What I’ve learnt is that most runners don’t warm up before they run! My blog about why to warm up led to the realisation that most people can’t be bothered, they just want to run. It also revealed a lack of awareness that warming up can help you get the most out of your run, whatever your target it. It’s especially important as you age, if you are a new runner or for certain conditions such as asthma, pregnancy and avoiding issues such as the runner’s trot and stitches. But HOW do you warm up before you run? What exercises should you do that will wake up all the body systems I talked about in the previous blog?
I’ve made a video showing you what I do. It’s important that you realise I’m trying to be realistic here. It could take 20 minutes to do a full warm up of all body parts. I don’t have time for that! This is literally a quick video of me starting a run and doing a few exercises to cover all the essential elements that I need to warm up. It is far from comprehensive but it gives you some ideas as to how you can find your own routine. I’m not going for full glamour here – it’s real life. Apologies for taking so long to position the camera on the wall and for you not seeing my feet!
Have a watch and then read on for some more advice to make it work for you …
It’s normal to feel a bit self-conscious when you warm up. If you prefer you can do most of your warm up indoors. You can start with the deep breathing and mind warm up , then move on to the exercises. When you leave the house you can start with a brisk walk and build to a jog and transfer seamlessly into your run. I often do it this way but in the video I’ve done the warm up walk/run and found a sunny spot outdoor for the exercises.
Think about where your weaknesses are, what do you most need to warm up? Build that into your routine.
It really doesn’t have to be long or complicated. But it is better than nothing and a great habit to get into. Good luck – let me know how you get on!
There are other tips like these in my new book Run Well: Essential health questions and answers for runners. Published by Bloomsbury and available to buy now.