MaryBeth is the head coach at OnWard Run Coaching. MaryBeth is a life-long runner but stepped up her commitment after the birth of her kids and has run everything from 5ks to marathons. She lives in Buffalo, NY.
Below MaryBeth is going to walk us through her warmup routine prior to a run.
When I first started running (many, MANY years ago), I was young, bright-eyed and a bit naïve. Each day I’d throw on my sneakers and head out. My idea of a warmup was putting my hair in a ponytail and tying my shoes. Why waste energy exercising, just to go out and exercise? I could run just the same, and I felt fine afterward.
Of course, we know how that progressed, right? My thirteen-year-old body was up for any movement, any time; my now-forty-something-year-old body needs a little more coaxing to get rolling! Further, I find now when I warm up properly before a run, I tend to recover more quickly afterward as well.
It’s not just for my aging body and mind, though; doing a proper warmup gradually increases your heart rate, gets the blood flowing through your muscles to improve elasticity, readies your brain for the work ahead, and encourages proprioception. In other words, taking a little bit of time to move, align, stretch and strengthen can improve how you feel and perform on your run—and is great for runners of ANY age. The best part? You won’t have to carve out much extra time to get huge benefits from your warmup! I find ten to fifteen minutes worth of movement sets me up and I’m ready to roll.
If you’re short on time, put together a combination of these exercises:
If you have some extra time, add these banded exercises to get your “running muscles” firing and to build stability and strength. These exercises can be used with a resistance band or without if you are just getting started.
Notice when you head out for your run how much better you feel, right off the line. Who says we can’t be kids again? Well, at least we can feel like a kid. Have fun out there!
Mary Beth Scott
Head Coach, Onward Run Coaching