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By: Ben Sutherland

How To Warm-Up For Optimal Performance

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.


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!


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.


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!


About Brad Haag

Brad is a certified USAT triathlon coach, a certified USAC cycling coach, and a certified NCSF personal trainer. Brad specializes in coaching endurance and warrior class athletes to peak performance. He can be found at HaagsAthletics.com.

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