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How to Warm-Up Properly Before Race

Some of the runners are disappointed after the race as they feel that they haven’t been able to show their real potential during the contest. They weren’t able to perform as they perform during the training. The reason is that some of the athletes try to dodge warm-up exercises or don’t know how to warm-up properly.

warm-up exercises

Most of the runners do not do any warm-up exercises, or they try to they don’t give enough time to warm-up exercises. They only do a few stretches and jog for few minutes which are not sufficient for a person who is participating in a marathon.

Another misconception is that if a marathon covers a short distance, then you don’t have to spend a long time on a warm-up workout. To make sure that you perform to your full extent, you should spend more time on warm-up exercises before a short distance race.

warm-up exercises

Warm-up exercises not only make your performance better, but they also prevent any injuries such as muscle cramps and soreness so you could run without any worries. Warm-up exercises increase blood flow to your skeletal muscles by seventy to seventy-five percent. It also enhances the rate of oxygen reaching your muscles, so you have more fuel during the race. Warm-up exercises raise the temperature of your muscles and remove the tightness from the muscles. By increasing the flexibility of your muscles, warm-up exercises prevent any injuries happening to your body. By raising the temperature, it allows muscles to work efficiently by increasing the nerves transmission.

To achieve maximum advantage from your warm-up exercises, these guidelines given below should be followed:

  • You might have seen many of the runners performing stretches and jogging as part of their warm-up exercises, but these workouts need the guide book. Usually, people who perform warm-up exercises do not know which exercises are suitable for the race and how much time they should give to exercise before the whistle blows. For example, people use to perform static stretching before the race, but it has been proven by European Journal of Applied Physiology that static exercises strains the muscle and reduces their elasticity. It reduces the capacity of muscles to store energy.
  • Warm-up exercises should be divided into two parts. One part should consist of dynamic stretching and jogging while other part deals with ABC drills like butt kicks and skips. You could also focus on acceleration which provides you with a significant advantage during races which cover a short distance.

Dynamic Stretches:

  1. Forward Lunge:

To perform this stretch, you should be standing up straight while your feet should be hip-width apart. While keeping the distance, place your right foot o your left foot and lower your front thigh so your back knee touches the ground. Make sure your head is straight. Put pressure on your front foot to bring your body back into original position and then place your left foot on your right foot to perform the same exercise.

  1. Side Lunge:

You should put your hands on your hips or in front of you. Place your feet with a distance equal to the width of the hip between them. Stretch your leg to the side with your feet facing forward.  You should make sure your knee is bent, and your feet is facing forward the whole time. Then you should lower your right thigh so that it is parallel with the ground. Come back to the original position and then use your left leg to perform this exercise.

  1. Star Touch:

There should be more distance between your feet than shoulder-width apart. Try to keep your legs straight while performing this exercise. Touch your right toe with your left hand and then come back to original position. Repeat this step while using your left toe and right hand this time.

  1. Standing knee to chest stretch:

Stand as straight as possible and place some distance between your feet. Raise your right knee towards your chest while trapping it in your fingers. Repeat the step by using your left knee.

ABC Drills:

These drills should be started with a slow jog while performing a movement for five seconds and repeat those movements two or three times.

  1. Butt kicks:

While performing this movement, your back should be straight and should not bend. Move your heel parallel to your hip while bending your knee. You should bring your left knee to the same position while you are bringing your right knee to the original position. Allow your arms to swing without any restriction.

  1. Skips:

Bring your left thigh parallel to the ground while jumping off your right foot. By raising the knee to a greater height, you could increase the intensity of this movement.


Cover a distance of sixty meters by starting with a slow jog and increasing the speed gradually until you reach ninety percent of your maximal sprint. You should do three to four accelerations between one-minute recovery break between each acceleration.

  • Make sure that you should stop warming-up few minutes before the race so your body does not lose any heat and flexibility which have achieved while performing warm-up exercises. Make sure that you perform warm-up exercises for a longer period before short distance race. Less time should be spending on warm-up exercises before a long distance race as you have time to perform activities during the race and your muscle does not experience any fatigue.

As you have to build up speed quickly during a 5K race, more time should be spent on warm-up exercises. Fifteen to twenty minute should be spent on dynamic stretches and jogging while ten minutes should be given to ABC drills and accelerations. As you have time in the 10K race to perform workout during the race, you could spend ten to fifteen minutes of dynamic stretches and jogging and five to ten minutes on ABC drills and accelerations.

Warm-up exercises not only make you ready for race physically, but it also makes you prepared for it mentally. It brings your body into perfect condition so you could show your full potential. If perform correctly, these exercises could make you ready for anything.

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  1. Nazan Cihan

    May 23, 2016 at 2:28 am

    Are there any details regarding this subject in other languages?


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