The Importance of Warm-Ups Before Your Run and How To Do Them

Regardless of your pace or distance, it’s important to take some time for a short warm-up before your run. Why? And what are the ways to do so? Find out more! 

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Why should I do warm-up exercises?

Warming up helps you gain efficiency for your run, as it prepares yourself for the full body workout you are about to do as such:

 

- "Switches on” your body’s muscular, circulatory and nervous system functions

- Helps you to focus and mentally prepare yourself so that you can exercise in the best condition

 

Pro-tip 1: Plan your upcoming session such as your run time, recovery and management of your effort during your warm-up!

Pro-tip 2: Start slow and gradually increase the intensity of your warm-up as soon as you feel ready

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2. What kind of warm-up exercises can I do before my run?

Here are a few warm up exercises you can implement before you start running:

- 10 jumps on the spot with your toes pointed up after calf stretches
- 10 heel kicks (touching your bum) after quad stretches
- 10 high knees after stretching your hamstrings and glutes
- 10 star jumps after stretching your abs
- 10 windmills after arm/ shoulder stretches
- 3 short distance sprints in a row with a low-intensity run in between

 

After doing all these, start running at a gentle pace, such that you should be able to hold a conversation. Try to keep your heart rate between 65% and 75% of your maximum rate.

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5 tips for an effective warm-up exercise

1. Take your time and do not rush this pre-exercise session. There is a risk of muscle and tendon damage if you start too strong. Remember that you have to be physically and mentally ready to start the warm up exercises.

2. In cold weather, choose a gentle pace and gradually get faster as your body needs to get to the right temperature.

3. Do not remain stationary for too long between your warm up exercise and run, and try to keep warm. Waiting too long between your jogging and stretching could reduce the effectiveness of your warm up efforts.

4. Stay hydrated along your journey. As you are losing a lot of water, it is important to compensate for these losses by drinking regularly. Prioritise regular hydration rather than drinking a lot at a specific time.
 

5. Do not try to break your own record during this time, warm up has to be seen as a way to be prepared for your main run.

Now that you know the importance of warm-ups, you know what to do before your next run! ;) Happy running!

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