Warming up…How it Can Help You Run Faster.

I recently shared an article on my Facebook page from Runner’s World, How I Broke 20 Minutes in the 5k (and Why I Wanted To) …follow me on fb here

I thought the article was inspiring (which is why I shared it) but within the article there was another link for “Run a 5k Faster With These Five Fun Workouts”. If you are like me and are always trying to improve your running then you will truly benefit from that article. Click here to read the article.

The commonality in all five of the workouts is the warm-up. Apparently warming up is important. Hmmm, maybe I should rethink how I go about my morning run. As most of you already know, I have been a runner for a long (long) time, and I don’t claim to know everything about running, as a matter of fact I am constantly reading and researching the latest data about running and fitness in hopes to learn more and ultimately pass it on to you.

For example, warming up…I have never been a big fan of warming up. I may not jump out of bed and head out the door but I also don’t invest much time in warming up. I assumed simply being awake for an hour meant my muscles were warm and that was good enough. Back in the day runners would stretch before a run, then “they” discovered that stretching pre-run was “bad” and could actually cause injury. No worries for me, I wasn’t stretching even back then. 🙂

stretching dog

Now ‘they” say to warm up before a run and you will run better. I always thought the purpose of warming up was to prevent injuries. I thought “cold” muscles were more prone to injury, thus “warm” muscles were safe from injury. I didn’t understand the rationale behind the theory. Now it makes more sense to me.

Warming Up…

Warming up basically primes the muscle fibers for a run. I am a nurse, so in nursing terms warming up is comparable to priming an IV line when hanging antibiotics. You run (or prime) the antibiotics through the line so that the line is primed with medication, then when you connect the line to the patient they get antibiotics right away, verses normal saline (or worse…air). This analogy will work for my nursing friends but how about the rest of you…Think of it as priming the gas before starting a lawn mower. You have to push on the prime bubble until the line is full so the mower will have gas to start. Same goes for our muscles. We need to get our (oxygen carrying) blood, flowing to our muscles, to prime them for optimum performance. Make sense? Have you ever noticed how your first mile or first ten minutes of a run/race is the hardest, then as you find your groove (or warm up) you start feeling better? Apparently there is a reason for that. :-/

So when you’re at a race and you see those runners who are bouncing up and down or sprinting back and forth don’t think they are crazy or obsessed runners (like I used to, I mean seriously, I never understood why they would want to waste their energy before the race, I was saving mine for the race) instead, be one of those runners and see how it works out for you.

Do you warm up before you run?

Either way…

Keep running my friends!



  1. Emma P | 13th Dec 17

    What should you do to warm up your muscles??

    • Denise | 14th Dec 17

      Emma, You can bounce up and down in place, leg swings, lunges, walk or light jog for a minute. Depending on what your workout plan is you may only need a minute or two. (1 min for 3 mile run vs 10 min for 10 miles)
      Good question.

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