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Help with warmup (Read 1062 times)

    This will sound dumb from the get-go, but since I started running in 1970, I always kind of viewed race warmup as something to tolerate, and frankly, I think I'm not doing enough.

     

    The apparent psychology is worry about wearing myself out for the race.

     

    But all the evidence in training shows that I run much better in A) the middle miles of a longer run; B) the later intervals of an interval session or C) the second mile or beyond in a tempo.

     

    So I don't know that 1 mile of warmup is cutting it for me, and I'm curious. How much is too much/enough for a 5K. Anybody have a tried and true method they rely on?

     

    I do looseners, then run easy for about 3/4 of a mile, then do some pickups, and that's it.

     

    Should I do more? Serious but dumb question: I'm a basic 30-mile-a-week guy, so how far can I go in warmup and not worry about taking away from the race?

      The shorter the race, the more important the warm up is.  You're not alone in some of things  you stated like "your middle interval being the best", and so on.  That goes to show you that you run better when fully warmed up.

       

      I'd think you could handle a warmup  such as:

       

      1 mile ez +

      Some dynamic stretches +

      Some semi-hard running for about 400 to 600 meters (think 10K effort or slightly slower) +

      A couple stride outs at 3K to 5K pace/effort.

       

      Lightly Jog a bit and do an occasional stride out until you need to get in line for the race.

       

      That should be enough to get your body ready to go from the start. 

        I don't think it's a dumb question (or at least it's a question that I've taken three years to figure out).

         

        I am the same as you with regard to A-C.

         

        I encourage you to try for more than the 3/4 mi. In fact don't think of it in terms of miles, at all.  That could be what's psyching you out:  "I am going to warm up for three miles for a three mile race?" Yes (or close to it).  

         

        For workouts and races, I find 30 minutes to be perfect. My problem is not the psychology of it, but the skill of getting to bed, getting up, getting to the race site, getting checked, all in time for a good warmup.  There's an almost direct correlation between race performance and length-of-warmup for me. 

         

        I say try for 20 minutes to start.  For my last race, the best 5k I have ever run, my warm up took as much time as the race. I did not plan that.

        "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

          This will sound dumb from the get-go, but since I started running in 1970, I always kind of viewed race warmup as something to tolerate, and frankly, I think I'm not doing enough.

           

          The apparent psychology is worry about wearing myself out for the race.

           

          But all the evidence in training shows that I run much better in A) the middle miles of a longer run; B) the later intervals of an interval session or C) the second mile or beyond in a tempo.

           

          So I don't know that 1 mile of warmup is cutting it for me, and I'm curious. How much is too much/enough for a 5K. Anybody have a tried and true method they rely on?

           

          I do looseners, then run easy for about 3/4 of a mile, then do some pickups, and that's it.

           

          Should I do more? Serious but dumb question: I'm a basic 30-mile-a-week guy, so how far can I go in warmup and not worry about taking away from the race?

          I accompanied Yoko Shibui, one of about a dozen or so sub-2:20 female marathon runners with 2:19:41, to San Francisco Marathon in 2009.  I think the race was on Sunday and we left Flagstaff where she was having a 2-month training camp for Berlin World Championships on Friday.  She ran about 1:30 in the morning, missed breakfast because we had to catch the plane at Flagstaff airport, stop-over at Phoenix and got to SF in mid-afternoon.  We went out for an hour's run...  On the race day, she said she usually does a jog 5 hours before the race (marathon) so we got all went to bed at 8 and got up at midnight, she went for a 50-minute jog at 1AM.  After her run, she didn't get back to bed; she stayed up and did whatever she does before the race (stretching and all) and by 4:30AM, we went down to the start area.  She did about 45 minutes jog around the street for "race warm-up".  She won the race in about 2:40, about a mile ahead of the second place finisher.

           

          This is what works for her because she's superbly fit.  Not too many of us can manage the warm-up like this not because this is a bad routine; but because most of us are not as fit to handle it.

           

          If you understand the purpose of warm-up, YOU should understand what YOU need to do.  If, in your tempo run, the second mile you get warmed up and start to run well, then a mile of warm-up would be probably just right.  The duration of "warm-up" might be different depending on the weather.  If it's a hot day, you probably wouldn't need as much "warm-up" whereas if it's cold, you may need longer warm-up to get yourself "warmed" up.  

           

          Strides would help your mechanics as well as "anaerobic pathway".  If the race is short and fast and you'll get into anaerobic state, it would help to throw a one fast relax stride of about 150-200m.  This seems to get your "system" ready for some degree of oxygen debt state.

           

          If you feel really ready to go, in other words, you did too much fast workouts right before the race, you feel sharp and fast and ready to go, it may help to do longer warm-up at slower pace (put extra jacket regardless of how warm the day is); otherwise, you'll start out too fast and die in the half way.  If you feel heavy at the start, and if the race distance is short, do extra strides at fast pace till you start to "feel right".  If you felt a bit heavy at the start of a longer race like half marathon or full marathon, just let it be--you'll be warmed up by the time you reach the half way point.  If you do too much sharpening before the longer event and now you feel sharp and ready to go at the start, you'll have a very fast first few miles and slow down at the end.

           

          In short, there's no such thing as a set warm-up.  It not only depends on the event or the individual but also depends on your condition (physical condition) as well as weather condition.


          A Saucy Wench

            I do about a 5K for a 5K with some striders to race pace - usually 1 mile ez and then I start throwing in the striders until they feel nice and loose and cruising up to 5K pace.  Never force the pace of the striders.  Usually it takes me a good 2 miles to be able to hit a 5K pace and stay loose.

            2 miles for a 10K,again with a few striders the last mile, doesnt take as long to loosen up to 10K pace

            1-2 miles for a half, ditto

            and not much for the marathon, just enough to make sure my laces and clothing are all right, a couple striders to marathon pace, or if I am hyped a concentrated slow to just slower than MP. 

             

            Oh an Nobby makes a good point about the clothing.  In cooler weather I layer up and stay nice and warm during the warmup and get warmed up so I can then cut down to race clothing.  Sometimes I'll do the mile, shed a layer and go out for the striders.

             

            It isnt going to take the same amount of time each time. Thats why I say "about"  Some days on race day I feel like I'm 100 years old so I take a longer warmup.  Other days if I am feeling loose already I can barely hold back the warmup, so I hit the striders and end it.

            I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

             

            "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

              .

              "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus


              A Saucy Wench

                I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

                 

                "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

                  This is all great feedback, and much appreciated, and I think it's confirmed: I don't warm up enough.

                   

                  One of my major races of the spring is a Corporate Run next Thursday, and it's in South Florida, where the 10-day forecast says 80 (fortunately, not today; it's 87 and very windy).

                   

                  So keeping warm won't be an issue, I don't think, although I'll certainly warm up in longer short sleeves before switching for the race.

                   

                  The fact it's a night race (6:45 p.m.) is a bit disconcerting since I run in the AM, but I've rejected doing a week or two of night training. I just don't think sitting around at work all day -- I work for a website, and sit at a PC all day -- and then working out works for me. Plus, I'm sort of in a "taper" anyway, with a short interval workout Friday and then a 35-minute Peter Tegen Dyno workout Monday.

                   

                  But I knew you would come through for me with some great thoughts, and I'm still pretty new to the forums, but it seems to be a great group and some very helpful people.

                  vegefrog


                    This is all great feedback, and much appreciated, and I think it's confirmed: I don't warm up enough.

                     

                     

                    Holy crap. Me either. I might jog for like 5 minutes before a 5K and stretch a little while standing in the starting lineup.

                     

                    I am trying to get a PR this Saturday....maybe if I actually do a real warm up I could do it Smile It can't hurt, I'm gonna try to jog 15-20 minutes and throw some quickness in there...I learn so much from you people!!!

                      I have definitely read that the shorter the race, the more you need to warm up. Just need to get it through my thick head.

                        A huge element of a proper warmup is getting your mind prepared to race as well as the body. If you notice in your normal running, it usually takes you a while until your mind is "caught up" in the run--the other distractions of daily life fall away and find their place, and you can concentrate on running. 

                         

                        In racing this is much more important, as the most essential mental aspect of racing is concentration. Next time you are at a race, notice what the "fast guys" do [not because they are fast, but because they are experienced]. You probably won't find them immediately--that's because they are out away from the crowd, trying to gather their focus and concentration through running and an established routine of drills and strides. When you see them at the starting line, they will likely be relaxed but pretty focused on the task at hand.

                         

                        When you do a warmup, then, you are really trying to get the blood flowing, but you are also trying to direct the attention of the mind to the body. That's why you need to do some hard running, some strides, some drills. Sure, these things limber you up and get you ready to go. But just as importantly they gather the mind's attention on the feel of the body and prepare you to mentally give your best effort.

                         

                        MTA: A great way to develop a warmup routine is to experiment before your hard workouts. You should use workouts as opportunities to practice and wire a warmup routine that will be second nature by the time the race rolls around.


                        Consistently Slow

                          This will sound dumb from the get-go, but since I started running in 1970, I always kind of viewed race warmup as something to tolerate, and frankly, I think I'm not doing enough.

                           

                          The apparent psychology is worry about wearing myself out for the race.

                           

                          But all the evidence in training shows that I run much better in A) the middle miles of a longer run; B) the later intervals of an interval session or C) the second mile or beyond in a tempo.

                           

                          So I don't know that 1 mile of warmup is cutting it for me, and I'm curious. How much is too much/enough for a 5K. Anybody have a tried and true method they rely on?

                           

                          I do looseners, then run easy for about 3/4 of a mile, then do some pickups, and that's it.

                           

                          Should I do more? Serious but dumb question: I'm a basic 30-mile-a-week guy, so how far can I go in warmup and not worry about taking away from the race?

                           

                          I tend to do a 1.5 mile warm up in about 18(12:00 pace) minutes. I finish about 3 minutes before the start of a 5K. Our age and last 5k time are :03 apart. I did a 2.7 mile warm. The race was on a fast course and it was part of my long run.

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                            MTA: A great way to develop a warmup routine is to experiment before your hard workouts. You should use workouts as opportunities to practice and wire a warmup routine that will be second nature by the time the race rolls around.

                             

                             

                            great idea!  thanks Jeff!  will try this out soon

                            wickedlady


                              Just wanted to bump this thread. Smile