Should you warm-up before your race? Some say you should others argue that it’s not worth it. I can see both sides, but I lean one way.
The Two Arguments
Warm-up before a race: You always see this before a race. People are stretching, jogging back and forth, swinging their legs and loosening up. Should you be doing all those things? Majority of the time experts would agree that a proper warm-up is necessary before a race. The warm up will provide your muscles with oxygen, increase your body temperature, and allow you to get used to the motion of running.
Do not warm-up before a race: This is an argument that stems from training or your history of running. Stretching before racing is almost pointless without actual movement of the body. Just stretching before a race can actually increase a chance of a pulled muscle. So, stretching without a proper warm-up is not something you want to do before your race. Also, if during your training you never warmed up, you might want to stick to that routine.
In reality, there isn’t much of an argument around whether you should warm-up or not before a race. The argument is if you are going to warm-up, do it correctly otherwise there could be little benefit and actually could increase risk of injury. My pre-race warm up routine is as follows:
- 10 – 15 min jog
- 5x 20m strides
- 5x 20m kips
- 5x 20m side strides
- 5x 20m high knees/butt kicks
- 10 cross-body leg swings
- 10 lateral leg swings
- Slight stretch
I typically start my warm-up about an hour before the race. This gives me enough time to get through the warm-up and get into my race gear/hit the gear check.
Here are some other resources that talk about warming up before running:
- 3 Common Myths About Warming Up – Runners Connect
- Should You Warm-Up Before Exercise – Verywell Fit
- Why You Should Stretch After Your Run – Running Competitor
- Runner’s Warm-Up – Nike Running App
Do you have a warm-up routine that you do before every race? Share in the comments below!
KEEP THE RUN ON
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