The Perfect Run Warm Up
Our Resident physio Alex Price takes us through some of the exercises you need to be doing before training
Dynamic Stretches and releases
Start with release work on any tight areas (ITB, calves, hips) using a ball, roller or self-massage – my favourite form of muscular release.
Running brings with it the most potential for injury for triathletes, many of whom spend a great deal of time sitting at work or in the car. Use walking lunges to stretch out the hip flexors. Keep tall through the body and open up the front of the hip, holding for 3secs. Repeat 10 times each side, alternating between sides.
Curb marching is an effective stretch that can be done on the edge of a curb or leaning against a fence. Position yourself into a calf stretch and hold for three seconds. Repeat 10 times each side, alternating between sides. Vary by bending the knees slightly to bias the stretch towards the achilles tendon and soleus muscle.
Quarter squats and clams are recommended prior to running, to get the gluteals prepared for their role in stabilisation and push off.
Calf raises help to reduce shin soreness by aligning the heel and strengthening the outside of the calf. Align feet evenly under the hips, then slowly push up through big toe and lower with a smooth, controlled motion. Repeat 6-8 times, for two sets.
‘Quick feet’ is one of our favourite drills at AP10 – exaggerating a very high cadence gets the nervous system firing quickly, which then makes it easier to maintain a high cadence when you start running. Run as fast as you can on the spot for 10secs. Repeat five times taking a short rest between each burst.
Start with a walk or very slow jog to get blood flowing. Do not rush this section of the warm-up and don’t look at your pace – really listen to your body and don’t speed up until you are sure your body is ready.