I should say, doing a run as a warm-up to a run could be a viable strategy. I see people warm-up for their bench presses and squats by just doing the movements and those same people will say “If you want to get better at squats, you got to work on the squat more”. So if you want to get better at running, you should just run.
Those statements might hold some value, but running requires an ability to move through a series of landing, absorbing, and propelling forward from foot to foot. Wouldn’t we want our warm-ups to breakdown these components and prepare to be efficient at these so we can translate them into our runs?
The idea of a warm-up is to increase circulation and be a preparatory phase for our end activity. This allows us to breakdown the components of a movement so we can prep the body to be more efficient when putting all the pieces back together, plus it can help us identify where the weak links may be.
If you got 5-10 minutes before your run, then these may be a better option to get you ready for your runs, feeling looser and lighter on your feet.
Utilizing isometrics will help with firing up the lower body and work on the landing and absorbing phases of running. The below examples are some of our favorites. For the foam roller bridge, you want to think about pulling the heel down, even though it is not on the foam roller. You could also place the foot at the same angle on a wall or a step if a roller is not available. In the lunge, keep pressure towards the heel and midfoot on the front leg, you should feel the quads cook up here.
The pogos help with our propulsion phases of running, and the marching and skipping allows us to smooth out the whole pattern with the arms in a slower and more intentional pattern.
To put it all together you can follow the flow below.
Isometric quads and hamstrings for 2 sets of 20-30s each
Pogo Hops 10 hops, walk back and repeat 10 more hops
You should feel ready to go after this short warm-up with your heart rate elevated and a slight sweat.
If you still are not sure or need more help with your running preparation, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Peter Dionisopoulos is the owner and founder of Dynamic Performance & Rehab. He has worked with many high-level athletes and military personnel, but his true passion is to help active adults maintain their lifestyle by providing information and potential solutions to their aches and pains so they can continue with the activities they love.