I regularly get asked the simple question…’How do you warm up for a run?’. My answer is that I focus on the areas that I feel particularly tight or weak in at the point. I do try to change it up, there are a wide range of exercises to choose from. Then I usually get asked a second question along the lines of, ‘Should I stretch before a run? Should I try hopping or a short, slower jog before my actual run?’.
There is some evidence based research which does prove that static stretching (stretching without movement) can hinder/negate athletic performance, there are some studies which are inconclusive. There’s some recent research showing the positive of dynamic stretch (stretching with movement) which promotes athletic performance, and I personally prefer this. It does kill two birds with one stone, you get to wake up the muscles & tendons that work hard while you run, and you can stretch them gently at the same time. You’ll also increase your heart rate too, that’s handy before a run. I will dig out the articles and publish them on another post.
This video shows a simple routine you can do after a pulse raising jog. All you need is a bench, wall or lamp post to lean on. After doing a simple routine like this, I feel mentally and physically ready for my run and I never seem to have those slow or lazy starts to a run. I felt the need to create this video as so many have asked for suggestions. This is an example of some exercises to try, but make sure you are not currently suffering from an injury before you attempt the routine. Make sure you are fit enough to try the exercises, and get permission from your injury therapist.
Warming up I feel is a very individual choice, which is different to everyone. some feel they need to, some don’t. It is also one of the aspects of running I feel that’s underestimated. Why not try the routine in the video? It shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes, however if you are running longer, you can warm up for longer.
Let me know how you get on. Also, all the best to those running marathons & half marathons this weekend, particularly Beckenham Half Marathon. There’s always a big buzz around the running clubs for this event, I’m sure it will all go well!