Things to do before every run
by Tobias • 5 minutes read
Last updated: 21 Aug, 2023
Picture this: you're gearing up for your next exhilarating run, laced up, and ready to hit the pavement. But hold on a second, speedster! Before you channel your inner Forrest Gump, there's a warm-up routine you shouldn't skip. After all, a great run doesn't just start with your first step; it begins with a prelude of preparation. So, let's lace up our knowledge shoes and dive into the essential steps to take before every run.
Rolling into action
First things first, let's kick-start the pre-run ritual with a little self-love for your fascia. It might sound fancy, but it's just the connective tissue holding you together like an invisible superhero suit. So, grab a foam roller or a trusty tennis ball – your secret weapon against stiffness. Start by giving those legs a roll. The quads, hamstrings, and calves are your focus points. This warm-up act loosens things up, paving the way for smoother movement.
Dynamic duo: dynamic stretching
Now that you've pampered your fascia, let's introduce the real MVPs – dynamic stretches. Forget those old-school static stretches; they're like trying to dance the tango without music. Dynamic stretching before a run gets the party started by actively engaging your muscles while increasing your heart rate and range of motion. Fancy a few examples? Of course, you do!
- Leg Swings: Grab a sturdy support, and get ready to swing those legs. Stand tall, grip onto your support, and gently swing your left leg forward and backward, like a happy pendulum. After a few swings, switch legs and repeat. It's a rhythm that could make even the stiffest runner do a little jig.
- Hip Circles: Channel your inner hula dancer! Stand on one leg, lift your left knee, and start moving it in circular motions. Think you've nailed it? Well, switch directions and give your hip flexors a well-deserved treat. Done with that? Now repeat on the other side and you're hips will thank you!
- Butt Kicks: A warm-up that makes you feel like Rocky doing the moonwalk. Jog in place and try to kick your own derrière – yep, that's right. Lift your left heel towards your glutes, alternating between legs. It's like a greeting card to your hamstrings: "Dear Hamstrings, Let's get cozy."
- Walking Lunges with a Twist: Spice up your pre-run routine with this move. Take a step forward with your left leg into a lunge, and as you come back up, twist your torso gently towards the left. This not only stretches your hip flexors but also engages your core stabilizing muscles for some pre-run stability action.
- Heel-to-Toe Tappers: A dynamic warm-up dance for your calves. We had to include the funkiest of calf stretches. Lift your heels and then your toes, engaging those calf muscles in a rhythmic tango. This move increases circulation, warms up your lower legs, and gets you ready to conquer the road with a spring in your step. Happy tapping and running!
- Ankle Bounces: As you gear up for action, don't forget those ankles. Stand on your left leg and gently bounce on the balls of your feet, lifting your right foot off the ground slightly. It's like your ankles are whispering, "Hey, we're in this too!"
The upper body shimmy
Let's not forget the upper half of your running machine. Your arms might not be the primary propulsion, but they're like your trusty sidekicks, helping you maintain balance and momentum. So, why not give them a little warm-up shimmy?
- Arm Swings: Stand tall and extend your arms parallel to the ground. Start swinging them back and forth, gradually increasing the range of motion. It's like saying hello to your shoulder joints, ensuring they're ready for the arm-pumping action during your run.
Heart-rate elevator and blood flow booster
So, you've given your muscles a taste of dynamic love. Now it's time to gradually rev up your heart rate. Why, you ask? Because it's like priming an engine before hitting the gas pedal. When you start your run, you won't be shocking your system with an abrupt increase in effort.
Begin with a brisk walk, and then gradually transition into a slow jog. Feel your heart rate picking up the tempo, and revel in the increased blood flow. This gradual buildup prepares your body for the upcoming intensity while reducing the risk of injury.
In a nutshell
Pre-run preparation is like plotting the perfect movie opening – it sets the tone for the adventure ahead. Start with the essential fascia-rolling routine to unshackle your body's potential. Then, introduce dynamic stretches that make your muscles sing with joy. Leg swings, hip circles, walking lunges, ankle bounces, and butt kicks – they're your secret weapons for supple and ready limbs.
Don't leave your upper body hanging either. A little arm swing goes a long way in maintaining balance and coordination. And when it's time to start your run, give your heart rate a gentle nudge and let your blood flow groove to the rhythm.
Remember, running isn't just about putting one foot in front of the other. It's about respecting your body, treating it like the high-performance machine it is. So, the next time you gear up for a run, give yourself the gift of preparation. Your body will thank you for it, and those miles will feel like a breeze with every step. Happy running!
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