If you’ve read any of the workouts here on fitegg.com, you’ll notice they all include a warm-up. The reason for this is probably obvious, the body needs to get “warm” before jumping into a training session. This being said too many individuals are still neglecting a proper warm up for various reasons such as lack of time or they don’t think it’s important.
For those who are skeptical about the benefits or warm-up. I have experiment for you, at your next sprint triathlon or 10k running race watch the individuals that are warming-up extensively. These individuals are usually the ones on the podium. Why is this? Because when the gun goes off at the start, they are literally ready to race.
THE SCIENCE OF THE WARM-UP
Increased Blood Flow – During a proper warm-up the blood vessels in your body actually get bigger making it easier for your heart to pump blood through your body as you workout.
Increased Body Temperature – A proper warm-up literally warms up your body temperature, increasing your muscle elasticity and range of motion.
Hormone Production – Your body starts to produce hormones like epinephrine, endorphin’s, growth hormone and testosterone during the warm-up. All of these increase your energy for the workout or race you’re about to do.
Mental focus – Besides all the benefits above. The warm-up is the best time to prepare your mind for the workout or race ahead. Often times you can feel sluggish or unmotivated going into a workout but after a warm-up you’re ready to rock!
EXAMPLE RACE WARM-UPS
Sprint or Olympic Triathlon: For sprint and olympic distance triathlons I do recommend athletes get a good warm-up in. I find the easiest way to warm-up before a race is to go in reverse order (run, bike, swim). For each of these disciplines I recommend 3-5 minutes easy moving with 4×20-30 second race pace pick-ups.
Half-Ironman or Ironman Triathlon: For races of this duration seems you will be racing a long time (3-18 hours) a warm-up is less important. That being said I do recommend athletes hop on the bike before the race just to make sure everything feels right. Additionally a short swim to make sure your wetsuit fits right can help.
EXAMPLE TRAINING WARM-UPS
Swim: 10-15 minutes of easy swimming with drills mixed in works perfect as a warm-up for most swim sessions.
Bike: For biking a 15-30 minute warm-up depending on the session is ideal. Remember to slowly build into intensity.
Run: Running is one of the most important activities to warm-up for. I recommend doing some foam rolling, leg swings, and then start running, gradually working into your pace.
Strength: Their are various ways to warm-up for training session. I recommend keeping it simple with 3-5min of easy cardio (running, biking, rowing, etc) followed by foam rolling tight areas, and a few body weight push-ups and squats.
If you want to get the most out your training sessions and races get a good warm-up in!