Training Tip – Warming up and down


My running form..

I’ve made a few changes to my workout routine based on some new stuff I’ve been reading. I’ve read a lot of books in the last few months ranging from traithlons to running to cycling. I’m currently reading ‘The Big Book Of Endurance Training and Racing’ by Dr Phillip Maffetone. There’s a lot of good stuff in there and I like the so called ‘unconventional’ ways of training. This book, along with ‘Brain Training for Runners’ by Matt Fitzgerald as well as Dr Nicholas Romanov’s POSE Method philosophy forms a core part of my own training philosophy. It’s a journey of discovery and there’s always something new to learn and try out.

I’ve always read that warm up and warm downs are a very important components of workouts but I never really understood why. I finally figured out when I read Dr Maffetone’s book. I always thought that warming up is to ‘warm’ the muscles so that they will be more flexible and ready for action. Of course that’s part of it. The more important part of warming up is hardly notices and hardly heeded. Warming up is to gently activate and ‘warm’ up the most important muscle in our body, the heart. I used to walk for 1 lap before I started running and then walk for another lap before I stopped. What happens is that the heart gets a sudden jolt from it’s normal rate and has to work harder quicker and that causes stress.

Warming prepares the heart and body for a workout or competition and reduces the risk of injury and sickness.

Warming down (or cooling down) serves the same function in a sort of reverse manner. When the body and heart is stressed out, we need to give it a chance to recover. The recovery period is a very important component of training as that is the time that the body recovers and rebuilds itself.

Anyway, what does all this mean to me? Well. I need to incorporate a warm up and warm down period of at least 15 minutes each with a very simple strategy. For warm ups, I would start with walking at a low heart rate (probably 50% MHR) and gradually increasing the effort until I’m walking/running at about 75% MHR and I need to spread over a duration of 15 minutes. The same strategy applies to warming down though.

This is a big change as my actual workout will be shorter (say 30 minutes) because of the addition of 30 minutes from the warm ups and warm downs.

Hopefully I’ll be able to read the rewards soon…..


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