Couch to 5K Challenge Day 8: When do I stretch?

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Over Christmas break, I went jogging with my brother a couple of times. We dutifully stretched before each jog. Once, our dad saw us and asked us what we were doing. “Well, you can stretch before you jog if you want to,” he said, “but it’s not going to do you any good.”

Now I’m confused. Am I supposed to stretch before I jog? After I jog? After my warm-up? I do something different each time, although generally I stretch right before I jog.

Today’s Workout

Pre-workout blood sugar: 155 mg/dl

The workout: 4 minute warm-up. Jog 1:30, walk 1:30, jog 3:00, then walk 3:00. Rinse, lather, and repeat. 5 minute cool-down. 28 minutes total.

Post-workout blood sugar: 127 mg/dl

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About Nel

As a graduate education student, I've come to the conclusion that teaching requires an addiction to caffeine. My favorite caffeinated beverages are coffee, tea, and diet Coke. And when I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in January 2012, I also came to the conclusion that living requires insulin. I blog about my busy life juggling graduate education courses, a teaching assistantship in my University's English department, and my recent type 1 diabetes diagnosis the The Clumsy Juggler. I do not live in New York City.

4 responses »

  1. My very un-expert opinion is to stretch before and question why others are questioning your efforts. I don’t know why, but I always sprint up a hill after I drop my kids off at school. I know. Weird. Anyway, because I don’t warm up before I do this, I always inflict the strangest and awful-est injuries on myself when I do this. I don’t injure myself that often on structured ‘jogs’ which always include warm-ups and warm-downs and might include intervals of higher intensity running or hills or whatever. I don’t claim scientific knowledge on this one. Common sense and experience. Well done for another great day.

  2. Definitely do NOT static stretches before a workout. Your muscles are cold and doing those “pulling” stretches can really damage the. You should, however, warm-up before a run. I like to walk briskly for about 5 minutes. Sometimes you can do things like “windmils” will the your arms or swing them. Do jumping jacks. Roll your neck around. Anything that stretches you while moving. But don’t pull on your muscle and hold until AFTER your workout. Then you can stretch. Check out Runner’s World for a lot of beginners tips. I live by that magazine.

    • I always warm-up for 4-5 minutes before beginning: it’s structured into the program. I think what I’ll start doing regularly is stretching right after that warmup walk. And thanks for the tip about Runner’s World. I’ll have to check it out.

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