There has been lots of research into stretching before a walk or run and it is now considered bad to stretch before you exercise as you may actually injure yourself as your muscles are not warmed up.
With the ChiWalking and ChiRunning take 5 minutes to open up your joints, we call them Body Looseners.
Start with the ankles one at a time. Put your full weight on to one leg with soft knee and gently rotate the other leg ankle, first clockwise and then anticlockwise for 8-10 reps. Then shift your weight to the other leg and do the same with that ankle.
Knees: Next to the knees, do this exercise with both knees at the same time. Bring your feet close together, bend as if you are going to sit down but don’t, place your hands on your knees and rotate the knees together clockwise and then anticlockwise for 8-10 reps. Make sure the feet stay steady and don't shift.
Hips & Pelvis: Then to the hips and pelvis, pretend you’re playing with a hula-hoop, again go clockwise and anticlockwise for 8-10 reps.
Shoulders: Finally bring your hands up on to your shoulders and together roll the shoulders forward and then backward for 8-10 reps.
This will help loosen up the joint areas before your start your warm up run or walk.
One point it doesn't work better if you do them fast, in actual fact it's better if you take your time and do them slowly.
After a run or walk you should take the opportunity while your muscles are nicely warmed up to stretch your calves, quads, gluets, IT band,
Over the past two weeks I've been running on a track to get some exercise before going to night classes and I've noticed a considerable improvement in my time on the track compared to my usual running route which is seriously hilly. Now I knew this would be the case but not by as much as the time I dropped. This is why it's important to vary your training routes as most races have hills throughout them and if you're not used to running up and down hills you're going to be disappointed with your time.
So out of your 5 day training aim for 1-2 track/flat, 1-2 middle flat/gradual hills and 1 with some serious hills, that way you can work on your technique on the flat and gain experience on the hills.