2019 Marathon Training Day 1: Importance of Proper Warm-up

June 6 sunrise medium version

”Dreams and dedication are a powerful combination” – William Longgood

Today, I officially kicked off my marathon training for 2019 with my goal to break 3 hours.  However, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I am also going to enjoy the journey and enjoy my training runs!

No matter what your goal, whether it is your first marathon, or to set a new time goal, building an aerobic base and working on running mechanics early on is important. Also, it is important to perform a dynamic warm-up (see today’s tip below, which includes a video with a dynamic warm-up you can perform). I alternate between the warm-up in the video and the warm-up that I did today. The warm-up I did today consisted of the following:

  • Leg swings forward and back with bent knee: I bent my knee as I lifted my leg forward and then lengthened it as I extended my leg behind me. Be sure to keep your pelvis stable. I performed 10 repetitions on each leg
  • Leg swings forward and back with straight leg: Similar to the leg swings above, but with the leg straight, instead of bent at the knee
  • Leg swings side-to-side across the body with straight leg: Similar to leg swings forward and back, except now swinging the leg across the body and in front of the other leg. I performed 10 repetitions for each leg.
  • Leg swings side-to-side across the body with bent leg (at the knee): Similar to the leg swings side-to-side above, except bend at the knee
  • Front lunges (stepping forward with one leg, 3-5 repetitions for each leg)
  • Lunges at a 45 degree angle in front (3-5 repetitions for each leg)
  • Side lunges (stepping to the side with one leg, 3-5 repetitions for each leg)
  • Lunges at a 45 degree in back (3-5 repetitions for each leg)
  • Back lunges (stepping straight back with one leg, 3-5 repetitions for each leg)

Today’s run was at an easy pace, in a relatively flat area. I ran for about 32 minutes. Depending on your fitness level and last time you ran, you may want to start with 20 (beginners) – 40 (more experienced runners) minutes. Just keep the pace easy!  I have a long time before my marathon, so I have plenty of time to build up my speed. And don’t worry if the pace is not even close to your goal pace for your next marathon. My pace certainly wasn’t for this run. Enjoy the run and the sights and sounds around you. Hopefully they are enjoyable. J It certainly was enjoyable run for me!

After my run, I did the following strengthening exercises for about 10 minutes:

  • Leg swings forward and back (10 repetitions for each leg, both straight and bent leg)
  • Leg swings side-to-side (10 repetitions of each for each leg, both bent and straight leg)
  • Single-leg stand (~30 seconds on each leg)
  • Prone planks (~30 seconds)
  • Side planks (~20 seconds on each side)
  • Supine planks (~15 seconds)
  • Clamshells (15 repetitions on each side)
  • Quadrupeds (10 repetitions on each side)
  • Double leg hip bridges (10 repetitions)
  • Toe yoga (10 repetitions for each foot)
  • Fire hydrants (5 repetitions on each side)
  • Knee circles forward (5 repetitions for each leg)
  • Knee circles backward (5 repetitions for each leg)
  • Single-leg balance (~20 seconds on each leg)

After this I did about 10 minutes of foam rolling.  I focused on the hip flexors and quadriceps, as well as hamstrings and calves, which are areas commonly tight in runners, including me.

I will go into more detail on these in future posts. So stay tuned…

Recommendation: Perform the dynamic warmup included in the video posted below, or perform the dynamic warm-up that I mentioned above. This may take you 10-15 minutes if you are just getting used to the exercises, but take the time now to begin learning and doing them. After the dynamic warm-up, perform a 20-40 minute run at an easy pace, in as flat an area as possible. You may perform the exercises I have listed above, if you are familiar with them and can perform them properly. If not, I will provide instruction on them in future posts. I highly recommend a cool-down with foam rolling, static stretching, or active isolated stretching. At a minimum do some static stretching, as I will be discussing cool-down in more depth in a future post.

Tip for the Day: A dynamic warm-up is a must before all of your runs to begin activating those muscles important for running. Some of the injuries that occur in runners can be attributed to not performing a dynamic warm-up. So, don’t let injuries prevent you from achieving your running goals, take 5-10 minutes and perform a dynamic warm-up. This is as important for you as the run itself.

Dynamic warm-ups, which involve motion, have been found in research studies, to be much more effective in facilitating engaging the appropriate muscles for running than static stretching or no warm-up at all.  Thus, these muscles will immediately support your running and make you more efficient and effective, while reducing your risk of soreness and injury.  Here is one of the dynamic warm-ups that I typically use:

https://youtu.be/ttjP6XuD6P0

 

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or if I can help in any way.

Be your best self today

 

Your friend and coach.

Brian