Science on the Run: All Is Good In Moderation

Linking current research to runningUntitled

By Nikki Reiter

You often hear that it’s important to warm up for a variety of reasons surrounding injury prevention and optimal performance. Have you ever wondered if your warmup is helping or hindering your performance?  Are you doing too much that you’re wasting valuable energy? Or too little that you haven’t warmed up enough?

Be Proactive, Not Reactive When it Comes to Preventing Injuries

Part 1: Warming Up Properly

By Chris Lauretani, PT, MS, CSCS, CKTP

Running injuries affect nearly 50% of recreational runners at some point over the course of a year, however that number can jump to almost 90% during marathon training. Overuse injuries such as plantar fasciitis, ITB tendinitis and patella femoral syndrome can lead to unwanted downtime during crucial training periods. Once an injury occurs, a runner’s primary concern shifts off training and must be refocused on recovering. This reactive treatment of an injury is necessary and part of every athlete’s recovery process, but wouldn’t it be great to proactively prevent a large number of these injuries from happening in the first place?

This is where training is taken to a place that many runners fear…. valuable free time spent on something other than running.  Many runners, both elite and recreational, feel that every single second of training time should be spent running, but if you want to stay injury free, it is essential to devote part of your weekly routine to proactively preventing injuries. This can be accomplished in part by warming up properly and participating in flexibility training, core / strength training, and cross training.

Warming Up For A Marathon With Ann Alyanak

We asked Run SMART coach Ann Alyanak what her marathon warm-up routine is and what she recommends to her clients.

Ann: My typical marathon warm-up is a mile shakeout about 3 hours before the race. I do this right after I wake up and before I eat breakfast. This is just to help me wake up and get some blood flowing. Then about 30 minutes before the race I will run very easy for about 10 minutes and do some light stretching. I will do a couple very light strides as well. I don’t do anything hard or long because I want to conserve my energy for the race. The first couple miles of the marathon kind of serve as a warm-up too.

Warming Up With Malindi Elmore

We asked Run SMART coach Malindi Elmore a few questions about warming up properly and how to approach a 5k or 10k race. Learn how an Olympian does it and what she recommends for runners of all levels.

What’s does your typical warm-up routine consist of for an easy run, quality session and race and why?

My warm-up routine certainly varies according to my workout objective.  Something of high intensity – a race or quality workout – takes me between 45-60 minutes to warm up for!  I usually start with 15-20 minutes of easy running and then do 3-6 minutes or so of “steady state” running so I actually start to “prime the pump” before the hard work begins.  I will either do a short fartlek (2 x 3 minutes) or short tempo run (5 minutes) where I gradually build my pace to about marathon pace. This helps to warm things up and get my body more ready for the hard work ahead – a sort of bridge between the easy jogging and fast running.  Next, I will do a series of drills and dynamic movement drills which help with form, recruitment, stretching, etc. Finally, I will do some “strides” which progress from longer and slower to faster and shorter the closer I am to the beginning of my race or workout.