Tuesday, May 22, 2012
I happened to run into a few of my neighbors as I was beginning my run the other day and something I've noticed is that 99% of runners have no clue how to warm up or even what a warm up is really all about. I'm much faster than my neighbor friends at least at race pace and we were all beginning our run and I refused to keep up with them as they immediately started at something near a 8:00 - 8:30 pace. Similarly, I watch a lot of runners jump out the door of their house and immediately start in the 8:30 pace range which I think is insane. The body hasn't awaken much less warmed up. I tend to start in the 11:00 pace range even on days I'm going to eventually do tempo runs in the 6:00 pace range. I learned this from elite level runners who I watched prod along very slowly during warm-up.
And, another thing, the idea, even as promoted by our running magazines, that a 20 min. warm-up is sufficient is not only wrong, but short sided. It was awhile to warm-up the body correctly before launching into a hard effort workout. I tend to warm-up for 40-45 minutes, followed by some active stretching, before moving into hard effort running. This is likely why I haven't suffered a serious injury in many years. Maybe it's a cultural thing in that we are just too darn impatient to let our bodies warm-up. Or, perhaps, we don't have time and just force the issue instead of waiting until maybe the weekends when we have more time to properly prepare. Or, maybe it's a competitive thing where we can't prod along because our ego's can't handle other runners passing us while we are warming up. I don't know but I do know this is one of the major reasons so many runners are injured on a yearly basis and it won't change because we refuse to practice patience.
Posted by - at 3:00 PM