When you get to your late 20s, warming up becomes very important. For running, I’ve found that doing a little bit of light stretching helps a lot, although in several running magazines, they have noted that stretching before running have no correlation to how better or how worse you perform on a run.
The bottom line is, do what works for you.
When I started getting into running in preparation for the Chicago Marathon over 2 years ago, I made sure to do the following things before the start of any of my runs, be it short, long, intervals, or tempo runs:
- 16 lunges
- 8 each forward and back leg swings
- 8 each lateral leg swings
- 2 sets of 10-sec hamstring stretch by pushing against a wall (do 2 sets per leg)
- 2 sets of hip rotations (8 repetitions in each direction)
- 2 sets of knee rotations (8 repetitions per direction)
After I finished all the above, then I started my running exercise.
The set of cool down exercises I do at the end of a run is totally different and serves a different purpose. I will enumerate them on my next posting.