back to Running after 17 year Lay off

I've started running/jogging after a 17 year lay off. I mainly run on canalside paths, tracks and grassy undulations near Leek, Staffs. I wear a pair of Salomon Cross max 2's and find they seem ok for door to trail stuff. Before and after the run I usually do hamstring stretches, calf stretches and thigh stretches for about 5-10 minutes. Is there anything else I should be doing/wearing to minimise muscle stiffness? I was 50 yrs old last month, but have a reasonable basic fitness from rowing, cycling and swimming. I'm into my 3rd week of running now, and usually run for between 20 and 25 mins. 


  • I'm also a returning runner after a 25 year lay-off, and my running career didn't last much more than a year then!!  However, one thing I've picked up that is different from what was recommended back then is that static stretching is NOT recommended before running, it can actually make you more prone to injury.  

    Dynamic stretching is goodif you want to do it, but a brisk walk/slow jog warm-up is the main thing to do before running.  The time to static stretch is after running. Also have a look at a foam roller, they are reputed to have good results for injury prevention.  I have one and use it occasionally, mainly on quads and hamstrings

  • Good advice from Barbara! Think of your muscles as like a stick of chewing gum - they need warming up before they become stretchy. You ought to do a slow jog warm up for several minutes to loosen and warm your muscles, then try stretching. Stretching can be done whilst on the move (think kicking your heels to your bum etc) or whilst staionary. I stretch often on a run, particularly after hill work. Good luck and have fun!

  • Thanks all,

    I do fast walk about half a mile to the start of my run (along a disused railway line), I won't static stretch before I go out. I'm quite friendly with a local GB athlete, Emma Jackson, so I'll also pick her brains as well.

  • My run is so short and slow, it is a warm up in itself....I'm back to running again after 4 years off. Previously done marathons, half marathons etc and just lost enthusism. Needless to say, it is back and I ran 1.5 miles this morning then stretched afterwards! I am trying to do 2 runs per week and this is my second week back. I will gradually introduce more sessions to slowly increase miles but I'm not rushing it. I am just glad I've go my mojo back!

  • My Mojo is somewhere over the Atlantic. It is difficult to remain motivated, especially as I have no job and hardly any money. I see fitness as a way to keep the Black Dog of depression at bay as well as filling my day. My running consists of a 1 mile walk to a huge field which I run round for 20-25 mins, or untill I feel tired. Sometimes I plod round the athletic track if there's a runner or two to converse with. Then I walk the mile back to my flat and do 10 mins with a foam roller and 10 ins stretching. I do get very mild shin splints from time to time, but this is kept in check with specific exercises. 

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