Warming up

Why do we do it?
1. To warm up the muscles for running, with a focus on mobility;
2. To increase the heart-rate;
3. To rehearse some of the technical skills, and focus the mind for the main activities.

What do we do?
We use ‘dynamic’ stretches, which are recommended by UK Athletics and coaching authorities. (‘Static’ stretches are now shown to be unhelpful prior to exercise.)
We do our stretching at our club base, usually led by one of our Leaders in Running Fitness who can demonstrate the correct action for maximum benefit.
Informally, we also use the warm-up session to clarify the main activity of the evening, and to check that we are all fully fit to take part. We also see if anyone competed over the previous weekend.

How does it work?
We exercise for about 10 minutes, and practise about 6 - 8 drills to stretch a range of muscles that we use in running, gradually increasing complexity and intensity, for example:
1. Easy jogging;
2. Easy skipping;
3. High knee lifts;
4. Forward and backward lunges;

Lunges                                                                                                      Don’t worry: we don’t do these!
5. Side-stepping with arm raising;
6. Groin stretching;
7. Fast strides.

 

Cooling down

 

Why do we do it?
1. To return our muscles to their pre-exercise state (they contract during running);
2. To return the heart-rate to normal;
3. To reduce the body temperature.

 

What do we do?
We use ‘static’ stretches, which are recommended by UK Athletics and coaching authorities. We do our stretching back at our club base, usually led by one of our Leaders in Running Fitness who can demonstrate the correct action for maximum benefit.
Informally, we also use this session to reflect on the main activity, and to check on ideas for follow-up. We also see if anyone is competing over the following weekend.

 

How does it work?
We stretch for about 10 minutes, practising about 6 stretches for a range of muscles used in the main training session, holding each for at least 15 seconds, for example:

 


                                                               
(From ‘Athletics 365 Coach Pack, published by UK Athletics)

1. Back of lower leg (calf – soleus & gastrocnemus);
2. Back of thigh (hamstrings);
3. Front of thigh (quadriceps);
4. Inside thigh (adductors);
5. Iliotibial band (ITB);
6. Side of trunk;
7. Shoulders.. Back of lower leg (calf – soleus & gastrocnemus);