A good warm up is important as it opens up the pathways between your brain and muscles, helping them to activate correctly. It also helps get those balancing and control muscles functioning which will make your running more efficient. It only takes 5 minutes of drills after a light warm up jog to get all these great benefits.
Dr Brendan O’Louglin details this great warm up drill as demonstrated by professional triathlete and 2012 Hawaii Ironman World Champion Pete Jacobs.
Start the warm up with 10 minutes of light jogging.
PART 1: DYNAMIC STRETCHING
Static stretching is where you hold a particular position for an extended time, for say 30 seconds. Before you run or compete in an event like triathlon however, dynamic stretching is much more beneficial.
Dynamic stretching is where you go into the stretch quickly and then back out of it. It acts like a little spring for the muscle to give them the bounce you want when you’re running.
1. Lunge to open up hip flexors (2 each side)
Bring opposite arm above head, twisting back over front leg.
Stretch through abdominal muscles, thoracics and pectorals.
Do 2 of these lunges on each side.
2. Big lunge with hands either side of feet (2 each side)
And then come up.
As you come up, roll up your spine, using your core to pull your body up.
This will switch on your core muscles, getting some good movement while opening up your spine at the same time.
3. Single-leg Hamstring stretch
4. Hamstring stretch
Jog a few steps, then put your front foot heel to your rear foot toe keeping a bent knee.
Roll your arm forward, keeping your back strong whilst not collapsing.
Jog a few more steps and do the same on opposite leg.
5. Sideways running crossover drills
Twisting at the hips, arms and shoulders.
Keep on your toes and stay light on your feet.
Finish the warm up with 4 sprints, using your arms to set the pace for your legs to follow. This is great for helping you up the hills.