When I started running almost 4 years ago one of the cardinal rules of racing my running coach taught me was, "The shorter the race, the longer the warm-up." It is something that has been ingrained in me all these years and something I still practice to this day.
He would insist that I spend a good 20 minutes warming up by doing some walking, slow jogging, short strides, and easy stretching well before my race. Of course me being me, I always had lots of questions for him, especially as to why I would spend so many minutes warming up when the race itself was so short.
In all his infinite wisdom, he told me that warm-ups are one of the most essential, yet underrated portions of racing. Since the 5K and 10K distances are run at a much faster pace than say a 1/2 marathon and marathon, doing a good warm-up allows you to hit your pace early on in your race as your muscles are warmed up and your cardio-pulmonary system is ready to go. You do not need to run all out in your warm-ups just enough to get your muscles and joints loosened up and your heart rate elevated.
But what are some of the other benefits to pre-race warm-ups?
HAPPY SPARK RUNNING!
Do you warm-up prior to your race/event? How much time do you spend warming up?
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