The Importance of Stretching

By Liezl van der Westhuizen

This past weekend I took part in the Breede River Canoe Race. Now you may ask, what this has to do with running, but most canoe races require you to be running fit as you run whilst portaging your canoe at certain points.

I have been suffering with an injury from last year’s Dusi Canoe marathon where I fell during a portage and sprained my ankle and also pulled/injured my sciatica nerve. I was then told how important it is to stretch before a run or canoe race. (however I am still very bad at stretching before and after a run or a paddle)

It is something that is often over looked and vitally important when running. I have been told that just by stretching for ten minutes before a run, you can prevent injuries and it allows your body to be more flexible.

Something that I am very bad at is stretching after a run, apparently its ideal to stretch within the first 15minutes of finishing a run, as your legs are more flexible but remember not to over stretch.

So I have asked around and compiled a list of stretches (feel free to comment below and add more or offer advice)

  • Hamstrings Stretch
  • Quadriceps Stretch
  • Calf Stretch
  • Glute Stretch
  • Calf Stretch
  • Iliotibial (IT) Band Stretch




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One Response to “The Importance of Stretching”

  1. C.Smith says:

    Thanks for the list of stretchers. It would be helpful to know how to do these stretchers and which stretchers are recommended before a marathon and which one should you do after a marathon.

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