Stretching Before a Winters Run?

Winter Running? Tempted to Stretch Before? Don’t Bother!

As the temperature drops a lot of us don our running shoes and head for the hills. Now as great as the colder weather is for running there is one big problem. How do you warm up? This is really important in training and especially when it comes to racing something like the H events Winery’s Running Festival. Here are some tips on winter running to get you primed on race day.

Do:

  1. Dynamic mobility– this is fantastic and a great way to literally warm up your core temperate and your working muscles. By putting some stress on your muscles the blood starts pumping more vibrantly and the body feels primed for the exercise.
  2. Jog– Adding a 5-10’ jog before the main event is a great way to waken the body exactly the way you will be using it in the race. It’s like priming the pump, its best to make sure the body is right to fire before the gun goes off. If you are feeling up to it, some high knees, striders, butt kicks or quick feet are all great little drills that you can do during your jog to spark even more life into the muscles. At Newy, the best are often seen jogging back to the start line, having finished their warm up only minutes before the start.
  3. Roller– if you have access, a physio ball, roller or massage stick can also help. This stimulates the muscles and the nervous system through pressure and will trigger more blood flow and nervous activity to the working muscle.

Don’t:

  1. Static stretch– Especially when it is cold and blood flow is already restricted and ligaments are tight. Long slow static stretching exposes your muscles to way too much extra stress and strain for winter running. This actually increases the risk of creating a tear or a pull. Save this to post race and help the body recover.

You have done the hard work, the new course location and the course will be awesome so go on and make the most of it. You have woken up early on a winter’s Sunday morning so rip in. Now is the time to capitalise on all of your hard work. Go ahead, run well and inspire possibility in others by showing how to live life without limits!

Dr. James Staciwa