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What Constitutes a Proper Warm Up for a Race? (with Video)

A while back, I talked about the importance of a warm up before running a race.

But what exactly constitutes a proper warm up? Because at a lot of races I see people that think they are doing the right things to get themselves ready for the race, when that actually is not the case at all.

A Proper Warm Up Should…

  • Increase Your Heart Rate. If you’re going to want to run hard from the start of the race, no matter the distance, having your heart already thumping is a good thing. You’ll place less strain on your ticker if you bring your heart rate up a little bit before the race starts.
  • Loosen Your Muscles/Tendons. Cold muscles don’t work as well as warm ones. That’s just a fact. Cold muscles don’t produce as much force (so you won’t be able to run as fast) and are more likely to strain/tear (increased risk of injury) than warm muscles.
  • Move Your Joints Through a Full Range of Motion. The harder you’re going to run, the more motion you’re going to need in your hips, knees, and ankles.

The Most Common Mistake

If I had a dollar from every person I’ve seen before a race performing static stretches on their muscles, I wouldn’t be a millionaire but I’d definitely have a lot more cushion in my bank account.

Y’all, don’t hold your stretches before a race/hard workout!

This will actually decrease your performance, by decreasing the amount of elasticity in your muscles.

If you hold those stretches before a race, you’re decreasing the amount of force those muscles are able to exert (in the short term) which is going to result in you not be able to run as fast.

Yes, stretching is important. Just save it for after the race.

What are Your Thoughts on Warming Up Before a Race? Do You Have a Routine that You Follow? Share it Below!

How Important is a Pre Race Warm Up?

Quick Tip–To Warm Up, or Not to Warm Up Before a Race?

Back in the day, if I saw someone warming up by running before a race, I thought they were wasting energy and hurting their performance for the race they were about to run.

Funny how things have changed.

I have learned through experience that there is an incredible value in performing a good warm up before a race, but I’ve also learned that the definition of a good warm up changes from runner to runner and race to race.

How Important is a Pre Race Warm Up?

Always Warm Up Before a Race

 

Confused yet? I think I still understand what I’m trying to say, so please allow me to try and make sense of it all. Read more