31 October 2022

Warming Up In The Cold

Guest post by Max Roger

Like it or not it’s getting colder on those morning runs. This does have implications for your training as your body will be stiffer as the blood isn’t flowing around it as readily. Instead, the blood is kept in your core to keep your vital organs warm.

This means that you need to warm up more. You may have got away with not
warming up over the summer, but you’ll need it now for 2 main reasons:

1. To get your body able to perform at the level it can. Going into a session
warmed up means you can hit the ground running (see what I did there?)
each session. Otherwise, it can be grim reading looking at your Strava and
seeing your splits getting worse.

You can also be pushing harder to hit the splits that you want, but without the
required blood flow at the start of your session this takes much more energy
than you’d expect. You’ll then come out of that session more fatigued than
expected, and in extreme cases might even bonk during your session as your
body didn’t have enough energy available. This is more likely when you do
early morning runs before breakfast.

2. Get injured less. Running with cold muscles means that they try to work hard
without the required blood flow. Muscles need blood to deliver the oxygen and
nutrients required to work, as well as take the waste products away from
them. As well as that, they will have tightened up overnight, so blood needs to
get flowing into and through them again to loosen them up back to where they
should be for a training session. Rolled out of bed and stumbled the 1 st km as
your Achilles are really tight? Should have warmed up.

Out-working your muscle’s capacity often leads to muscle strains and pulls -
and that’s much more frustrating than the pain of having to do a warm-up!
Warm up to get a better blood flow so that your muscle capacity matches
what you’re asking from it.

The warmup can be small. For example, 10 bodyweight squats and 10 glute
bridges, inside where it’s warm, twice. You should work to get as deep as you
can on those squats, ideally having a slight pause at the bottom of each rep
and trying to feel a stretch in your Achilles as you do.

That’s a bare minimum but it will get that blood flow kickstarted!

Get in touch if you want more detailed help with your training.

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