Warm Up for Running before any quick run, hard workout, or race!

You should always warm up for running. It can prevent injuries and help you to run faster. There are times where on a longer slower distance run, I don't have the time in my schedule to warm up, but for any workout or shorter, quicker run I always get my muscles loose and ready.

This is the order of events I follow when warming up. For a detailed explanation on each step, just keep reading past the list.

1. Nice and easy 5 to 10 minute jog
2. Stretching
3. Strides
4. Start the workout

Sticking around for the details? Spectacular! Knowledge is power. Let's get loose and ready to run.

1. Get your running shoes on and go out for an easy jog. This run should only be five to ten minutes long. I tend to run less on warm days and longer warm ups on cooler days. It just takes my legs longer to get loose on a cold day. Another rule is the shorter the race or workout, the longer the warm up, or the longer the race the shorter the warm up. If you are running a marathon, don't warm up much at all because you have a long race in front of you.

2. Now it's time to stretch out. Make sure to get all those leg muscles feeling loose and limber. Get your calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, and anything else that might be tight ready to run.

3. The last step before your run is some stride outs. This is where you start slow and quickly build up to about 95% of your top speed, then you slow back down gradually. Each stride out should be less than 100 meters. Don't shift any gears rapidly as this could cause unneeded stress on your legs. Build up, hold a quick pace for about 20 meters, then slow down.

That's it. A complete warm up for running. Make sure your shoes are laced up tight and then go to work. Don't forget when you are finished to do a good cool down to keep your legs from tightening up too much after you have finished your run for the day. Good luck and go after it.

- Written by David Tiefenthaler

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