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I've recently started up my long distance running again, and am looking to compete in a marathon early next year. However, I've noticed that specifically my achilles tendon can be quite stiff some mornings. I'ev been quite lax in the past with post-run stretching mostly due to not being sure what or when to do it.

Does anyone have any good stretching routines for runner (specifically distance runners) as well as tips for when do stretch? eg. pre- or post-run or warm-up, stretch, long run, etc...?

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Have a look at Tim Ferriss' four hour body. There is a few pages in the marathon section dedicated to stretches that develop your undercarriage. I do them every morning. Some random shows them here –  Darcys22 Jun 13 '13 at 3:09
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Try dynamic stretching. There is a video at the followng link.

http://www.runnersworld.com/stretching/dynamic-routine

LEG LIFTS Swing one leg out to the side, then swing it back across your body in front of your other leg. Repeat 10 times on each side. Feel wobbly? Hold onto a steady object.

BUTT-KICKS While standing tall, walk forward with an exaggerated backswing so that your heels come up to your glutes. When this is easy, try it while jogging. Do 10 reps on each side.

PIKE STRETCH Get in a "pike" position (hips in the air). Put your right foot behind your left ankle. With your legs straight, press the heel of the left foot down. Release. Repeat 10 times on each side.

HACKY-SACK Lift your left leg up, bending the knee so it points out. Try to tap the inside of your left foot with your right hand without bending forward. Repeat 10 times on each side.

TOY SOLDIER Keeping your back and knees straight, walk forward, lifting your legs straight out in front and flexing your toes. Advance this by adding a skipping motion. Do 10 reps on each side.

WALKING LUNGES Step forward using a long stride, keeping the front knee over or just behind your toes. Lower your body by dropping your back knee toward the ground. Maintain an upright posture and keep your abdominal muscles tight.

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There is a lot of debate about the efficacy of stretching (see "The Impact of Stretching on Sports Injury Risk: A Systematic Review of the Literature"), but the general suggestion is that you should (i) do some light exercise to increase blood flow to the muscles/tendons (walking, light jogging, massage, apply heat) before you exercise, (ii) do some light stretching, (iii) exercise, and then (iv) do some stretching post-exercise (here are some suggestions on how to prevent injury: "Achilles Tendon Injury prevention.

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