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Stretching and race walking

Stretching and race walking

Muscle “elongation” (or stretching) is hated by many and often viewed as a useless time-consuming practice.

Stretching instead is very useful because after elongating the muscles, running movements become more fluid and this will naturally help the athlete to run better, faster, and enjoy the training session.

By performing fluid movements, you will consume less energy. It’s a little bit like “lubricating” a gearwheel that has been sitting still for some time: you will be able to use it to the full with less effort. This is also the reason stretching improves blood supply allowing muscles to be more efficient.

Also, by intervening in the areas that could be particularly tense because of physiological reasons (we only need one stressful day to become stiffer), stretching exercises help muscles to relax. It’s essentially like doing a self-massage.

When you stretch, in any way you prefer, you should never feel pain. NEVER! You only need to feel the “pulling” sensation as the muscle “elongates”. If you feel pain, it means you are “doing too much”, and it usually means you are doing it wrong. In this case, your stretching session will bring no benefits.

Doing a few stretching exercises before and after physical exercise like running, is a good habit…. This will help maintain muscle elasticity, helping them to be ready for the next training session.