Pre-Race Warm-Up Routine for the Runner

by Devin Blessing, DPT, OCS >> Request an Appointment

You’ve put in countless hours of training – all the hard prep work is done. If you want your race to go as planned, you need to make sure you have a proper pre-race warm-up routine.

A good warm-up routine will, of course, get your body warm, but will also get your muscles and joints primed to handle the task at hand. The goal is for your body to feel good when the gun goes off. An appropriate warm-up should start with dynamic mobility drills followed by running-specific drills.

If you have any particularly problematic areas that you’ve been working on with a PT or coach, start with those first. Next, focus on the hamstrings, hip flexors, adductors and spine. These are easily incorporated into running-specific positions by doing a few different lunge variations, as demonstrated below.

Finally, get the body primed with running-specific drills that focus on different components of the stride. This will help with running form and make your stride more fluid from the start of the race. Think of it as activating the muscles used most often in your running stride in advance. These drills include high knees, butt kicks, A-skips and cariocas.

Add these warm-ups to your pre-race or pre-run routine. Let us know what you think in the comments section!

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