Running shoes on and go. Jogging can be so easy and you don’t really need to warm up before jogging , some say. Others say: “Without warming up, the risk of injury is far too great, it just doesn’t work!”
Two completely contradicting opinions and approaches, which – I want to anticipate this much – both are justified. Once again there is no black and no white and therefore I want to shed some light on the pros and cons with this article.
Does warming up before jogging make sense?
It happens again and again in my beginner courses that a few are completely horrified that I do not give tips on warming up right at the beginning or keep them very very short.
Mostly these are lateral entrants from other sports, because in all sports with sudden changes of movement (e.g. all ball games) or direct high stress (e.g. strength training or HIIT), warming up is mandatory and rightly so. In endurance sports with moderate and uniform loads (e.g. cycling or running), on the other hand, it depends. But what exactly?
What happens in your body during warm-up?
If you jog in the morning right after getting up or after a long day at the office, your body is still in sleep mode. With warm-up exercises you wake him up and bring him to operating temperature. The blood begins to circulate and your body temperature increases by 1-2 degrees.
Your muscle tension increases and tendons and ligaments become more elastic. You will feel it especially if you are not very flexible and feel very stiff. Your joints are lubricated, but the warming up is not only effective physically.
You also begin to mentally say goodbye to everyday life and concentrate on the upcoming training.
Should I warm up before I run?
Somehow everything sounds conclusive and it should be clear that you should warm up before running. Really? Why not warm up yourself while running? This is also an option that I will explain to you later.
The more intense the upcoming training, the more important it is to warm up. The same applies before a competition. If you are about to start your first marathon, a few short jumps are enough on the spot. You will need all of your energy later on and you won’t run a marathon at full throttle either.
However, if you want to tackle your best time over the 5km, it makes sense in any case to bring your body to operating temperature, because then it counts right from the start.
Should I stretch before running?
A relic of the past is static stretching or stretching before training. What did we dislocate in the 80s before physical education? In retrospect, it was a miracle that nothing more happened than when running.
Static stretching exercises have no place in my eyes before jogging. If so, then they make sense after training. The situation is different with dynamic stretching movements , which have become very fashionable in recent years. If you are very inflexible and stiff, you can do a few exercises before the run.
How should I warm up before running?
If you are a beginner runner, I strongly recommend that you always start walking quickly. It is best to walk at least 5 minutes before you take your first run. The muscles are warmed up and the load on your tendons and joints, which is very high for most beginners, is better dosed.
Incidentally, such a warm-up prevents sore muscles, another reason not to start running straight away.
If, on the other hand, you are already advanced, then – as already mentioned – the following training is very important. If you are planning a quiet, easy endurance run, it is sufficient to deliberately trot slowly for the first few minutes. This gives the body time to get used to the strain. After that, you’re welcome to run a few seconds faster. It doesn’t take more …
It is different if you want to run a speed training or a competition. A warm-up program is mandatory here. It is best to start with a relaxed trot, a few dynamic stretching exercises and finally, at the end of the day, add a few exercises from the ABC of running. And after 10-15 minutes you are ready for your new personal best …
Stiff, inflexible and tense? Then it can be these 4 exercises for flexibility
If you are one of those people who suffer from stiffness and frequent tension, then you must not only get your leg muscles moving before your run. You should also pay attention to the rest of the body, after all, you are not just walking with your legs. We start from top to bottom.
For your upper body, it’s best to start with arm circles . With your arm stretched out, you begin to mobilize your shoulder girdle with small circular movements. First forwards, then backwards and always from small circular movements to an increasingly larger radius.
The next exercise is the torso bend and it now gets the hips moving in addition to the upper body. Stand with your legs apart and now grab your right foot with your left hand and turn it around. Always alternating 10x on each side.
After your hip is now in motion, you can directly with leg swings continue. To do this, stand hip-width apart. If you don’t have a good sense of balance, you can also hold on to a chair or something similar. Now you lift one leg and swing it back and forth as far as you can. Again, 10 repetitions per side are sufficient.
And last but not least, you let your feet circle a little and you are ready to start your run at a relaxed, very slow pace.
Warming up before running – a matter of purpose
You see, the question of warming up before jogging is a question of the purpose of your training or competition. If it is “only” the easy jogging round, it is sufficient to start with slow running (or, as a beginner, fast walking).
If, on the other hand, you want to train really intensively and quickly, a warm-up program is necessary and the longer, the more intense the following unit or competition becomes.
And how do I do that?
In 90% of my runs I start with a very slow and easy kilometer and that’s enough for me as a warm-up program. Before interval runs, I sprinkle in a few climber runs towards the end of the warm-up program. I only warm up really intensely before shorter competitions. A few exercises from the running ABC, jumps on site (preferably in the waiting phase before the start) and sometimes the jumping jack are allowed to activate and get in the mood.