Our expert says:
I'm not 100% sure what you mean by stiffness and loss of flexibility. It's not unusual to be stiff when you start out running, and I'm not sure when you began your training. If it was very recent, then this stiffness is just a passing phase and in time, you'll find that it goes away and you're back to normal.
If not, then certainly, I would say some light stretching will help. I would caution against over doing the stretches, because there is now some evidence that stretching might cause injury, and so you don't want to be TOO flexible. However, some light stretching, before and after your main run, will certainly help you if you do feel very tight. My advice is to check out the fitness page of this site, and on the left hand side, you'll see a tab labelled "Stretching", which shows you the common stretches. My advice is to do that set after a short warmup - jog maybe 5 minutes, then do the stretches. remember, don't overdo it, just enough to feel loose and supple, then you can get cracking on your main session!
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