!