FEELING GREAT: Hot tips on warming up your body before your start a run

Last week I wrote about the joys and benefits of running 5k – or more specifically the return of park run.

Warm up regimens vary based on the distance of the race and your race goal.
Warm up regimens vary based on the distance of the race and your race goal.

It was great to see and hear about so many of you running and walking as the events – a real phenomenon – returned after being off the agenda since last April.

Here at the Paul Gough Physio Rooms we have had patients in this week to loosen up after enjoying their 5k last weekend and we have been specifically asked about how to avoid that post run stiffness and aches during the run.

Warming up is vital for everyone: you will see Olympic athletes completing vigorous warm ups before their events, and you will have seen parkrunners stretching and lightly jogging to prepare before the 9am start on Saturday.

Your warm up needs to prepare you for the transition from zero to race effort. Warm up regimens vary based on the distance of the race and your race goal.

Here’s some routines to help prepare you.

The shorter the race, the more thorough the warm up needs to be. If your goal is to reach a personal best, you will need to be at race speed from the start. This requires a thorough warm up to prepare you to start at that pace to avoid shocking your system and failure in optimal performance in the race. Improper warm ups can in shorter races can lead to inefficient miles early on in the race.

It’s like driving your car without warming it up after it has been sitting in the parking lot for hours in 10 degree weather. It will take 10-15 minutes for your car to respond efficiently without a warm up and it is quite taxing on the car as well. Your body works the same way.

The longer the race, the shorter the warm up. Here are warm up routines for various race distances and race goals.

A good warm up for your parkrun would be like this:

15-20 minutes prior to the race start, take 3 minutes and walk briskly gradually raising your heart rate and circulation to the working muscles. Then run 3-5 minutes at an easy pace and then walk briskly 3-5 more minutes. If you run-walk, alternate running for 1 minute and walking 1 minute for 6 minutes instead of running continuously.

Your body will be warm and ready to go. Enjoy!

For more tips and advice, get in touch for a FREE copy of my book The Healthy Habit. It is essential reading people aged 50+ in the North-East, and for anyone that would like to improve their own healthy habits. Please call 01429 866771.