Yesterday I ran for the first time in a week and knocked out just 3k as instructed. Before starting I went through my usual warm up routine and it occurred to me that it is something we rarely see mentioned in running blogs.
Maybe its just me but I have learned that any kind of speedwork requires me to do a good, long warm up first. Yesterday I covered nearly as far on my warm up as I did on my run. My warm up included a few jogging and walking intervals, some butt kicks and some high knees. If I don’t do this, my first kilometer can only be run at a very gentle pace. If I am on a long slow run, the first 1 to 1.5 km is done deliberately gently as a warm up.
Runners Connect says about warming up:
“There are two components to a good warm-up: general and specific. A general warm-up elevates the core body temperature and lubricates the muscles, allowing them to contract and relax more efficiently. A specific warm-up increases neuromuscular activation, preparing the muscles to fire in the specific way they will be asked to do in the race or workout.”
Their recommendation on how to do this is to jog for at least 10 minutes and then 20 seconds each of arm swings, walking lunges, leg swings both to the sides and forwards and backwards, hopping in place then my butt kicks and high knees. They also recommend that you do some strides at your intended race pace.
So it seems I am doing the right thing. Of course, there is much discussion on whether to stretch or not before a run. I usually don’t but if my hamstrings are tight I might do a small bit after the jog but before the butt kicks etc.
What do you do to warm up? Do you warm up at all?