Runner’s World July 2004
By Jeff Galloway
Q. Do I still need to warm up and cool down if I’m just going
out for a casual run?
A. Yes. A gentle transition from inactivity to activity gives you
time to adapt to the increased workload so your body isn’t
shocked by the elevated effort. A proper warm-up leaves you feeling
strong and comfortable by mid-run, and it also reduces your risk
Just as your body can be shocked by a sudden increase in activity,
it can be unpleasantly surprised when you abruptly stop running.
The blood pumped quickly back up to the heart by your leg muscles
while you ran will pool in your legs if you end your run too suddenly.
This can cause dizziness and fainting. A gradual slowdown reduces
the strain on your cardiovascular system and allows the leg muscles
to keep pumping blood back up to the heart.
The following warm-up and cool down regimen will help you feel better
before and after any run:
Warm-up: Walk for three minutes to get the blood moving into the
muscles. Then alternate 30 to 60 seconds of slow jogging with the
same amount of walking for a total of five minutes. You should then
be ready to ease into your training pace.
Cool down: Allow eight minutes at the end of your run for a cool
down. Start by alternating 30 to 60 seconds of slow jogging with
the same amount of walking for a total of five minutes; then walk
the final three minutes.
The Excuse (And How To Beat It)
I get too overheated when I run in the summer.
Sure, it’s tougher to run when the mercury spikes and humidity
levels rise, but there are lots of easy ways to keep your summer
runs safe and comfortable.
1) Avoid the sun. In dry climates, running in the evening is often
most pleasant. In regions with significant humidity, however, it’s
best to run before the sun rises much above the horizon.
2) Dress for success. Wear loose-fitting clothes made of high-tech
fibers that wick sweat away from the skin. Material that has some
texture allows better sweat evaporation, which keeps you cooler.
3) Keep a cool head. You can increase the evaporation-cooling effect
by regularly pouring a little water over the top of your head.
4) Hit the trails. Avoid hard surfaces (especially asphalt) because
they can retain a lot of heat. You’ll feel cooler when running
on dirt or gravel trails.
5) Do a double. By splitting your daily mileage into two installments
- say one morning and one evening run - you’ll run shorter
each time and build up less body heat.
The All-In-One 40-Minute Workout
Get all the quality training you need for the week with this workout:
After a 10-minute warm-up, do this gear-shifter drill: Run 30 seconds
slightly faster than warm-up pace (pace A); Accelerate a bit for
30 seconds (pace B). Continue for 60 seconds a pace just below hardest
effort, then drop down to pace B for 30 seconds, and end with 30
seconds of pace A. Repeat the whole series once more.
Next, run up a moderate hill for 100 strides at a medium-hard effort.
Jog slowly or walk back down. Repeat for a total of eight minutes.
Finish with two more gear-shifter drills and a 10-minute cool down.
(Say What?) Running Jargon, Translated
Taper: To reduce for a few days or weeks before a scheduled race
so the body is rested for peak performance. The race distance determines
the length of the taper (shorter race, shorter taper).
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