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Jennifer Menzer(Certified Personal Trainer, Pilates Instructor, Yoga Instructor, Holistic Health & Life Coach)answered(12/1/2012)The BEST thing to do would be to foam roll your IT Bands, Calves, Hamstrings, Hip Flexors and Quads pre run. However if you don't have a foam roller, a tennis ball or a bottle of water frozen (think the 16oz poland spring bottle) can also do the trick. Stretching is best done on a warm body so I would stretch the areas above post run. You can also do some active stretches pre run such as walking tin soldiers (arms out straight like a zombie and as you walk forward bring one straight leg up to touch your hand, a walking quad stretch (heel to bum), knee tucks (step forward and hug one knee to chest and alternate as you walk) and slow deep lunges. Have a great run!
Paula Stephens(Certified Personal Trainer, Exercise Physiology M.A.)answered(1/24/2013)There are a few schools of thought on stretching prior to exercise. But the one hard and fast rule is to always stretch a muscle after you have warmed it up and it has good blood flow to that area. So, assuming you are wanting to stretch prior to your run to help prevent injury, I would suggest that you do a light jog for 5-10 minutes before you stretch. Once your muscles are warm focus on the major muscles you will be using - calves, hamstrings, quads and hip flexors. Stretching and holding the stretch for 30 seconds is sufficient enough for a safe injury free run. After your run your stretches can be more focused on improving flexibility and holding the stretches for longer periods of time. Good Luck with your running!