Running Specific Warm ups
Why should you warm up?
An effective running warm up allows your muscles, bones and joints a chance to loosen up. As well as this, it gradually increases your heart rate and blood flow. Warm ups ensure the body is gradually shifted into a workout which decreases your risk of injury.
Reduces injury risk – warm ups increase muscle elasticity by working through a similar range of motion used when running. Warm ups also increase blood flow to muscles.
Reduces soreness – research has shown that runners who warm up before exercise, have less soreness the day after working out.
Gets you mentally prepared – warm ups help to get you in the zone and prepare the body for what is to come.
Running Specific Warm Ups
The length of warm ups should vary depending on the length of your run. For example, if you are doing a short jog around the park, a couple of minutes of walking and stretching may be sufficient enough to effectively prepare your body for exercise. However, if you are preparing for longer runs such as marathons or half marathons, your warm up should be at least 10 minutes of walking/jogging and light stretches and exercises.
Static stretching is usually a part of every warm up or cool down, however studies have found that there is little benefit in this. Static stretches have not been proven to prevent injury or delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). There is some evidence, however, that dynamic stretches during a warm up and cool down may have some benefit to performance. This is due to dynamic stretches taking your muscles through their full range, mimicking the actions performed during your run.