Runners Toolbox: The Warm-up

Yes, I have been guilty of going for a run without doing any warm-up prior.

Let me guess, you have been too.

Now before you say

“I just don’t have the time that!”

Then you need to allow for the time, or you could be setting yourself up for failure, or worst yet, injury.

Believe me, I’d rather take the few minutes for a pre-run routine than be sidelined for weeks or months because I’m injured.

Now if you think that running easy for 10 minutes is good enough, think again.

Photo by Wendy Wei from Pexels

So why should we do a warm-up?

Adding a pre-run routine will make a world of difference in how you feel, but will ultimately determine how you will perform in your run. It may also have the benefit of preventing injuries.

Allow yourself at least 10 minutes to do some dynamic exercises before you head out the door.

This could include, but not limited to:

    • Jumping Jacks
    • Leg swings
    • Lunges (reverse or walking)
    • Squats
    • High Knee’s

These exercises will not only gradually increase your heart rate, but they will also allow your muscles to loosen up.  This will help prepare you for the workout you have instore.

If you are strapped for time, use the length of a song (3-4 minutes long), to do a quick dynamic warm-up.

Then allow the first 1km or 10 minutes of your run to be easy.

Follow it up with 100m strides (sometimes known as pick-ups).  Strides should be done at about 60-80% effort.

Depending on the length of your run, you could do anywhere from 3 to 8.  Allow 100m for recovery, and yes walking is ok.

Strides help to activate your fast twitching muscle fibers, preparing your body for the workout to come.

If you use the Nike Training App, it has a short 7-minute workout, that I do quite regularly prior to my runs.

It’s a full-body routine, that’s all bodyweight, and suitable for any runner of any experience.

Feel free to check out the Warm-up Playlist I have created on YouTube.

It has various routines that you can follow along to that are all under 10 minutes long.