My informal poll of distance runners came up with this result: No one warms up! We all just roll out of bed, drive to our destination and start running. Is that good or bad? If you aren’t getting any injuries, I guess it is working for you. But, could it hurt to add a warm-up routine? I doubt it. Let’s look at a couple of ideas for warm-ups.
I did a little research and the old school stretch before running is out. Stretching cold muscles promotes injuries. So, what to do? Dynamic exercises. Think school track and field team. You line up and do high knees, butt kicks, karaokes, strides, lunges, etc…
Runners World recommends to “loosen and activate your muscles with five to 10 minutes of dynamic stretches and form drills such as lunges, skipping, and high-knees running” for speed sessions in this article. They also mention that for everyday runs, it is acceptable to just go out running slowly, and then gradually speed up as your body warms up.
Running Times has a great article about warm-ups and cool-downs. Same idea with dynamic movements-lunges and leg swings before the run and they have some great movements for post-run. Worth clicking on the link!
So glad I did this research. 2 reasons. 1. I feel validated for not stretching before my easy runs. 2. Now I know what to do before my speed work. I will add this routine before my long runs too!
Hope you enjoy the articles!