In order to access all your energy stores, and to keep accessing them throughout the longer miles, you MUST warm up. Go easy for at least 10 minutes, if not 2 full miles. After your warm-up you can do your dynamic drills and strides and what-not, but you NEED to be warm to get the most out of your drills.
A solid warm-up also allows your lungs to catch up and increase the amount of oxygen in your blood and your muscles get enough fuel and oxygen to function at a higher capacity.
Without a warm-up, your body will be playing catch up for your entire workout. That doesn’t put you in a position to do your best work, obviously. For a marathon, the first 2 miles can serve as your warm-up, unless you’re an elite or sub-elite runner. In that case, your warm-up happens before the race.
Kara warms up. She’s kind of a big deal. (Image courtesy of Raymond Britt & runtri.com)
Don’t believe me? Stand at the start line of a marathon and watch the elites go out for some strides. They’re already sweating by the time they get to the line. They warm up.
Take this pledge with me:
“I (state/write your name) do solemnly swear to warm-up before every run, no matter the distance.”
Now go out and run!