A Dynamic Running Warm Up For Winter Running

Can you believe this is the last full week of January? Our winter weather has been relatively mild so far, but we still could face cold weather in February and March–and I wouldn’t mind a snow day or two. Whether the weather is warm or cold, I have added a running warm up to my routine, and hope it will help keep me injury-free as I train for the NYC Half. 

Dynamic Running Warm Up
I used to count on my walks with Tiger Lilly as my warm up–when she was healthy we did a 0.9 mile loop around our block–but now that I only have to take care of my own biological needs in the morning, I need to make a more deliberate effort to warm up my muscles before I head out for a run. 

Dynamic Running Warm Up

Last week I attended an injury prevention seminar put on by MedStar Sports Medicine in conjunction with the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. One of the topics was the benefits of a dynamic running warm up. Several studies have shown that dynamic warm ups can improve performance, and some studies suggest that they can reduce the risk of injury too.

The physical therapists who led the program suggested spending about 15 minutes doing a variety of exercises that involve movement in all planes, such as:

  • front/side leg swings
  • knee circles/hurdlers
  • calf raises
  • arm circles
  • walking lunges
  • high knees/butt kicks
  • skipping/bounding
  • running backwards

They emphasized that your warm up should get your heart rate up and even cause you to break a sweat. I’ve only been spending about 5 minutes on my dynamic running warm up, so I need to incorporate more moves to follow their advice. 

Weekly Wrap

Weekly WrapSpeaking of workouts,
here’s my recap for
the Weekly Wrap Link Up
hosted by Holly and Tricia
and the Winter Training Log Link Up hosted by Courtney.

Monday: Orange Theory Fitness
Class was smaller than usual due to the holiday, so we did a mini circuit with 4 X 1/4 mi run // 400 m row. After the “fastest mile” challenge last week, I knew I had to push my pace on the 1/4 mile segments, and so I did them at 8.0 mph.

Tuesday: Strength Training at home
(Hips + Core III from Quick Strength For Runners)

Wednesday: Cyclebar 

Thursday: Strength Training at home (Hips + Core IV from QSFR)

Friday: 12 mile run 
This was my first long run of my NYC Half training plan. The running felt easy, but afterwards everything hurt. Luckily after some stretching, foam rolling, and putting my feet up, I felt OK by the end of the day.

12 mile run

The lovely sunrise reminded me that the sun WILL come out tomorrow,
no matter who’s in the White House … 

Saturday: Revolve 
Although I had run Friday in the hope that the weather would cooperate for a bike ride on Saturday, when we woke up to damp and dreary weather I decided to head to Revolve. Since the class I wanted to  take didn’t start until 10:30, I also did a mash-up of the two QSFR workouts I had done Tuesday and Thursday. Yowzie!

Sunday: Hot Power Fusion at Core Power Yoga
As much as I love the Vinyassa flow of CPY2, the Hot Power Fusion class is growing on me. I think the emphasis on standing balance poses and longer time spent in poses like half pigeon are improving my strength and flexibility. 

Do you do a warm up before you run?

Have you tried different styles of yoga?

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52 Responses to A Dynamic Running Warm Up For Winter Running

  1. Nice week! I don’t often warm up before I run but I always do when I play soccer. You’d think I would have learned by now how important it is for any sport you do to warm up properly. This is something I need to work on.
    Anna @ Piper’s Run recently posted…Friday Five: Winter ActivitiesMy Profile

  2. I will have to try the HPF class again it was way too hot last time I did it. I used to do all of those warmups and I kind of don’t anymore but probably should
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Favorite Winter Fitness & Fun ActivitiesMy Profile

  3. I did warm-ups for almost all of my training runs last fall, but have gotten a bit lax on them lately. Of course, most of my runs right now are easy-paced (it is my off-season, after all LOL), so I’m not doing anything too strenuous. But, I know I still need to incorporate proper warm-ups for EVERY run. It’s a tough habit to keep!
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Blown away….in the Windy CityMy Profile

  4. I always love a good dynamic warm-up! So important before digging in for the important miles! Great tips!
    Sandra Laflamme recently posted…When good isn’t good enough.My Profile

  5. HoHo Runs says:

    I do a few marching steps, lunges, leg swings, butt kicks, etc. but probably spend less than five minutes on it. I’m usually while I’m waiting on my watch to sync with the satellite. What a pretty sunrise you captured. That was your reward for a great long run! 🙂 Thanks for linking, Coco!

  6. Marcia says:

    I may skip post-run stretching sometimes but I’m pretty religious about doing my dynamic warmup, which is a sequence of things pulled from a variety of disciplines including running, Tae Kwon Do and skating. Whatever works, right?
    Marcia recently posted…A Breath of Fresh AirMy Profile

  7. Wow, good for you for getting up to 12 miles in your training cycle already! I have a feeling I’m gonna be behind in this training cycle like I was much of the last one.

    I need to do better at warming up before a run!

  8. Carla says:

    yoga retreat
    yoga retreat
    we need us a YOGA RETREAT!!! <3
    Carla recently posted…Family boot camp ISNT about the booty.My Profile

  9. I don’t warm up before I run–I always figure my first mile (or 2) are my warm up!!

    Yep, the sun will come up every morning, unless Trump figures out a way to stop it. Alternative facts…
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…WinterludeMy Profile

  10. When I had a coach, I used to warm up but not I’m pretty lazy and short on time. I count walking up my holly driveway my “warm up” lol. Hope you have a great week!

  11. I do do a dynamic warmup that includes some of those exercises (but not all), but I runfess sometimes when I’m strapped for time I skip it. Usually I’m pretty good about it, though.

    Hey, 12 miles is a lotta miles! I’m a little intimidated by my 15 k this weekend . . .

    Walking the dogs is slooooow. So I’ll do it for a cooldown, but not for a warmup!
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…Getting it done: 1/16-22 Weekly WrapMy Profile

  12. I was really good about my running warmups when I was working with Coach Suz, but I haven’t been doing them lately. I really need to get back to that to prevent injury!

  13. Elle says:

    Oooh, this is something I don’t really think about much. I walk a bit before I run but that is about all my prep.
    Elle recently posted…A Book Review…. SUPERLIFE by Darin OlienMy Profile

  14. I am actually not very good at warming up but I try to take my time to cool down after my long rides.
    Margo Donohue recently posted…New Fit Bottomed Girls Podcast with Michelle Tam of Nom Nom PaleoMy Profile

  15. You’re off to a great start if you’re already doing a 12 mile run! I use to be so much better about doing a dynamic warm-up before running, but honestly I’ve felt so pinched for time lately that the warm-up is practically non-existent. I need to get back at it!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted…Warning: Frustrated Runner AheadMy Profile

  16. Rachel says:

    I used to never warm up before runs. Then I was very diligent about it. But now I never do because I found with my hypermobility I would often end up injuring myself by overextending even when I didn’t mean to. #hotmess
    Rachel recently posted…Easy Homemade Vegetable SoupMy Profile

  17. Nicole says:

    Wow good luck on your NYC half marathon training. I didn’t get in this year. I am hoping next year.

  18. Carmy says:

    If it’s super cold, I do A’s and B’s (high knees and back kicks) indoors to get warmed up!
    Carmy recently posted…Easy Tomato Potato Soup + Monday on the Run #59My Profile

  19. Gina says:

    Maybe I should incorporate the warm-up into my routine? I have been injured before and really hope I can stay injury free this go-around for my next marathon.
    Gina recently posted…PositivityMy Profile

  20. Jenn says:

    I really don’t warm up before running. When I run with my husband, he always does a warm up and it makes me so edgy and off kilter LOL. It’s probably a big mistake on my part, but it’s just what my body feels at this time.

    I’ve done a few different types of yoga. I like vinyasa the best, but I can appreciate the benefits of a good hatha class, as well.
    Jenn recently posted…weekly wrap: 1.15.2017 – 1.21.2017My Profile

  21. My warm up is not the best! Drinking coffee, getting my sports bra on and a little stretching and I am usually out the door! 🙂
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…This week was green and gold, blue and pink!My Profile

  22. I’m not good about warming up but I always try and take my first mile as a warm up. I am getting much better about stretching post run! I love your pic from this weekend – you are right, the sun will still rise. Although it’s been pretty dark in DC this weekend – where is the sun??

  23. I’m horrible about doing a warm up – I tend to just take my first mile slower. Love your weekend pic!

  24. Some great tips, and I need to try those exercises. I didn’t know you were supposed to do a full 15 minutes of the routine…good to know! Currently I do a few minutes of dynamic stretching, then take the first 10 minutes slow.
    Michelle Rogers recently posted…Easy ‘comfort food’ meals to warm your winterMy Profile

  25. A great week! Im quite bad when it comes to remembering to warm up before running! I certainly notice a difference in my running when I have and when I haven’t!
    Laura @ Laura : Fat 2 Fit recently posted…Training Diary // Cambridge Half Marathon // Week 6My Profile

  26. I am guilty of not warming up before running, I’ll do a little stretch routine but on some weekday training runs I’ll just slowly increase my speed.
    I really need to get in a routine of this!
    Tricia @ MissSippipiddlin recently posted…Weekly Wrap 77 It Doesn’t Feel Like JanuaryMy Profile

  27. My dynamic warmup is about 5 minutes too, then I just want to get to the running… whoops.
    Abby @BackatSquareZero recently posted…Why Participate in the Kindness Campaign – My Medical StoryMy Profile

  28. Great warm up list! My PT also said to do sideways lunges/side lunges. Great way to warm up the inner thighs and glutes!

  29. Kyle Kranz says:

    I always try to at least do lunges, as you said in all planes 🙂 Especially if it’s an AM run when I need to warm up a bit more!
    Kyle Kranz recently posted…How to Run BetterMy Profile

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