Running – The Importance of Warming Up and How to Warm Up

By Blake M Talvitz

Many runners neglect the warm up. They don’t realize the importance the warm up is for optimize performance and minimizing the risk for injury. Different levels of running require different levels of warming up. Here are some guidelines.

The easy, everyday run – This type of workout only needs a short warm up, if any. Start by walking one or two blocks. Then, ease into your workout with a slow jog that gradually increases in pace until you get up to the speed that you normally run at. It should take about a half mile to get you fully warmed up. Maybe a little longer if it is colder than normal or you are tighter than usual.

Speed training – Since you are going to push your body hard, you need a more thorough warm up. Start with a five minute walk. Then, jog at a conversational pace for fifteen to twenty minutes. By doing this you are engorging your muscles with oxygen rich blood and getting your cardiovascular system ready to clear out lactic acid efficiently. After the jog, you want to stretch for five to ten minutes. It is important that do this AFTER the jog. The last thing you want to do is stretch cold muscles. This can lead to injuries.

Race day – The shorter the race, the longer you have to warm up because you need to hit top speed from the start during short races such as 5Ks. Trying to ease into top speed during the race will only lead slower race times. If you are running a 5k race, do a thirty minute jog to warm up, leaving five to ten minutes to spare before the starting gun so you can stretch. For really long races such as marathons, you can warm up for just ten minutes, leaving five to ten minutes to stretch and warm up. You can also use the first one or two miles of the race to warm up further and get a feel for the course.

Blake M Talvitz has been writing articles for 5 years, covering a number of topics such as health, fitness, home and garden, and business management. Her latest blogs are about name badge ribbons and garden swing cushions.

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