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Proper Warm up and Cool down (Read 176 times)

    I am an older runner who started last fall after I turned 65.  I am quite happy with my progress.  For me a long distance is 4 miles and my typical runs are in the 1 to 2 mile range.  My average pace in a 5K is about 12:20.  My fastest mile has been 10:56.  However, I do seem encounter mild muscle pulls (just got over a muscle pull in my left thigh that hung around for a couple of months and now I have a groin pull in my right leg) and that is probably because I am very inconsistent about warming up and cooling down.  It's probably extremely important at my age to pay attention to those things.  I'm interested in hearing about what has worked for other folks -- especially if you've had a tendency for muscle pulls and have gotten past that with proper warm up and cool down techniques.

    elasee


      As a 60 year old male who has only been running a couple of years, I can understand the problem. My solution is to view the warm up as totally separate from the run. I start with a walk, then walk/slow jog, then slow jog. Only when I began to sweat, do I consider myself warmed up enough to start my regular running workout. It takes me about 25-30 mins of easy running before I feel ready for anything faster. By following this routine I've stayed injury free and have been able to increase the amount of harder running without the injuries I would get before.

        Sounds like the deliberate, systematic approach has been successful for you, elasee.  Thanks for your response.  Given my history on minor annoyances, adopting this approach is something I'll try.  I know some people do stretches before they run; some say don't do them before, do them after; with this conflicting information, I'm not sure what to do there.  Probably can't hurt to do them after the run, though.


        Half Fanatic #846

          As a 60 year old male who has only been running a couple of years, I can understand the problem. My solution is to view the warm up as totally separate from the run. I start with a walk, then walk/slow jog, then slow jog. Only when I began to sweat, do I consider myself warmed up enough to start my regular running workout. It takes me about 25-30 mins of easy running before I feel ready for anything faster. By following this routine I've stayed injury free and have been able to increase the amount of harder running without the injuries I would get before.

          This.

           

          I'm almost 67 now, but when I started at 58 it seemed like I was sore a lot (feet, legs, but calves mostly).  What works for me now is some minor leg/foot stretching a couple of times a day when its convenient (most every day whether I run or not - especially because I have very tight achilles). My warm up routine is to stretch, walk/jog, run slowly a few minutes, then run at my "feels good that day" easy pace (or other workout), and it can take me 2+ miles to feel warmed up completely - by then I'm either good to go or at the end of my run.  Cooling down for me is usually walking about 10 minutes back home.

           

          Some of this is determined through personal experimentation. For me, I don't see the benefit of stretching afterward, and some folks can just "hit the door running" and simply stop when finished. Good luck!

          I can do 440 in 220            90% of running is half mental            I ran half of my last race on my left foot!

           

            What is a proper warmup is what works for you.  If you feel looser and more comfortable after warming up, then do it.  For me, the first two miles of my daily run are my warmup, being my mental and physical wake-up time, and the rest is more like running.

             

            We don't have the benefit of viewing your log, but I think the more important part of avoiding muscle and joint strain is consistency: Running almost every day, even if it's brief and very easy, will help your body adapt to the new stresses you are putting on it.  Also, I think overstriding is a likely culprit in hamstring and groin pulls. Keeping your stride quite short but quick can help avoid these.

            Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

              LedLincoln:  overstriding may be the culprit on this last one.  I'll now be conscious of that.  Thanks.