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5 and 10 minute running warm up

5 and 10 minute running warm up

Warming up for running from 5 to 10 minutes is very important to avoid injuries and develop your full potential during training. An inappropriate warm-up is often tied to slower training, and since you’re typically only going to run twice a week, you need to make the most of every opportunity you get to train.

A good warm up should include the following:

  • Movement of the body in the three planes
  • joint mobility
  • Light jogging to improve aerobic functions
  • Short and fast races


Movement of the body in the three planes

Human movement can be described with only three planes of motion. The sagittal plane is the plane that, being perpendicular to the ground, passes exactly through the middle of your body, dividing it into two equal parts, right and left.

The transverse plane is that plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the body, and it contains the movement of your waist and shoulders when you run. For example, when you raise your right knee during a lunge, your left arm rises as well. At this time your hips are slightly oriented to the left, while your shoulders are slightly oriented to the right. In this way, there is an oscillation between your shoulders and your hip during the race. Unlike golf where the hips and shoulders move in the same direction, when you run the shoulder-hip swing rotates in opposite directions.

The third plane of movement is the frontal plane, which describes movement from side to side. You can imagine this plane following the movement you make when you do a cartwheel or jumping jack.

Knowing the three planes of movement is important for running warm-ups of between 5 and 10 minutes as it will allow you to avoid injuries during training. Many athletes start running after being active in other sports. However, in many of these sports the sagittal plane is not used as it is during running. It is for this reason that running injuries are so common.

The stride matrix

Our first goal is to warm up as many muscle groups before starting training. How do we do this? The stride matrix is the best way to get your body moving in all three planes of motion.

The Stride Matrix is based on the work of physical therapist Gary Gray. The goal is to perform five different types of strides, doing five repetitions on each leg – 50 strides total. This exercise should take you about three minutes after you’ve learned it.

This warm-up significantly helps to reduce injuries, although some coaches think that it is not. The stride matrix is the first activity you should do before stepping on the treadmill or taking your first step during your run.

Will I have shoelaces? For sure yes. The first week after doing this exercise every day you will have soreness, but it won’t last long and hopefully by the second or third week you won’t feel it. After a couple of months doing the stride matrix during your 5-10 minute running warmup, you’ll find that you’re not ready to run if you haven’t done your 50 strides before you start. Many athletes who follow this warm-up routine will not only do the stride matrix before every workout, but before any race as well.


The next warm-up exercise, which will take you 90 seconds, is the leg movement. These exercises focus on the hip joints, which obviously have a very important role in warming up for running. Having good hip mobility is essential to avoid injury. Surely you already know it, but if not, you can see the Myrtl routine, which is based on strength and mobility exercises.

In the same way as with the stride matrix, there are five exercises for swinging legs:

  • Linear movement with straight leg (8 repetitions)
  • Lateral movement (8 repetitions)
  • Forward hurdle leg movement (5 reps)
  • Back Hurdle Leg Movement (5 reps)
  • Leg movement with knee flexion (5 repetitions)

These exercises do a very good job of improving the joints in your hips. Again, athletes feel much better after doing them, especially if they’ve been sitting all day or driving. You can do these exercises after the stride matrix but make sure you do them before you start training. The stride matrix and leg movements will take you less than 5 minutes, so don’t look for excuses not to do them in your 5 and 10 minute running warmup.

Jogging warm-up for running

At this point, the vision of what a good warm-up is can vary depending on the type of training. While some trainers recommend doing a sprint or jog before you start training, you don’t need to run 20 minutes before you start. The most normal thing is to run about 10 minutes of light running at low intensity before starting, and then do a series of skipping exercises (also called dynamic warm-up). This will help you with any high intensity training you want to do afterwards.

Remember: the main reason to warm up is to increase your core temperature, since the aerobic enzymes in your body are more efficient in a hot environment. Once you reach this point, it’s important to start running warm-ups as you get closer to the start of your workout. You can do 4 sets of skipping exercises keeping your knees low while you run and alternate this exercise with low intensity running. Changing between one and the other every 50 meters.

This is just an example of dynamic exercises that you can perform in three to four minutes at the end of your warm-up routine, it doesn’t always have to be skipping, but it does have to use all the muscle groups in your body. You will see that you will feel better, your heart rate will rise and you will be ready for the last part of your running warm-up routine before running: the short race

Short run

The key to the sprint is simple: it has to be done at a faster pace than you’re going to use when you start training.

Imagine that your coach has told you to do a 15 x 400m workout at a 5K pace. To do that first 400m series, you’ll need to do a short sprint of, say, 100m at a higher pace than you would when running a 5K.

You may not feel very good doing your first 100 meter sprint, so it is recommended that you do 4 or 5 series, each time faster. The last one in this case should be faster than the one you will run at 5K pace.

The reason you want to do faster sprints is that the neuromuscular system needs to be stressed in order for you to feel capable of doing the training that comes after. During your 5 and 10 minute running warmup you want to have as many fast twitch and muscle fibers available. This will not happen during the first repetition of the workout, and is precisely why you want to increase the intensity in the last part of the running warmup and be ready for training.

Recovery between sprints should be short since you’re only running 100 meters at 5K pace (for this example). One way to measure recovery is to run 100m on the straights of a circuit, walk through the turn, and run 100m again on the next straight. You can run longer distances like 150m and even 200m, although normally 100m is enough to prepare most runners before training.

It sounds like a lot, but when you compare the typical 20-minute run and some sprints, this running warmup takes just as long and has better results.

As always, don’t forget that to get results you must maintain the frequency of your workouts with their corresponding warm-ups without forgetting the stretching after running.


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