Heading out for a run in the mornings or evenings I have become sadly aware that it’s getting rather colder recently. Obviously adding extra layers is a sensible step, but it’s also time to remind you runners of the importance of warming up before a run! The warmer muscles are, the less likely you are to sustain injury. But what type of stretching should you do? Static stretching, gradually lengthening muscles and holding the position for 30 seconds or more, may actually compromise performance before exercise, so these are best left until after your run. Rather, think about what kind of movements you will be taking the joints and muscles through when you’re actually running.
Include high stepping, butt kicks, arm swings and walking lunges to improve range of motion and warm up muscles that you’re going to use on the road or trails. These will also increase your heart rate and circulation, as well as body temperature, which will make you run more efficiently.