How Long to Stretch Before You Start Running
Before you start running, it’s important to engage in some dynamic stretching in order to reduce the risk of injuries. You want your body to be as flexible as possible so that you can perform the motions of running without encountering a lot of stiffness. How long you should stretch will depend on the intensity of the running session. If you are participating in a race for example then a solid dynamic stretch session and a pre-race warmup could be important for achieving flexibility. A jogging session, on the other hand, may only require a few minutes of dynamic stretching before you are ready to go.
Some people are able to just get running without engaging in any stretches. Our recommendation, however, is to do a few minutes of dynamic stretching before you start running, especially if you are new to running. It won’t do any harm if you do stretches like bent-knee lateral swings, side lunges, and bent-knee forward swings. Over time, you may feel less of a need to stretch for an extended period of time once your body gets accustomed to the motions of running.