How long is your pre-run warm up?
5 minutes? 2 minutes? 2 seconds as you start your run?
I’m ashamed to admit I’m in the third camp, I literally shake myself out and start running – albeit slowly for the first mile.
I recently got to attend a session with Puma athlete Eilidh Doyle at her training grounds at Bath University thanks to Puma and ProDirect Running. Eilidh will be representing GB (and more importantly, Scotland!) in this Summer’s Rio Olympic Games in the 400m hurdles.
I’m not sure I could think of a worse event for me – a 400m sprint whilst jumping over obstacles without bashing your shins or falling over….
I really enjoyed practising running out of the starting blocks (so much harder than it looks) and learning from Eilidh what life is a like as a professional athlete. However, the thing I took away from the day for my own training was the importance of a proper warm up.
At the start of our session, Eilidh took us through a couple of the warm up moves and drills that she incorporates into her own routine, and explained that she usually warms up for 45 minutes before a workout.
FORTY FIVE MINUTES!!
Whilst we don’t all have 45 mins to warm up, my gosh, most of us only have 45 mins for our entire workout, I did start to feel the benefit of a proportionate warm up even during our short sprint session. After tackling the Barrecore Hardcore challenge for a month, I know that actually the hardest part of those hour long classes is the 15 minute warm up.
Eilidh starts with a warm up jog, then some static stretches before moving on to dynamic stretches – if anything feels a bit off during the dynamic stretches, she’ll focus on that muscles/area in more static stretches.
A proper warm up like Eilidh’s can improve your workout and performance;
- It gently warms the muscles, joints and bones, giving them all a chance to loosen up before being thrown into action
- You slowly increase your heart rate and breathing, making it easier to get into a rhythm on your run
- It’ll wake you up – whether you’re working out first thing, in your lunch break or after work, a warm up signifies to your body that it’s time to switch from sleeping/working to exercising
Here’s a great example of a running warm up –
5 min jog, then complete 20 X of the below moves.
Forward/backward arms swings
Side-to-side trunk rotations with arms extended outward
Forward/backward leg swings
Side-to-side leg swings
Hopping in place with locked knees
Jogging forward while rotating hips from left to right
Jogging in place with high knees
Jogging in place with butt kicks
Do you warm up properly before training runs or are you guilty of spending the extra time running/eating/sleeping like me?
Good luck in Rio Eilidh, we’ll be rooting for you!