How to Warm Up and Cool Down For Running

Authors: Herwig Natmessnig, Günther Matzinger, Sascha Wingenfeld, and Emily Stewart

It’s no secret that operating warm-up workouts and cool-down stretches are essential if it’s a race or simply the standard weekly run.(1) But many runners don’t know how to create a warm-up exercise and marvel, “What is a cool down?” 

We’ve outlined the advantages of warming up and cooling down, ideas, and offered examples of warm-up workouts.

Table of Contents

Benefits Of Warm-Ups

Warm-ups are essential to your effectivity, restoration, and development. The positive effects of warming up improve your race performance. Here’s why warming up works:

1. Raise Your Body Temperature

Dynamic warm-ups earlier than exercises increase your physique temperature by heating up your muscular tissues. They additionally enhance your metabolism and speed up the provision of power to your muscular tissues.

2. Enhance Muscle Performance

As your muscle temperature rises, your muscle viscosity (or resistance) decreases. This ends in quicker muscle contraction and leisure, which reinforces your efficiency.(2)

3. Boost Heart Function

Your coronary heart additionally advantages from warming up. The workouts enhance your cardiac output and respiratory minute quantity (RMV), thus increasing your VO2 max.

4. Improve the Load Distribution in Joints

Contrary to earlier perception, new analysis has proven that even short-term train like warming up may help construct joint cartilage. The thicker layer of cartilage will increase the load-bearing floor and distributes hundreds extra evenly.

5. Help Prevent Injuries

Warming up correctly has been confirmed to decrease the chance of harm. It will increase tissue and muscle flexibility and prepares your physique to carry out quick and explosive actions. Plus, you might be much less seemingly to pull or tear a muscle.

6. Increase Coordination and Control

As an added benefit, warming up improves your psychological focus and hurries up your response time.

How To Warm-Up Before A Workout: Tips for Runners

Running warm-up ideas:

  • Focus on these muscular tissues that may do a lot of the work.
  • The warm-up impact is short-lived, so maintain warming up till the start of your race/run. Research has proven that your physique temperature stays elevated for under about 10 minutes after you heat up. After 45 minutes, all traces of your warm-up are gone.
  • It could appear counterintuitive, however in case you are warming up for a race, the shorter the race is, the longer your warm-up ought to be.
  • Never begin with sprints or explosive actions. You ought to step by step enhance the depth of your warm-up.
  • Your warm-up ought to by no means cross your anaerobic threshold (i.e., it shouldn’t be over 65% of your max effort).

In addition, there are a number of components to think about when deciding how lengthy and how arduous to heat up earlier than operating: the space of the race/run, the time of day, the climate, your age, and your bodily health. 

Warm-Up Workout Routines

Most race day warm-up train finals someplace between ten and 45 minutes. A correct warm-up is split into elements:

  • The common half consists of jogging (ten to quarter-hour) and dynamic stretching workouts.
  • The particular half focuses on operating method drills like skips, butt kicks, and ankling. 
  • Accelerations are additionally helpful earlier than quick or centerdistance races to get you prepared to shift gears. The concept is to begin slowly and steadily and enhance your tempo till you attain a submaximal dash (90% of your maximal dash).

Timing Matters:

It is essential that you simply plan your operating warm-up so that you end shortly earlier than the race begins.

Dynamic Stretching For Runners

Watch these movies and learn the descriptions of dynamic stretches to do earlier than operating.

Forward lunge

Stand up straight, along with your toes hip-width aside. Keep your head up and have interaction your core. Take an extended step ahead along with your left foot and decrease your entrance thigh till it’s parallel with the ground. Your entrance knee ought to be instantly above your left foot and your again knee ought to (nearly) contact the bottom. Push via the entrance foot again to the beginning place and change sides. 

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Lateral lunge

Start in the identical place because the ahead lunge. Step to the aspect along with your proper foot. Push again along with your hips and bend your proper knee. Lower down till your proper thigh is parallel with the ground. Your toes ought to be dealing with ahead the entire time. Push via the appropriate heel again to the beginning place and change sides.

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Accelerations and Muscle Activation

The last a part of your warm-up is devoted to activating your muscular tissues. Accelerations are excellent for this, however attempt to maintain them quick. If accomplished too lengthy, these high-intensity bursts of velocity can sap your energy and depart you feeling drained earlier than the race even begins.

How to do accelerations: Start with a gradual jog and step by step enhance velocity till you attain a submaximal dash (90% of your maximal dash). A distance of 60 meters ought to be enough. Do three or 4 accelerations with not less than one minute of lively restoration (jogging) between accelerations.

Running Technique Drills

Including a couple of operating method drills in your warm-up may help you activate key muscle teams. For concepts, watch this video by marathon runner and Olympian Philipp Pflieger. Use these drills to enhance your method, velocity, and cadence. 

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Make It Yours

No matter the space, each pre-run warm-up ought to embrace jogging, dynamic stretching, and operating method drills. While primarily used for shorter races, accelerations are one sort of warm-up train that may assist half-marathon and marathon runners earlier than a race. However, there are differing opinions on this, so each runner ought to determine on their very own.

Example of Warm-Ups For Different Distances

Each warm-up wants to be particular to the upcoming race. However, they are going to all comprise a bit of common jogging and then particular racing drills. Here’s an summary:

GENERAL PART (jogging and dynamic stretches)

  • 5K race: 15 – 20 minutes
  • 10K race: 10 – 15 minutes
  • Half-marathon: 10 minutes
  • Marathon: 5 – 10 minutes

SPECIFIC PART (operating method drills and accelerations)

  • 5K race: 10 minutes of 3-4 repetitions totaling 60 meters
  • 10K race: 5-10 minutes of 2-3 repetitions totaling 60 meters
  • Half-marathon: 5 minutes of  1-2 repetitions totaling 60 meters
  • Marathon: 5 min of 1 repetition totaling 60 meters

What Is A Warm-Up For Endurance Runs?

Turn the primary ten to quarter-hour of an endurance run into your warm-up. Start very relaxed, then slowly enhance your tempo, permitting your physique to get used to and ready for the train. After this quick warm-up part, it’s best to activate an important muscle teams once more. 

Repeat the standard stretching workouts 5 to six instances to activate these muscular tissues and maintain for 3 to 4 seconds. By tensing and releasing them, you may enhance blood movement to the muscular tissues to enhance their efficiency.

You Know You’re Warmed Up When…

If you break a sweat, you may be fairly certain that you’re correctly warmed up. However, all the time be sure that to take the air temperature, humidity, and depth of your warm-up into consideration.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a one-plan-fits-all method to warming up. So, if the above warm-up workouts depart you feeling chilly, attempt these as an alternative:

How To Cool Down After Running

Cool Down Benefits

You’ve fought your method via your coaching, your coronary heart’s nonetheless beating like loopy, and you bend over to catch your breath. You ought to be pleased with your effort! But your exercise isn’t fairly over but. A correct cool-down can velocity up your restoration and enhance the effectiveness of your coaching.

To produce an efficient coaching stimulus, you should get away of your consolation zone and stress your physique. The extra intense your exercise is, the longer it can take your physique to get better. During the restoration course of, your muscular tissues rebuild and get stronger for future exercises. To obtain the best doable impact, your restoration has to be simply as essential because the coaching itself. Cool-down workouts are step one of your restoration. The more durable your exercise or race was, the extra essential your cool-down is.

Cool-Down = Warm-Down

The phrases “cool-down” and “warm-down” refer to the post-workout strategy of serving to the physique return to homeostasis after stress.

Just as a warm-up prepares your physique for the exercise, the cool-down helps your physique return to a state of relaxation. The cool-down relaxes your muscular tissues and lowers your coronary heart and respiration charge. It helps your physique to eradicate lactic acid and different waste merchandise quicker and to restore micro-injuries. A warm-down additionally supplies your muscular tissues with oxygenated blood, which hurries up the restoration course of and helps you keep away from sore muscular tissues. These constructive results of cooling down assist you get better quicker out of your coaching.

Warm-Down Exercise: Go For A Jog Or Walk

Your cool-down shouldn’t stress your physique, so maintain the tempo good and straightforward. After arduous intervals, your coronary heart charge may shoot up once more after a couple of meters of jogging. If this occurs, you may stroll for a number of minutes and then attempt to jog once more till your coronary heart charge has returned to its pre-workout charge. The foremost factor is that the tempo of your cool-down ought to be slower than your base coaching tempo.

Why cooling down is essential:

The cool-down part initiates restoration – your physique understands that the coaching is over. It can then begin processing the coaching stimuli.

How Long Should Your Cool Down Workout Be?

The size of your cool-down train primarily depends upon your health stage and the exercise you simply accomplished: the higher form you’re in, the longer your cool-down may be. 

To quiet down after coaching, run the final 5 to ten minutes at a lowered depth, then stretch all massive muscle teams. Unlike the warm-up, attempt to maintain the stretches for not less than 30 seconds. Your muscular tissues will understand it’s time to cut back rigidity and regenerate.

Why quiet down after operating?

Runners who repeatedly quiet down get better quicker, are prepared for his or her subsequent exercise sooner, and have a decrease danger of harm and overtraining.

Yoga for Your Warm-Up and Cool-Down Exercises

Yoga is likely one of the finest methods to discover stretching warm-ups and cool-downs. The yoga collection on our adidas Training app may help you discover one of the best warm-up workouts. You’ll discover different cool-down workouts with photos on the app, too. Get it right here:


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