Thursday, February 26, 2009

Race Warm Up – How much is enough

Reading an article on the internet recently about prerace warm ups, I started to ponder my own race warm up routine.

Typically, I usually do an easy mile or two depending on the race distance about 30 minutes before start. This is followed by a change over to my race flats and race singlet. Just before the start, I do some striders as the final piece to get my self ready to run.

But after reading this article I maybe selling my pre race warm up short.

So what brought me to this conclusion?

Well, for one thing, I routinely wear my heart rate monitor during my runs. In looking through the download of the results, I noticed that usually some where between 3 to 4 miles, my heart drops. I believe this to mean that my body i.e. muscles and heart – basically everything is warmed up and ready to go.

In addition, I noticed that my pace per mile tends to go down.

Based on these two facts, I suspect that my prerace warm up routine should be extended to include more miles. By getting in this extra warm up, my body then has a better chance to perform at it most optimal level.

Now, 3 to 4 miles warm appears to work for me. But I have another suspension that it is probably different for each person.

My suggestion is get your self a heart monitor. Track your heart rate during your daily runs – easy days or recovery days or even long runs. Look to see where your heart settles down. Try making it the sweet spot for your pre race warm up and see if it improves your overall race efforts.

I am going to test out my theory in my up coming races. I post what effect this have on my races.


Anonymous said...

Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.

I started a pre-race routine that I think works well this past year and like you it includes more running. Since most of my races start early in the morning, I go out about 2-3 hours before the race, when I first wake -up, and do a 5-10 minute shake-out jog which wakes the body up and gets the engines firing (particularly important for us older runners). Then about 20-30 minutes before the race I do another 10 minutes of running but this time incorporating some 20 second strides into the run. Then its changing into the racing flats, some form drills and dynamic stretching and then head to the start line for some last minute jogging and light strides to keep the engine ready. Its worked very well for me and for Alana and I believe Nathan Stanford uses a similar routine.

So you at the races Bill,

Mark Hadley

Cool Down Runner said...

Thanks for the feedback, Mark.

I like your suggestion. The closest that I came to replicating it is running a 3 to 4 miles in the morning before an evening race.

-btw Please pass along my congrads to Alana on her 17:30 time earlier this month.