warm up

The Ultimate Warm-Up Routine for Speed Work and Races

In order to have good race or workout one of the most important aspectsis having a perfect warm-up before beginning with the physical activity.

Before exposing our body to the stress and the demands that implies running a race or having a speed work, we need to prepare it.

To do this, a runner needs a proper warm-up that allows the increase of body temperature and blood flow to our muscles.

As a consequence, we can perform to the top and minimize the risk of suffering from an injury during a race or a training.

Even though it is an important aspect for runners, many do not know exactly how to perform a proper warm-up or make mistakes that can be harmful to them.

For that reason, we will  show you our “3-Step Guide to Warm up before a Race or a Speed Work”.

The Guide to Warm up before Running

This guide is aimed at those runners that will take part in races or speed works in which they will expose their bodies to a great sport demand.

The purpose of this warm-up is to prepare the body to perform at its best and, for that reason, we do not recommend it for amateur runners that will run in a conservative and more relaxed way.

Step #1: Jog – Run slow

The first step of our warm-up for a race or a speed work, consists in some minutes of some jog running slow (really slow).

The purpose of this run is to increase the body temperature and “tell” our body that we are beggining to train.

The duration of this run should vary depending on the duration and the distance of the race or the training we are going to have.

The minimum amount of time that we recommend is 10 minutes and the maximum, is 15/20 minutes.

Step #2: Dynamic stretching and “running drills”

After the first step  we start with dynamic stretchingDynamic stretching includes permanent movements that improve our range of motion thus making our muscles work in a way that simultes running.

Doing movements that are similar to those done while running prepares our body and joints in a more specific way.

Our favorite dynamic stretching exercises are:

After dynamic stretching we recommend you to do some “running drills”.

Running drills are ideal exercises to improve our running technique and an excellent way to warm up and be easily ready to run at our highest speed.

Even though we recommend you to do all the exercises showed on the video, if you have little time or difficulties to do any of them, you can avoid them.

Your goal should be to do at least 5 of the exercises showed on the video and it should take you less than 10 minutes (less than 15 to do all of them) to do them.

Step #3: Strides

After trotting slowly and doing the dynamic stretching exercises, we recommend you to do 5/10 strides.

“Strides” are short duration accelerations (approximately 100 meters), but with high intensity.

To do a stride, you should increase your speed, until reaching 85/95 % of your maximum speed for some seconds (between 2 and 5), and then slow down gradually.

The best should be that, when reaching approximately the 50 meters, you achieve 85/95% of your maximum speed, maintain it during a few seconds and then slow down.

After your first stride, you should walk during 60/90 seconds and then do the next one.

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We do not recommend static stretching exercises as part of the warm-up.


flickr photo by Jan Kraus http://flickr.com/photos/johny/14248574613 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license