I listened intently to Pat’s plea for attention given his very real hamstring injury. In fact, I am probably one of those who gave him very “weird” advise (i.e. seeing a Massage Therapist) as to what to do, which of course was premised upon the rule of thumb RICE (Rest – Ice – Compress – Elevate). As a runner, we all will suffer setbacks to our running regime, and yes a good Massage Therapist may often times be our best friend.
Each of us will have varying degrees of pain tolerance, but it would serve us all well if we were reminded of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverence; perseverence, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us.” (5:3-5).
All that said, I can say with a great deal of confidence that it is always better to prevent an injury rather than treat an injury. Although, I am not the most flexible person in the world, a good set of stretches is recommended. Ultimately, the best time to stretch is after a 10 minute warm up, but most of us are already into the rhythm of running by that time, so as an alternative I would suggest that stretches not be done while cool, but rather after the run is completed.
The following is a great set of basic stretches.