Stretching for long distance runners

Reviewing the research – Stretching for long distance runners, beneficial or not?

Stretching is almost routine for a lot of long-distance runners and is often believed to both decrease the amount of soreness post-run and reduced the likely hood of injury. However, there is a growing amount of research saying that this may not be the case! One article concludes that stretching shows none/little advantageous effect on injury risk and management of muscles soreness. Furthermore, it shows that performing static stretching can lead to worse performance for up to an hour after. HOWEVER, this does not mean you should jump straight into exercise! Performing a proper warm up strategy may help in improving performance. The factors that will more significantly reduce the likelihood of injury will be your compliance with strengthening and motor control exercises.


Claire Baxter, Lars R. Mc Naughton, Andy Sparks, Lynda Norton & David Bentley (2017) Impact of stretching on the performance and injury risk of long-distance runners, Research in Sports Medicine, 25:1, 78-90, DOI: 10.1080/15438627.2016.1258640