Although it looks easy, running is not just about lifting your feet and crossing super fast on the ground. A lot of things can happen if you don’t warm up before your run. Abdominal pain or fatigue are some of the most common consequences of not warming up before running. Here’s how to properly warm up before running to avoid injury while running .
What are some pre-run warm-ups that can be done?
Walking is the easiest warm-up you can think of. Walking requires the body to function similarly to running, but only with less muscle strength. Walking slowly speeds up your heart rate, activates your muscles, raises your body temperature, and improves your blood flow. Walking is a pretty good way to start running, especially for runners who have recently recovered from an injury. Walking for 3 to 5 minutes at a leisurely pace while applying proper breathing exercises before running is the best warm-up for your body.
Stretching (or dynamic stretching) mostly uses leg movements as a way of warming up. There are many exercises that use the legs, and here are some of the main ones:
- Hacky-sack: bend right knee and lift right leg up towards chest. Touch your left hand to the inside of your right foot keeping your back straight. Do this 10 times for each side.
- High-knee step: bend right knee and keep the angle at 90 degrees. Do this 10 times on each side and you can add a few meters of back and forth jogging.
- Butt kick: a swing your leg back hard so your heel touches your hamstrings. Do 10 times on each side and remember to maintain an upright posture. You can combine this exercise with high-knee steps, for example by doing half of each movement.
- Stork stretch: bend your knees back until your heels almost touch your hamstrings, and then use your hands to hold them in place for a count of 10. Do 3 to 5 times for each side. However, remember not to push your leg back too much, but only to stretch it until you feel the pull, and not pain or discomfort.
- Calf-raises: the thighs play an important role when running because the thigh muscles often contract when your foot is lifted off the ground. Start on tiptoes on your toes and then slowly lower your heels down. You will feel a tug on your thigh. Hold this position for a few moments and repeat. You can use the ladder by standing at the end of it; You can hold on to the banister if needed.
There are many other pre-run warm-ups besides the methods above. Either way, a good warm-up will give you more energy and give your body a chance to prepare for the tough terrain. A proper pre-run warm-up also prepares your body to enter a “fight” mode that motivates you to complete your running route.