The purpose of warming up for any run includes preparing you physiologically for the demands of that particular workout, minimizing the risk of injury, and helping with range of motion and running form.
The duration and intensity of your warm-up should vary based on the type of run or race you’re about to perform. The longer the race, the shorter the warm-up. For races that are longer than an hour, conserve energy by warming up with a few short dynamic stretches such as leg swings and a light foam roll. A short, slow jog is also recommended. For shorter distances, get your blood flowing with this warm up, followed by these three drills.
Begin with a quick foam roll. After foam rolling, perform a solid 10 minutes of dynamic movements, such as walking lunges with a twist, high kicks and leg swings—both forward/backward and side-to-side. This will increase range of motion and lengthen the muscles prior to your hard effort.
Follow up your dynamic stretching with an easy, form-focused warm-up. This run should be at least 90 seconds to two minutes slower than your race pace for the 10K or below. You are gradually allowing your muscles to lengthen and prepare for the upcoming effort and strain you are going to place on them.
The final portion of this warm-up includes increasing the intensity just a bit by adding in drills and strides. These drills should include A, B and C skips, which create muscle memory and awareness of foot and leg placement, ultimately leading to more efficient running. View demonstrations of these skips in the gallery below.