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How do you warm up before an event?

Saturday, January 08, 2011

I just posted this on one of my teams, but thought I'd post it here, too.

Today I did my first 'long' run in awhile. 5 weeks ago I did a 9 miler & 3 weeks ago I did 5 miles. Besides that, I've been running about 3-3.5 mile runs.

So, today I jumped back in and did 5.5 miles. I do intervals and started out doing 2:1 (2 min run:1 min walk). After about 20 mins, I felt really warmed up and started running faster. I while later, I was feeling really good and went faster AND switched to 3:1. Then to 4:1. And finally to 5:1. I got faster & faster as the run went on and even sprinted at the end. It felt great!

Now, to my question... I've never really warmed up before my events except a little walking. (I've only competed in three 5Ks and one HM.) I've been afraid that I'll wear myself out & why would I ADD miles to my run??? But, today's workout made me realize that maybe I SHOULD be warming up. I seem to do best AFTER I've been running 20 minutes or so.

So, should I run some before the race? (Actually, I can't imagine doing it before a HM, but before a 5K or a 10K.) What do you do? And why?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD2035636
    I walk and throw in some sprints about 15-30 minutes before a race - all distances.
    3851 days ago
  • AMG022007
    You definitely have to warm up before a race. I started running 5ks when I was 9, and back then I didn't need to warm up as much, but as we all get older, stretching and warming up become more and more important. For a 5k, you should do at least .5 mile warmup jog. You should not be winded by the end of it, but you should be sweaty. More than one of my coaches said that if you aint wet, you aint set.

    Warming up will not only help you get ready to run a faster and better race, but it will also keep you from injuring yourself. It's really not very good to go from standing still or just walking around a bit to running your race pace. I know from experience how important these things are. I wrecked my left quad 7 years ago because my coach rushed my warm up and stretch before a sprint workout. I still have a dent where the muscle ripped and running hills feels like I'm pulling dead weight.

    Stretch and warm up well, and keep yourself healthy. Happy trails : )
    3852 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7673407
    Great topic to discuss. So much to learn. I typically fast walk and stretch before a run. But agree a little bit of jogging beforehand would probably be very beneficial. Thanks for sharing.
    3853 days ago
    You did great!!
    3855 days ago
    I always go for a short run before any race. Before my best 5K, I did at least 2 miles warm up because it was going to be a short race so no time to warm up and find my stride. Before my HM I think I did about a mile, but a slow one. Then I had about 10 minutes of standing around, dancing on the spot, jumping up and down, before the race. It worked very well, I didn't have to fumble around for a mile or two trying to "get into the groove", and the break between warm-up and race made it so I didn't feel like I'd added an extra mile to the race. It all depends what your goals are, if you're after a specific finish time I'd say warm up ahead of time. just to finish, there's not a lot of point.
    3855 days ago
    I'm so glad you wrote about this topic - I've been doing 5Ks, and don't really have any kind of warm-up, except to try and keep moving, and stretch my legs. I'm training now for a HM that happens at the end of March, and feel like I need to do something more for warm-up. I'll be very interested to see everyone else's feedback...

    3855 days ago
  • LP2278
    I usually walk 5 minutes to warm up before a run, so I try to do the same thing at a race. It's not always possible with hundreds of people crowding the starting line, so I just try to keep moving, jumping up and down, stretching my legs, etc. Before one race, I actually ran about a mile with another SP member. Her race pace was around 7:00 min/mile, so our warm-up pace was around 10:00 min/mile, which was relatively slow, but faster than what most people would use for a warm-up. I think it depends on you and your pace. For example, if you are planning to run a 10:00 min/mile pace, warm-up at a 15:00 min/mile walk. But I definitely think you should warm up before a race. It gives your muscles time to adjust before you start running hard and helps you avoid injury.
    3855 days ago
    I have never run before a race either, but I have seen others who do. Interesting emoticon
    3855 days ago
    I've never run before a race...but at my HM I saw people doing little jogging loops and at that time I actually had kind of the same thought. I know that my first mile is my worst mile...always. I have to stop and stretch, I'm slow, I'm sore, but once that mile is over I start feeling pretty good. I think you've hit upon something I'll have to try at my next short race. Just a little light run just 5 or 10 minutes maybe to "get in the groove" a bit before the event starts. Like you said I can't see doing that before an HM, not at this point anyways :).
    3855 days ago
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