I read an article recently about hamstring stretching and strengthening that made a lot of sense. The author explained that your torso is like a telephone pole that is held up by two guy wires: hamstrings at the back and hip flexors (and quads) at the front. These two muscles keep you upright as you run, and they need to be strong and balanced.
Often times, pain in the hamstring is caused by it being too long. If it’s too long, it needs to do more contracting to make you run. Often times, the elongation is caused by sitting, which I am doing right now. Your hamstrings work best when they are the right length for running (not sitting), and when their strength is balanced against the hip flexors.
To fix the elongation, you need to shorten and strengthen the hams with leg curls, donkey kicks, etc. And that’s what I’m going to be working on over the next several weeks. No more hamstring stretching for me! (I think I have overstretched my Achilles in the past. Now, I do heel-drops just within the range of motion I need for running.) With six full weeks to go before the KC Half, I have just enough time to change my strength and stretching routine and (hopefully) get some benefit out of it.