Monday, January 10, 2011

Runners: Do You Warm-Up?

A great thing happened on my weekly "long run" yesterday.  I PR'd for my five-mile loop!  I completed it in 57:40*, for a pace of 11:31 min/mile pace.   Previous times for these runs have been all between 1:03 and 1:05.  That means that this latest run was about 5 minutes faster than previous runs.

What was different this time? 
  • I ate really well during the day, before my run.
  • Perhaps my weekly mileage (10-11 run miles) are starting to pay off. Though I scaled that back during the holidays.
  • I took an important phone call on the run that lasted 6:24 minutes!
I did a 1 minute warm-up and did my first mile in about 11 minutes (including that warm-up minute).  Then, somewhere around the two-mile marker, I got this phone call that I had to take.  I slowed to a quick walk and stayed on the call for over 6 minutes.  While on the call, I kept thinking of how this walking pace was going to kill my total time.  When the call ended, I was refreshed from the slower pace, but decided to quicken the pace.

So, I just started running faster and it felt great.  I didn't feel tired (though I was breathing very hard).  I felt that I was in a great rhythm and just kept running.  Every 10 minutes or so, I'd walk for about a minute, but then went back to the faster pace.

My last mile was likely my fastest mile, I was just cruising.  I arrived home at exactly 1 hour and 40 seconds after I left.  That alone would be a PR by over 2 minutes.  *For comparison's sake, I deducted three minutes for the phone call, which gets me to the pace of 11:31.  Either way, it was a personal record for me at that distance.

How did I PR?  Was it the break from the phone call?  If so, then should I do a decent break in the future as well, to allow me a stronger second half?  Was it just accumulated mileage and strength kicking in?  I welcome your feedback.

And I am also wondering about your warm-up routines. 
  • Do you warm-up BEFORE you start tracking your mileage, or as a part of your mileage? 
  • How long do you warm-up? 
  • And importantly, do you vary your warm-up routine on race day?
Big Clyde


Kovas Palubinskas said...

Run like you want to race - if you will start by walking, or take a break in the race, then do it in training. I include all my training in my calculations, seems most realistic to me.

Patrick Mahoney said...

I tend to stretch more before shorter runs (> 5 miles) and take it easy the first 15 minutes of any longer run to get warmed up. Good job on the PR, Clyde.

RockStarTri said...

I always warm up. 5 or 10 minutes and include it in the totals.

Allison said...

I never warm up....probably not a good thing. I did warm up for the first time on Sat. at my 15K just b/c I was FREEZING and needed to get the blood flowing.... I counted that mile in my mileage log too!

Kathleen said...

Congrats on the PR! I don't warm up but maybe I should. I am such a poor runner that any extra time doing it before my actual run seems like it would just take more out of me.

Megan said...

I usually take the first 2-3 minutes of my run to warm up and if I have my garmin on, I'll hit the lap button, so I can start my real run at a fresh time. Great job on your PR!

Alan (Pounds Off Playoff) said...

Clyde, thanks for taking my call, but why'd you have to cut it so short?

memoirs of this binge eating triathlete said...

Warm up for 10-15 minues but dont count it in any time trials. But you can count it in your workout milage.

A rule of thumb I've read a few times is to warm up before a race unless the race is as long or longer than your longest workout that your used to.

Joy said...

Congrats on the PR. That is awesome. Not a runner...Yet!! I will be watching to see how you do.

Keep up the great work!!

Stay focused!