Triathlon and Running Warm Up Drills with Pete Jacobs

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.


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)

Bring elbow inside knee to stretch deeper into the groin.
Straighten the front leg.

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

With arms out to either side, move your weight onto one leg.
Bring other leg up, bend forward, then come back down.

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.

In addition, feel free to check our article about training for your first triathlon in just 4 weeks. You will love it!

Dr Brendan O’Louglin is an Osteopath at Melbourne Osteopathy Sports Injury Centre. He has experience managing severe acute working and sporting injuries as well as chronic postural dysfunction and medical conditions. He competes in triathlon at a domestic level and has achieved some great results.If you want to discuss any aspect of your training, sport or health with Brendan or one of our other practitioners, please feel free to ask a questioncontact us or email us at