Looking to increase your distance? I found this piece in a Women’s Health Magazine:
“Cramming in your cardio? Stretch after- not before- to go further and faster, reports a new study. Subjects who didn’t loosen up prior to a 30 minute treadmill run logged an extra 220 yards compared with those who stretched for more than 15 minutes beforehand. Here’s why flexing can hurt: Normally, muscle fibers are like tight rubber bands, springing your legs off the ground faster so your feet move quicker. Stretching lengthens these fibers, making them less elastic and slower to react, explains study coauthor Lynn Panton, Ph.D., of Florida State University. Instead, warm up with a five to ten minute jog or brisk walk, says Panton.”
Another good option, is to jog in place or get yourself a good jumprope.
It is important to note, that women need to be particularly careful to not overstretch before running. Because women’s knee ligaments are naturally looser than men’s, women have less stability in the knee which can lead to injury; especially if excessive stretching has loosened surrounding support muscles before a run.