The importance of a good warm-up
The temperature outside is slowly dropping again. This is no excuse not to run! But just stepping outside and immediately going a run means that you are off to a “cold start”. This increases the risk of injury many times over and your body gets tired faster.
A “cold start” means that your heart rate is still low, your body temperature is as low as possible and your brain thinks it does not need to control any muscles. It is therefore very unwise to start running at full speed after a “cold start”. A good warm-up is crucial in order to perform responsibly.
In a warm-up, two factors are very important. First of all, start with a gentle jog so that your heart rate, respiratory system, body temperature and brain function are properly prepared for the physical effort to come. In addition, the metabolic processes are accelerated, which improves the supply of oxygen and energy and the removal of waste products. Do you want to run at a fast pace? Then slowly increase the intensity of the jog.
After warming up, it is advisable to stretch your muscles. This brings the muscles up to length so that you can more easily make the larger running movement when you want to run at a higher pace. The advice for stretching the muscles as a warm-up is to do this dynamically. This means that you do not hold an exercise statically, but stretch the muscles with small movements.
Stretching the muscles in the legs (such as hamstrings and calves) is of course important, but don’t forget the muscles in the feet, hips and arms! Some examples of exercises can be found in the video below:
A proper warm-up with the above factors contributes to injury-free running and preparing your body for the performance to come. You are ready to go!