The 3W Races Run Club, The Brew Tour!

About half the runners I know regularly participate in a run club. Run clubs aren’t for everyone, but for those that do go, you can find some great friends, motivation, support and sometimes free food and beer!


Personally, I LOVE run clubs. I am a regular at many in my area. Although I go through phases, sometimes I crave that social aspect with running. This wasn’t always the case for me. I used to be a solo runner – always running alone with music stuck in my ears. Last year, when I first became a 3W Ambassador, I signed up to volunteer for run club promotions and instantly got addicted to that side of running.

It put running in a whole new perspective for me and I gained some great friends with common interests. I like run clubs and group runs so much I have even created a few run clubs in my days. Before, I used to work at a local big-box gym and another personal trainer and myself created a Wednesday morning run club during the summer months.

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Obviously not working there any more and with an ambassadorship turned employment, I was happy to work on a very special project with 3W Races.  And it just so happen to include two of my favorite things…running and beer!

The project would combine the great benefits of a free, group run while supporting local businesses. James, one of the owners of 3W Races, had always wanted to create a run club within the company and his vision was a free, social way to hang out with like-minded people, without the pressure of registering for a race. Thus, the 3W Run Club was born and the Brew Tour Began!


From March through October, a group of runners met the first Tuesday of every month. The hook: we visited a different brewery each time! Every month I looked forward to seeing all my newly gained friends, designing their group run course, planning some games, snacks and entertainment all while visiting and supporting a local brewery.

In 2015, with eight Official Stops and three Un-Official Stops on the Brew Tour, participants got to visit 10 different Breweries (one repeated), all in most of their back yards! At each brewery, I would hear multiple people exclaim that they had never been there before and loved the brews!

Breweries on the 2015 Tour:

The Colorado Keg House

4 Noses Brewing Company

Westminster Brewing Co.

Kokopelli Beer Company

Big Choice Brewing

Wonderland Brewing Co.

Nighthawk Brewery

Odyssey Beerwerks

Cannonball Creek Brewing

Joyride Brewing
If you are super bummed that you are just now learning about the Brew Tour, don’t worry we will be doing it again in 2016. We may switch up the breweries or do multiple tours in different cities but it will definitely be back! We have a lot of planning to do and I’m excited to see what 2016’s Brew Tour becomes!

More info:


Post written by Whitney V., 3W Races Marketing Coordinator

“‘Dear 7th Grade Self,’ a letter on Why I Run” by Sarah L.

Sarah L.

Sarah L.

Hello 3W Races fans. Today’s blog post is from Sarah L., one of our lovely Ambassadors. We asked her to write about why she runs and you came up with a very beautiful, and creative, way to share her story! So, without further ado, here’s “Dear 7th Grade Self:”

Dear 7th Grade Self,

Switching schools is rough. Your parents had your best interest at heart when they dropped you off at volleyball tryouts, knowing full well that their academically driven daughter had no idea what a volleyball even was. But take heart, this is a short season, and before you know it, your teeth will straighten out, your skin will begin to clear up, and suddenly, wearing glasses will be considered hip.

And when you’re 25, someone will give you a gift. You won’t see it as such quite yet, but hang on for a little while. A woman you know will invite you to run in a 10k race. And you’ll sign up for it, even though you’re not quite sure what the ‘k’ even stands for. And the morning of the race will arrive, and you’ll wash your hair and put makeup on, because surely, that’s what runners do, right? And at the finish line, after nearly 2 hours of doing an awkward run/walk, you’ll step back and say “well, that was something.”

Over the next 2 years you’ll run a few races here and there, getting to know the different trails in and around the Denver Metro area. You’ll buy your first pair of running shoes, they’ll fit like nothing you’ve ever worn before, and your brain will begin to see running in a new light. This. Is. Fun.

And then 2014 will roll around. You’ll find yourself in a pit of depression. The darkness will be an oppressive cloud whose only intention is to bury you in the shadows of self-doubt.

And yet, something deep inside of you will stir. And for whatever reason, you find the last bit of strength in your spirit and you resolve to run one 5k every month of that year. Because there’s a still small voice telling you, RUN.

Just by chance, most of the races you run that year will be with a running organization called 3W. The more you run, the more you will realize how much you thrive in races with fewer runners.

The cloud will begin to lift in August of that year, when you run a race called the Holy Cow Trail Stampede. You picked that race for the simple reason that the shirt had a picture on it of a cow with a halo around its head and you thought it was silly. And somehow, you will place first in your age category that day. And while you’re wandering around the expo at the finish line, you’ll take note of how well-organized the race is, and more than that, how well the volunteers and race staff take care of the runners. You’ll say to yourself, “Gee. I’d love to work with these people.”

In October you’ll open your email and see a letter from 3W director James Bettis inviting people who have run races with 3W to apply for their Ambassador program. And your heart will rejoice in the prospect of actually getting to work alongside of the people who had unknowingly provided such support in your season of sadness. You’ll eagerly fill out the application and the hope in your heart will be brought to fruition when you get the congratulatory email in November, welcoming you to the 2015 Ambassador Team.

Now then, 7th Grade Self, just a few weeks shy of turning 30, you should know this: Some people ask what my motivation is behind running. My initial response is that the training is good discipline, it’s a good way to clear my head. But I think the deeper reason is the community that is found within running. Setting the competitive spirit aside, some of the most encouraging and genuine people are fellow runners I meet during races. Though their names may never be known, the short sentences spoken in passing on a course are what drives me to pick up my feet and keep going. The smiles of those already at the finish line, cheering me on to finish strong…the sense that in a way, we’re doing this together, for ourselves and each other…this is why I run.

Thanks for sharing your story Sarah!

Thanks for sharing your story Sarah! This is her first place picture from the Holy Cow Trail Stampede!

“One Step At a Time” – with Carrie Lukins

Who really INSPIRES you? Maybe it’s a successful athlete, author, or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company! Perhaps it’s a successful actor, a book written by your favorite author, someone you only know from a distance, from the magazines or the news. I’m sure we all could come up with someone we find inspiring, but what about someone right in your own backyard?

If you take a good look around, talk to a friend, family member, or the person standing behind you in the grocery line, you might find inspiration right next to you, literally, within your own community and among your closest friends! If you know someone who has been kind to a stranger, picked up trash in a park, kept a good attitude through a hard time or illness, or perhaps kept their house sparkling clean at all times (while yours only gets cleaned for company ;)) then you know someone inspiring! Perhaps you know someone who has made an impact in their community somehow by volunteering, donating to a local food bank, or someone who has beat the odds and made a better life for themselves financially, nutritionally, or physically.

We’re finding them, meeting them, and picking their brains every week on the 3W Races blog and sharing their stories with you because inspiration is important to us and it’s fun to recognize those who inspire us here! Inspiration can be found EVERYWHERE, especially locally here in Colorado!

As for my most recent encounter with inspiration, I had the opportunity to meet a woman who inspires me in many ways – with her happiness, her evident love for life, and her motivation to overcome the doctors’ prognosis of “You’ll be dead by 40” and lost 160lbs to better her life and her health! Her ongoing story is not just about losing pounds, but about making a choice to be active, live longer, healthier, happier, and impacting so many along the way. How did she do it?! Well, read on folks! She did it “one step at a time.” Literally . . .   ☺


“One Step At a Time” – An Interview with Carrie Lukins

What was your inspiration to get active and start running?

“Well, I was 36 years old when my doctor told me that I would be dead by 40….!! THAT was a huge wake-up call for me. I had been big for 20 years. I didn’t have the nutrition component. I used food as therapy, but I considered myself to be pretty active as a “big girl”. My husband was active duty military and knew a lot about CrossFit exercises. He taught me some of the movements that I would occasionally do from the house” Carrie smiles as she recalls…. “I would do ‘TABATA’ intervals which were shorter, higher intensity workouts (that was my kind of workout)!”

“Everything really changed when I heard about the Couch-to-5k program. I literally just decided to start moving. The first “workout” was walking to the mailbox and back, then around the block, then 2 blocks, and so on…”

“My first 5k took 58 minutes and 49 seconds! Haha! Now my average 5k is about 38 minutes, which still isn’t great, but it’s a lot better! After the 5k, my friend encouraged me to train for a half marathon. I agreed, signed up and we started training. Then my friend injured herself and couldn’t do the race. I thought “I trained for this race! I’m going to finish it!” And there you have it, my first 13.1 mile race, the Slacker Half!”

Carrie talked about her journey from the first 5k to her first marathon, “I do the Slacker Half every year commemoratively. I moved on to complete an obstacle course race when, again, a friend encouraged me to do the Spartan race in 2012. THEN, two years ago, I completed the St George Marathon with my sister! My one, and probably only marathon. Since then I’ve done races in North and South Carolina, California, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Utah, and all over Colorado!”

“I LOST 160 LBS!”

spartan fire super

Carrie thought about how running changed her life in many ways. One way was in her family life, “I love my children, but I wrapped myself up in their upbringing and, in the process, I forgot to take care of myself. Four years ago I decided that I wanted to be around for my kids at 40 and for a long time after. So I made a change and decided that if I wanted to be the best mom I could be,  taking care of myself was the first step!”

Running also changed her professional life. “I branded myself as the Running Realtor. I market to running clubs, cross country, track teams, and colleges. And I market to people who want to live near running areas by placing links to different run clubs and such on my website. I really started to LOVE running and it just sort of naturally changed my professional career as well!”


Carrie sets new goals every year so she doesn’t become stagnant. This year she completed 10 half marathons, 2 Ragnars, 12 Spartan races, and she climbed her first 14er (Pikes Peak) last Saturday (Oct 10th)!

Did you have periods of self-doubt when you felt like you couldn’t keep going?

“I knew that I couldn’t make excuses anymore. I had to put it on the schedule or it just wouldn’t happen. So now, I get up at 4:30am to run at least 4 days a week. The shortest distance I ever do is 2 miles. It just depends on what I’m training for. I like to get up and start my morning physically, spiritually and nutritionally on the right foot, so I always get up early to do it!”

What motivates you to keep at it?

“To enjoy life! Plus, I’m becoming a grandma. I want to be there for my grandson who is arriving in January. I want to show him how to lead a healthy happy lifestyle.”

Carrie’s favorite thing about running is “having me time in a constructive manner. I don’t have to stop running to keep dreaming, thinking, and contemplating. I improve myself physically while I enjoy me time.”

What is your favorite thing about the running “Community”?

“I love the encouragement. It’s not competitive, it’s just encouraging. It doesn’t matter how fast or how slow, you’re running the same distance and you’ve achieved the same accomplishment.”


What was your hardest and most fulfilling race? Why?

“The full marathon was the hardest!” Carrie happily reminisced. “It’s a long way to run! You’re pushing your body to major extremes even if you’ve trained for it. I admit that I had moments of doubt along the way. I admit …. I knew my key was in my pocket and I knew where I parked, so I was literally thinking of walking straight to my car and leaving!”

As for Carrie’s most fulfilling race, “Completing the Prairie Dog Half Marathon Series :)– 52.4 miles was huge for me! It was manageable and having the fifth medal was huge! I run for the bling, I’m not going to lie!” Carrie said with a laugh. “It was like eating an elephant, one bite at a time. I actually have a tattoo that says ‘one step at a time’.”

52.4 Medal - Copy - Copy

Do you have any advice or inspiration for new runners?

“You learn to love it! You’re only competing against yourself and the only person you have to beat is yourself and often times you are your biggest competition.”

If Carrie hadn’t walked into our office, I never would have had the chance to meet someone with such passion and determination!  Thank you, Carrie, for sharing your story and inspiring us all to “Do what you can, when you can, where you are”!

Lisa McGathey

Redefining Your Possible – An Interview with Jim from Endurance House

8392846“Redefining Your Possible” is a phrase you may have heard or seen when participating in some of 3W Race’s events. The phrase is used in conjunction with the Endurance House Race Series as a way to motivate and encourage the runners, but it turns out that this phrase can take on many forms and can relate to many areas of life! This time we’ll hear how it relates to Jim Wnorowski, owner of Endurance House, and how he got involved with triathlons, opened his own triathlon store and formed a partnership with 3W Races.

Chances are, if you have been to Endurance House in Westminster you have met Jim Wnorowski. And chances are that you have been to Endurance House to pick up your packet for the Endurance House Race Series or even for the Prairie Dog Race Series.

3W Races has known Jim for a while, as he’s been the Official Run Store Sponsor of the Prairie Dog Half Series, but after 3W Races acquired four new races from Redline Running, Jim decided to take on a new sponsorship role as the Title Sponsor for these new events and thus the Endurance House Race Series was created. Jim got to help with and see the creation of the new series and participated in the Westy Half, Erie Half and Longmont Half. With three of the four events down, we await the final event, the Endurance House Turkey Day 5k and 10k in Broomfield!


Personally, I met Jim before I was a 3W employee and knew he was a great athlete, suave businessman and an all around nice guy, but recently I got a chance to sit down and talk with him one-on-one. I got to ask him a ton of questions about “redefining his possible,” how he got started industry, including his personal competitions, and what the Endurance House Race Series has meant to him.

Like many adult athletes, Jim started with track in highschool and stayed fit all throughout college. After graduation, he started training for his first marathon. “If Oprah can run a marathon, then I can do a marathon!” he remembers thinking. He joined Team in Training because he wanted to give back to the community while doing something for himself. He then later got involved in triathlons to add to his fitness in order to qualify for the Boston Marathon – which he did end up doing! Talk about “redefining his possible!” Some of his favorite racing memories come from his Boston Qualifying race and finishing his first Ironman.

Over two years ago, Jim moved to Colorado for family and decided to open up the triathlon store, Endurance House, after seeing an ad in a magazine. He liked the idea of helping people get into the sport of triathlons with a “welcoming” feel. Opening the store was one way of helping people be healthy and achieve their goals.

Along the way, Jim found 3W Races. He volunteered at the Let Freedom Run a couple years ago, before the store even opened, and met James Bettis, owner of 3W Races. The two then sat down and “interviewed” each other. To be a fly on the wall for that conversation – two forward thinking business people talking it out!


Jim and James

Jim wanted to get involved more in the Colorado running scene and in exchange help get his new store noticed. He says it was more than just a sponsorship. There are a ton of common goals between Endurance House and 3W and that is why it is a perfect partnership.

Fast forward to 2015: Part of being a Title Sponsor for a race series is getting to help form ideas around what you want participants to get out of their experience. Brainstorming was fun as everyone came up with common themes they wanted to see at the Endurance House Series. We had to decide what we wanted to celebrate, how we wanted to show recognition of all runners as well as the winners, and set a hometown feel while bringing together four Colorado communities: Westminster, Erie, Longmont and Broomfield. We wanted set a precedent of giving people genuine encouragement when they ran an Endurance House Race Series event.

Since the whole brainstorming team agreed on that hometown feel, I asked Jim what that meant to him. Joking, he said he moved every two years, but its wasn’t about the location in particular, it was more about the community feel. Having conversations, smiling, playing games, and just enjoying time together. To him, it was that summer day feel, hanging out and smelling BBQ in the air. Everyone on the 3W team also agreed, and that’s what we try to bring to each Endurance House Race Series event – minus the actual BBQ smell.

During the braining storming process, we decided to use the Endurance House tagline, “Redefine your possible” as the theme for the whole series. To Jim that meant wanting people to take and change their perspectives and outlooks, to believe they can achieve things that they didn’t think they could before. Whether that’s a 5k, half marathon, sprint triathlon or full Ironman, he and the 3W crew wanted to remove the word “just” from people’s views on races. It’s not “JUST a 5k”. To someone else, a 5k is the hardest goal they have set out to achieve. He wanted to see more people asking “how did that race feel?” rather than “what was your time?”


Jim recalls a moment while standing at the finish line at the Endurance House Westy Half. He saw people running as fast as they could to reach that finish line; no matter what place they were in the race. It was a competitiveness to FINISH the race, not necessarily place. And it didn’t matter what distance they just ran, every single participant earned a huge finisher’s medal! That’s what redefining your possible meant.

The partnership between Jim and 3W is a perfect example that the moto “Redefine your possible” can take on many forms from a store’s tagline, to a race series motto, to a way to live your life.

Finally, I asked Jim, “What do you hope the runners and racers get from the Endurance House Race Series?”

He answers, “I want runners to feel like they’ve accomplished a goal and that 3W Races and Endurance House has helped them achieve that by building a positive community.”


Written by Whitney Vestal, a Marketing Coordinator at 3W Races

In addition to his Title Sponsorship with 3W Races and owning the Endurance House store, he also started a Tri Team, which includes coaching services, within the store’s community. 303 Triathlon also recently interview him and you can find about the Tri Team HERE.

To get more info or to register for the last event of the Endurance House Race Series, the Endurance House Turkey Day 5k/10k click HERE. Use code OCTFIVER for $5.00 off until 10/31/15 at midnight.

You JUST became a runner….NOW WHAT!?!?!?

“The farthest I’ve run is to the mailbox.”  “I’ll run when a coyote is chasing me.”  Sound familiar?  You were just making these statements a few short weeks ago! Not anymore! Now you have a great love for the way you feel after your lungs stop burning, you stop coughing and all your smelly shoes have left the trunk of your car.  However, you’re still new to this and you’re not sure of “etiquette”, or you might be wondering if the aches and pains you’re having are normal growing pains or if you are running yourself into a wheelchair.

Here are some great things to remember now that you’ve started running:

A couple etiquette tips:

It’s normal to spit or blow snot rockets! Just be keen to your targeting and keep your fingers out of the line of fire when you launch the rocket; your hand may end up pretty slimy.  (My wife hates this, but I swear it is acceptable!)

Always run to the right side of the trail/road/sidewalk and call out to people in front of you that you’re passing on the left when you do need to overtake another runner or walker.

Smile, nod, cheer, high five, and generally be pleasant to other people on the trails and roadways!  It makes you feel just as good as the person on the receiving end of your positivity.

When you are at a race, do you best to line up in the proper “pace” corral or part of the pack, if there is no corral. If you know you are going to run a 25 minute 5k or longer, you should NOT be in the front line of a 5K.  Ask around; are those you are standing next to also planning to run around your pace?

If you run with you dog, keep it under control and use a short leash. Oftentimes, races ask that you also start near the rear of the pack. Please do so; it creates a lot of congestion and trip hazards when you don’t follow these two simple requests.

When you are finished with your water cup at the aid station, TRY to hit the garbage receptacles!  If you’re throwing it on the ground, be sure to aim any remaining water in the cup away from volunteers and other runners.  The volunteers have to be on the course longer than you do and they don’t always want to be soaking wet, especially in the winter!

ALWAYS thank volunteers at races! They are what makes your racing experience possible.

Playing music on your phone without headphones is extremely rude. Wear headphones or leave it turned off.  Make sure that your headphones don’t interfere with understanding course marshal or race official announcements or directions.

NO negative self-talk!  Don’t talk about your distance in terms of “just a 5k.”  On the flip side, don’t be boastful about your performance time with nearby racers unless you have already established a relationship with them.

A couple thoughts on your new found love:

Surround yourself with encouraging people; other runners are always great!

Find a supportive and inclusive group run that has varying distances and abilities.

Sign up for local races that can keep you motivated and encourage your friends to join you, even your non-running friends. Races can and are so much more than just running from point A to point B. Take pictures, dress up, form a team, get a beer, stick around for the raffle prizes, and sign up to volunteer for a race from time to time.

Blog, Facebook, Tweet about your new love but temper it with WHY you love this new endeavor and not necessarily a daily update of your workout, unless it’s a new PR or something you’ve never done before…then by all means, BRAG!!!  (Did you know that PR means Personal Record?  PRs are the only times you should be concerned about!)

Shin splints are real and you should be stretching and strengthening as you go! Google it and you won’t find a shortage of options.

Cross-train!!! Many runners end up with a weak core, tight hip flexors and hamstrings…Don’t be lazy!!

Take out the earbuds from time-to-time, slow the pace and just stare at the mountains, the sky, the fields, and trees and remember why you are doing this! A lot of people who jump into running get burned out after a few months because they forgot why they started and get lost in mileage, pace, cadence and heart rate!

If you have knee pains make sure to stretch, stretch and stretch, and you should probably head into a local specialty running store to get fitted for proper shoes. Your $50 pair of shoes from the big box outlet might not be doing the trick. There are some people who can run in anything, but most of us need the right shoes!

Buy AMAZING socks! Cotton socks are so comfortable on a lazy day to lay on the couch in but they don’t even compare with a great pair of synthetic or wool socks to run in! Spend the money and you’ll never go back to cotton!

Do NOT buy the most expensive GPS/Heart Rate watch on the market right away.  Unless you just love gadgets, wait until you’ve been running for a while and determine if your goals will be reached any faster or easier by spending the dollars on the technology.

If you’re running on the treadmill at the gym, please STOP talking on the phone. It’s extraordinarily rude. People go to the gym to get away from the noise and the hustle & bustle. If you must take a phone call while you’re on the treadmill then get off the treadmill and find a quite corner where everyone around you doesn’t have to hear about what you’re going to cook for dinner, what your kids did at school or why your team is past its deadline on that big project.

Here are some other tips:

If shoes don’t feel awesome on your feet when you try them on at the store, they will only get worse as you run.

Men: wear supportive briefs.

Ladies: double up on sports bras if you have to.

If your heel slips out of your shoe, learn the runners knot.

If you’re running for longer than 1 hour, take water with you.

If you constantly find yourself having to walk at the first mile when you’re doing a 5K then slow down your pace and maintain that slower pace instead of the sprint to walk method. You’ll get better returns on your time!

I highly recommend forefront or mid-foot striking while running. It’s arguably more efficient but more important it’s GREAT at injury prevention.

Don’t ever feel bad that you ONLY ran a certain number of miles. Just keep moving, you’ll get where you’re going soon enough!

Try natural fueling options before gels and most people don’t need to “fuel” their runs unless they are going for longer than 75 minutes. You’re body naturally stores enough carbs and fat to get your through that period of time without any issues.

There are so many great tips and different things work for different people. This is simply my list of thoughts based on my years of running. Share yours and don’t be afraid to try new things!!  Life’s too short to be boring…ha!

If you happen to be looking for a race series designed just for beginners check out this~ Six races with increasing distances from 1 Mile to 6.2 Miles (10K) ~

2014 3W Ambassadors Announced

We are very proud to partner with great local runners who agree with our vision for joining local races with local businesses and local humanitarian charities! Each ambassador was chosen based on their involvement with our races, their support for the running community and their personal 2014 goals!

These ambassadors have set goals which are forcing them out of their comfort zones to perform at higher levels than in the past! Additionally, having an awesome attitude was one of the most important factors considered when choosing members for this group!

Our motto for 2014 is “Elite on the inside first”! What do we mean? We are looking for people that give back to the community, support local businesses, who think positively about themselves and others, and love spreading the word about fun local events, such as 3W Races events!!

We’ll be updating the bios of each ambassador over the course of the next few weeks but we’ve got their names and pics posted now. We’re looking forward to having them out on the trails talking to local run groups, tri clubs and meet-up groups about our events, partners and charities!

3W Ambassador Program sponsors for 2014 are Endurance House, Olde Man Granola and Way To Go. Each of these organizations promotes healthy life choices and are making a positive impact in their local community.

One of the functions of Ambassadors is to get local run groups and clubs excited about and involved in upcoming 3W events. If you would like us to visit your group with some information and fun prizes, please contact us! info

Here are the 2014 Ambassadors! Elite on the inside first:

Susan Person, Christine O’Gorman, Amy Bailey, Brett Smith, Amy Machael, Andy Tuthill, Emelie Ortiz, Amy Young, Kaira Muchow, Josh Bernhard, AJ Benefield, Caolan MacMahon, Chuy Lira, Tom Weber, Marley Steele Inama, Ryan McCullough, Rebekah Zaborek, Katie Devine, Stephanie Crosby, Keith Langford, Hailee Damp, Jeannete Hickock, Kevin Mitchelldyer, Claire Sideri, Erin Anna, Steve Gupta, Whitney Vestal, Sarah Hudnall, Joy Geltmacher, Tara Carroll, Nico Adams, Lisa Mercurio, Katie Devine, Peter Keilman, Dave Mura, Katie Mitchelldyer, Nicholette Harper, Nicole Clark, Rachel Dehner, and Kitty Davidson.

To stretch, or not to stretch…

We’ve all heard both sides of the stretching issue. There those that say, “I never stretch before or after a run and I’m perfectly limber!” and those that “cannot even fathom running without a good pre and post-stretch sesh.” Then there are the majority of folks that say, “yeah, I stretch sometimes. Usually when something is tight.”

This leaves room for a lot of confusion and open-endedness! Is stretching just for the over-achievers? Does it really make a difference? Well, it usually depends on who you’re talking to.

Back in 2011, the NY Times found some research that added to the “stretching” conversation. It gives some pretty good “scientific-ish” insight about stretching.

3w image

Exhibit A:

“For the most comprehensive, and bluntest, of the new reports, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers reviewed more than 100 studies of stretching and concluded that the “detrimental effects of static stretch are mainly limited to longer duration” poses, meaning stretches that last for at least a minute. If you hold a particular stretch for a shorter period, the authors wrote, particularly for less than 30 seconds, you should experience “no detrimental effect.”

What this means? Refrain from static stretching: When I think of stretching, I think of middle school when there was a circle of kids performing a series of exercises before practice started. Turns out, this wasn’t the best idea! If you need to loosen up before a run, I suggest warming up for 10 minutes before you stretch.

Exhibit B:

“Several studies have revealed that stretching,” even of short duration, “increases the range of motion about a joint and reduces the stiffness of the muscle,” Anthony Kay, a senior lecturer in sport and exercise biomechanics at the University of Northampton.”

Suggestion? Keep stretches short and dynamic: So far, this article points to keeping stretches short (30 seconds and under). I also suggest doing dynamic stretches—which consists of controlled movements that improve range of motion—like high knees, butt kicks, and walking lunges. Runners world has a great video that is worth watching. CLICK HERE to watch!

Exhibit C:

“Muscle strains are uncommon in activities such as jogging,” cycling or swimming, said Malachy McHugh, the director of research at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Training at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, who has extensively studied stretching. Runners, swimmers and cyclists are more prone to overuse injuries, Dr. McHugh said, and the newest studies and reviews have not found that stretching reduces the risk of overuse injuries.

What this means? Well, it means “chill out.” While stretching and dynamic exercises will make you more efficient, they won’t necessarily “make or break you.” I suggest implementing the routine shown in the video into your training. It won’t do anything but help your running. But the best thing you can do to keep yourself healthy is add variety into your training. Don’t run on same path for the same amount of time at same pace every single day. Incorporate different activities, durations, paces, and surfaces into your exercise to avoid overuse!

What is your opinion about the stretching debate? Do you stretch before and/or after you work out?