Warm Ups & Cool Downs

August 7, 2014

The most important parts of working out, specifically running, are warming up and cooling down. These two actions don't take very long and, if done properly, can change how your workout goes.

Before I got a coach, I would get up, run, and then be done with working out. Once I began working with a coach I noticed each of my workouts in Training Peaks had a warm up and cool down included with the workout along with flexibility exercises. As I train hard each day and work on increasing my endurance, these things become more and more important in order to avoid injury and be stretched and ready for the next days training. 

Warm Up
A warm up should take about 5 minutes. My warm up consists of stretching and walking. Once I wake up, I get dressed and head out to the driveway. I hold each stretch for about 30 seconds. I stretch my arms, legs, and calves.

Warming up raises your heart rate, increases blood flow to the limbs, and increases breathing. The steps before I run are: walk - speed walk - run slow - settle into easy pace. I do these steps for 3 to 5 minutes to get warmed up before running.

Cool Down
After I finish my run, I walk for 5 minutes (or however long it takes me to get back home after I finish the run). This is to transition into normal breathing and decrease my heart rate.

I spend between 10 to 15 minutes stretching and foam rolling. I also wear compression socks around the house to make sure there is no tightness in my legs.

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