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Warming up

Whether you are running for 26 minutes or 26 miles, you need to put time aside for warming up and cooling down, or you will suffer the consequences. Start with a simple fast walk or slow jog before getting started at your normal pace.

A warmup can take a few minutes. Even when you’re strapped for time, going through a quick list of specific motions will help prime you physically and mentally. Here are three warmup options in addition to your initial warm up walk or jog:
Complete five to ten reps of each movement.

  • Knee to chest: Stand straight, bring your right knee to your chest while keeping your left leg straight, and rise on your left tiptoes as you clasp your hands in front of your right knee. Return your right foot to the ground and alternate legs, hugging your left knee to your chest while rising on your right toes. Keep your core engaged and strong.
  • Heel to butt: Stand straight, take a step forward, and bring your right foot to your right glute. Alternate with each step. Remember to keep your core strong and back straight.
  • Shoulder rolls: Roll your shoulders backward several times, then forward.
  • Full arm circles: Keeping your arms straight and out to the side, circle your arms forward and then backward.
    Washing machine: Stand straight and twist your upper body from side to side. Most of the rotation should come from your hips.
  • Hip rotation: Standing straight up, make exaggerated hula-hooping-style circles with your hips, rotating in one direction, then the other.
  • Knee circles: In a slight crouch with your feet and ankles touching, place your hands on your knees. Bend your knees and make little circles with them, rotating in one direction five to 10 times, and then switch.
  • Ankle circles: Pointing your toe into the ground, roll your ankle in circles in one direction, then switch directions. Repeat with the other foot.

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