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Warm up routine for run - what do you do?

Aether

New Member
Right now I'm only doing a 5 minute strech before the run, and I really feel this isn't adequet. I've just reached the 3-mile run in my routine (ran it for the third time Wednesday, second time I timed it).

The first time I ran it, last Wednesday I didn't have a watch with me. On Monday I ran it in 27:05. Yesterday I ran it, not feeling 100%, in 28:21. I've been picking the pace up by about 30 seconds per mile each mile. So on Monday I ran roughly 9:30 for the first, 9:00 for the second, and 8:30 for the third. I did similar yesterday but started off at a 10 min mile.

I feel if I warmed up better before the run I could pick the pace up easier at the beginning, and reduce my time by 30s to 1 min.

So, anyone have a good warm-up routine?
 

UCbearcat

Lawn Dart
Back when I used to run cross-country we used to do a half mile warm up, stretch for a good amount of time, run 5-8 miles, and then cool down a quarter to a half mile. We followed that with another stretch and ice cups for the knees :icon_smil.

Stretching helps prevent injury and will probably help your stride. If you really want to make your times go down though you need to focus on the run and your form. Our coach made us build up a really strong base at the beginning of the season (8-10 miles a day sometimes) and then start building up speed for our 5K race by running faster at 5-8 miles distances. One of the biggest things I've found is having good running form. It takes awhile to get comfortable with a good form, but the key is relaxing. Run with your head up, hands loose (not clenched in a fist), and elbows around 45 degrees.

If you want, scale down the half mile warm up to your distance (.5 miles to about a half of lap around the track or so). Just make sure you get your muscles warm, because that's the main goal. Stretching while "cold" can hurt you.

That being said, just do a short jog until you feel loose and start stretching. Make sure you stretch everything, too.

Hope that helps.
 

boxflyer

New Member
Use to do the same years ago in Marine OCS: 1 causal lap around the parade deck to get warmed up, then stretched for 15 mins before starting our PT.
 

Steve24

New Member
make sure you stretch afterward also after you've given yourself adequate time to slow down. sprinting then jumping into a car and driving will leave your legs nice and tight for days
 

Lobster

Well-Known Member
I usually don't stretch before I run or work out, I do a warm up that is designed to get your heart rate up and fast, it might not work that well for slow long distance runs (we use it for hockey, whic is sprinter oriented) but I do things like side shuffle, carioca, skipping, walking lunges, tin soldiers, tuck jumps, and clap push-ups. This might help on the speed aspect.
 

UCbearcat

Lawn Dart
I usually don't stretch before I run or work out, I do a warm up that is designed to get your heart rate up and fast, it might not work that well for slow long distance runs (we use it for hockey, whic is sprinter oriented) but I do things like side shuffle, carioca, skipping, walking lunges, tin soldiers, tuck jumps, and clap push-ups. This might help on the speed aspect.
Distance running uses slow twitch muscles. Sprinters use fast twitch muscles. Those exercises will definitely help, but it's best to develop slow twitch if you're going to be doing a lot of distance running.

I used to play hockey, too. That's actually why I quit cross-country, I needed to be able to sprint again for hockey and lacrosse. :D I like seeing so many hockey guys on this forum.
 

Lobster

Well-Known Member
Distance running uses slow twitch muscles. Sprinters use fast twitch muscles. Those exercises will definitely help, but it's best to develop slow twitch if you're going to be doing a lot of distance running.

I used to play hockey, too. That's actually why I quit cross-country, I needed to be able to sprint again for hockey and lacrosse. :D I like seeing so many hockey guys on this forum.

Yeah I know that's why I said it might not help him that much, and you're right its great so see all the hockey lads on here, I play lax as well. Where do you play at (both sports)?
 

UCbearcat

Lawn Dart
Unfortunately the hockey stick has been retired as far as competitive teams go. I don't really have the time to play here at UC. It's semi-varsity and they'll leave for like a week at a time for tournaments.

I still pull out the lacrosse stick and I might start playing for UC's club team. I know a lot of the players and they keep trying to get me to play. We'll see though. My new sport is skydiving and that's taking up all my time right now.

Where do/did you play?
 

Fly Navy

...Great Job!
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
My normal warmup is:

1. 2 minute Plank
2. 50-60 push-ups
3. 10 pull-ups
4. Stretch

That tends to get the blood pumping from a cold start.
 

C420sailor

Rhino Bro
pilot
I assume you're talking about a warmup before the PFT?

The general rule is this: The shorter the race, the longer the warmup. When I used to run the mile, I'd get good and warm (a slow 1 to 1-1/4mi jog in sweats and some accelerations beforehand) because I didn't have the time to warm up and settle in during the race. For longer races like 5K/10K/15K, I'd do 1 to 1/2 mile warm up. Anything over that, I wouldn't do anything more than 1/2 to 1/4 mile just to get things flowing for stretching.

You'll watch most people do their PRT/PFT cold. A lot of them think that doing a warmup jog will tire them out, but it's quite the opposite---it'll help you settle into your groove earlier. And don't do the warmup too early! You want your heart rate to be slightly elevated when you get on the line.
 

Herc_Dude

I believe nicotine + caffeine = protein
pilot
Contributor
And don't do the warmup too early! You want your heart rate to be slightly elevated when you get on the line.
See, that can be difficult sometimes - especially when doing a PFT in a large group. Like many things, it can turn into a "hurry up and wait" event.

However, great advice about the warm-up. I have never been one to do much warming up but after hearing from all you super-runner types I might mix it in. It sure as hell is better than my typical routine of a few swings of the arms, pop of the back, and a "let's do this"... :D
 

Swanee

Self aware since 2014
pilot
Contributor
Minor Pro Hockey referee world: My warmup starts with a few minutes of jumping rope to get my heart going and my legs warm. Then I get into a bit of some dynamic stretching with some Zombie kicks, some bent knee raises and walking lunges, followed by a bit of a core workout (pocket pickers and flutter kicks) then some tuck jumps followed by more dynamic stretches like straight up jumps and supermans (dynamic stretching before a run is key, static is great for a cool down, but it doesn't help you before hand).

Then I do short run, some pushups and sit ups and then hit the run (or ice if it's a game night).

Afterward, static stretching is key but make sure your muscles are still warm when you do it. Find a routine you can get into and keep to it. It helps a lot.
 

Bevo16

Registered User
pilot
There are two ways to stretch: static and dynamic. Before running a PFT, you should start with dynamic stretches. Start with basic movements jog, and gradually increase your range of motion and work up to some high knee/butt kicks/feet to hands type of movements. Don't try to get to a full range of motion early, WORK UP TO IT.

Only after going through a dynamic stretch routine should you start static stretching. The guys you see showing up to the PT field and start doing hamstring stretches right away are DOING IT WRONG and that kind of stretch makes you more prone to injury than not stretching at all.

Heart rate does not have much to do with how warmed up you are. You can go through a good stretching routine and be close to your resting heart rate again in just a few minutes while staying warm and loose for a good amount of time. If you think that it's going to be a while from your stretch/warm up to the run, keep your sweat pants on until it's time to run.

Cool down is important as well. Slower movements with a wide range of motion are good for this as well as static stretches.
 

Swanee

Self aware since 2014
pilot
Contributor
There are two ways to stretch: static and dynamic. Before running a PFT, you should start with dynamic stretches. Start with basic movements jog, and gradually increase your range of motion and work up to some high knee/butt kicks/feet to hands type of movements. Don't try to get to a full range of motion early, WORK UP TO IT.

Only after going through a dynamic stretch routine should you start static stretching. The guys you see showing up to the PT field and start doing hamstring stretches right away are DOING IT WRONG and that kind of stretch makes you more prone to injury than not stretching at all.

Heart rate does not have much to do with how warmed up you are. You can go through a good stretching routine and be close to your resting heart rate again in just a few minutes while staying warm and loose for a good amount of time. If you think that it's going to be a while from your stretch/warm up to the run, keep your sweat pants on until it's time to run.

Cool down is important as well. Slower movements with a wide range of motion are good for this as well as static stretches.
well said
 

Lobster

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately the hockey stick has been retired as far as competitive teams go. I don't really have the time to play here at UC. It's semi-varsity and they'll leave for like a week at a time for tournaments.

I still pull out the lacrosse stick and I might start playing for UC's club team. I know a lot of the players and they keep trying to get me to play. We'll see though. My new sport is skydiving and that's taking up all my time right now.

Where do/did you play?

I played high school in maine, went to canada for 3 years after that and played in the CJHL and the OPJHL, now I'm playing at Elmira College, both hockey and lax.
 
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