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Here are Ed's tips on warming-up. If you visit one of his track meets, you will see the kids in action. Right now USATF is conducting a Stretch Study to determine the effects of pre-run stretching on running injuries. You must be at least 13 years of age to join this study and you will need parental permission. More information is available at Stretch Study. At the end of the study USATF will report its results and we may have further recommendations for runners. |
- Carol Goodrow, Founding Editor, KidsRunning.Com
RUNNING WARM-UPS by Coach Ed Poirier|
October 13, 2007
This is the procedure to follow before starting any running practice. The warm-up is to prepare you both physically and mentally for your practice. Physically you need to get your muscles stretched and flexible. Mentally the warm-up ritual will get you focused on your workout. This isn't just another day. It is a day you work on improving your running ability to run faster and farther.
Start: Run very easy for 1/4 mile. (2-3 minutes). This will get your body warmed up. Warm muscles stretch better than cold muscles.
Start with your head a few turns one way, a few turns the other way, now shoulder shrugs for 30 seconds. Move to extending your arms out making small forward circles increasing to large circles then repeat with backward circles, always starting small going to big. Some deep knee bends are in order five or six moving slowly and deliberately. All stretches are done slowly and deliberately and relax the stretch slowly and deliberately. Sit on the ground and stretch over both legs keeping your knees down. Spread your legs and stretch over your right leg, then in the center, now over your left leg repeat this sequence two times.
Photo by Carol Goodrow
This last stretch is my favorite. Lie on your back bring your left leg to your stomach and your right arm past your head stretched out as far as you can both arms and legs will move at the same time. Bring your arms and legs back and do the same thing with your right leg and left arm. Repeat 20 times. This stretch will help you with your running form and with your body alignment. Get up shake out your arms and legs and run 1/4 mile. Now you are ready for running practice. You can follow this same procedure before a race.
Coach Ed is a Youth Fitness Specialist with the Attleboro YMCA. The Attleboro (Massachusetts) YMCA is the first YMCA in the nation to embark on a healthy youth initiative.