Warming up before a run is probably the least favourite activity of most runners, especially during the cold mornings or late afternoons when your body begs for the comfort of being indoors...

Warming up before a run is important though, especially in cold weather. It prepares your body for exercise by increasing blood flow to your muscles and joints, which reduces the risk of injury.

Here is a simple warm-up routine that you can do before your next run:

Phase 1 – 20m Warm-up Exercises

  1. Start with slow jogging for 20 meters.
  2. Perform bum kicks and knee-ups for one lap each.
  3. Repeat the dynamic warm-up two times, or once if you are short on time.
how to stretch before a winter run

Phase 2 – Dynamic Stretching:

The second-phase of the warmup routine consists of dynamic stretching. It is important to remember that even when doing dynamic stretching you can cause injury as it is still a stretch, so try not to skip phase 1 as it remains an important introduction to proper warming up. Dynamic stretching can either be done with your running partner, by holding onto each other’s shoulders (if you have a running partner) or by holding on to an object such as a lamppost, gate or a wall. Phase 2 consists of easy dynamic stretches, incorporating three leg swings in different directions and ankle rotations. 

Learn more about stretching, here.

Phase 3 – Just before the Run:

The final phase of your warmup routine should be done as you are getting ready to start your run. You can do this while waiting for your watch to pick up a GPS signal. The two exercises act as a quick indicator to your body that the time for running is here. Six vertical jumps activate my body with a burst of energy. The jumps do not have to be high. Then finally, just before you push the start button on your watch, shake each leg a few times as a final way to get ready and get the circulation going in your legs.

Now you are ready to go and perform your best winter run, knowing you are adequately warmed-up and that the chances of injury are less.