Dynamic Warm Up for Runners

From our Staff Coach Michael Donnelly - Donnelly Multisport

Running injuries are the most common type of injuries encountered by triathletes so please listen to your body while training. Don’t neglect aches or pains; treat them before they become major injuries. Also, be aware of the surfaces that you run on and change your running shoes every 400 – 500 miles.
Here is a good dynamic run warm up routine that can be completed before and after your run workouts. This warm up will activate your muscle fibers and ensure that you are ready to workout.

1. Heel Walk. Walk forward keeping your forefoot off the ground. This will activate the shins and stretch out your calves. Do 10 – 15 steps per foot.

2. High Toe Walk. Use a normal walking gait. Strike with the heel, roll through the entire foot, toe off strongly, pushing the body upwards and forwards. Keep the toe in contact with the ground - do not skip. Do 10 – 15 steps per foot.

3. High Knee Walk. Use a normal walking gait. Strike with the heel, roll through the entire foot and fire the leading knee to at least hip height. Simultaneously toe off strongly and keep the toe in contact with the ground. Keep leaning forward, especially when driving the knee upwards - do not skip. Do 10 – 15 steps per foot.

4. Butt Kicks. Walk forward with bent elbows & flick the heel up towards your glutes. Be sure to use only the hamstrings & not your calves or low back – keep the pelvis neutral. Do 10 – 15 steps per foot.

5. Hamstring Kick Outs. Walk forward and with slightly bent knees, kick each leg out forward alternately. Bend the upper body towards the outstretched leg. Keep the support leg bent and make sure that the back foot stays up on the toe. Kick the leg out straight forward and reach the opposite hand out towards the extended shin or foot. Keep leaning and moving forward. Do 10 – 15 steps per foot.

6. Strides/Pick Ups. After the dynamic warm up drills, run easy for 3 minutes and then do some strides. Start the first stride a little faster than your warm up. Then gradually build pace with each consecutive stride. End with a pace just faster than your expected finishing or training pace. Complete 4 - 6 strides of 50m - 200m or 15 - 45 seconds. Be sure to rest sufficiently between strides.