One thing I love about constant training, is each cycle brings on new lessons and racing strategies. While the name of the Boston 2017 game is still SPEED, I feel compelled to share why and how performing a proper warm up has sped up my body and eased each and every workout throughout the past 13 weeks.
I think it’s safe to say that almost everyone (athlete or not) knows the importance of a proper warm up, however, doing and knowing are two totally different things. Lots of times it’s easy to skip out on a full warm up and charge right into activity for many different reasons, hell I used to be a big victim of this, when you just want to get it over with or only have a certain amount of time the easiest thing is to just jump right in. Reluctantly, doing so is also the easiest way to decrease performance and make you more susceptible to injury.
Lately, I have been putting this method to the test and drastically slowing down my warm ups to get my body ready for the workout in store.
Here is what I’ve noticed
The Importance of Warm Up Exercises:
Think of a driving your car in freezing cold weather. It's clearly best to allow your car to warm up before revving it up to high speeds. I'm sure you've heard the "body as a vehicle metaphor by now," well the same principle holds truth to when you work out. You want to physically prepare your body for the demands of a strenuous workout by gradually increasing your body temperature. Doing so will make you:
Mentally and Physiologically Prepared – meaning no matter how tough or easy the workout the body is not just going in cold turkey, warm ups relax both the mind and body, alike.
Increased Body Temperature – aside from mobilizing your body for exercise, a warm up does just as it suggests, it increases the temperature and blood flow of your muscles so they can contract and relax more efficiently.
Injury Prevented – reduces stress of the heart/soft tissue injuries
There are also tons of other sciency benefits to warming up, such as enhancing the speed of transmission of nerve impulses, increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your working muscles, lubricating your joints and prompting hormonal changes in the body responsible for regulating energy production.
Bottom Line : WARMING UP GETS YOUR BODY READY TO MOVE!
So how should you warm up?
Like anything, keep it simple, make it effective.
An ideal warm up for any distance is to start with some easy jogging (I literally like to start at a 10 minute mile pace and gradually increase my way up), then move on to dynamic drills and strides.
Generally a warm up should be any where between 10-30 mins depending on the intensity and duration of the workout. During my speed work I like to take about 18-20 minutes to ease into my sprints averaging at about a 6.5 or 9:13 mile pace.