Warming up properly

Warm up to perform your best

The run warm up used at out 2019 Warrington Training day before a 5km run race adapted from Training peaks to work for our athletes requirements including drills, strides and easy warm up as described below. This can be adapted for any sport in Triathlon but with the same focus on the build in to the event or session as below

TTT Run Warm-Up Protocol


20-25 mins prior to Run start.


3 sections to the warm-up:

1. General cardiovascular

Composed of very easy running for 10 minutes. We are going to be Z1-lower Z2 (conversational pace) here.


2. Mobility and Activation

Composed of drills such as those below to target specific body regions or muscles known to be tight or inhibited and of importance to running biomechanics. Keep these short, maybe 10-20 metres. As with the strides below we are not looking to induce any fatigue.

Drills: Walking lunges (x2)

Walking high knee lift with torso rotation (x2)

Walking and jogging butt kicks (x2)

Side-skip (or carioca) x2

Straight leg running (x2)

Fast feet into run (x2)


3. Race pace ‘openers’ (strides)

5x 10-15 seconds strides at approximate race pace with ~60 seconds walk or light jog back recovery.



Some of the principles are listed below:


• A warm-up serves to prepare the body for exercise, helping make it more efficient and hopefully lowering the risk of injury. It will prime the body’s cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic and neuro-muscular systems.

• Its not simply an increase in core or muscular temperature but activation of metabolic (enzymatic) processes that will facilitate performance. It does need to contain some brief intense efforts.

• The warm-up also allows time to prepare mentally for the hard effort to come.

• When planning a warm-up, work backwards from the race start time and the time required to get to the race start from chosen warm-up area.

• Generally speaking the shorter (more intense) the race effort then the longer the warm-up should be.

• General guidance (time-wise) is 10-15 mins easy cardiovascular warming-up, into 5-10 minutes of mobility/activation drills and a further 5-10 mins of ‘openers’ (minimum 20 mins and up to 35 mins based on this suggestion).

• Static stretching is not recommended as it allows body temperature to fall and reduces the stiffness of myofascial structures. For improved efficiency of movement and speed we need the muscles and tendons to act like stiff springs not loose ones.

• The principles of run warm-up can be applied to both swimming, cycling and triathlon races too (general cardio 1st – which in the case of a swim race or open water tri may have to be jogging/jumping jacks etc… if an ‘in water warm-up’ is not possible). Mobility and activation would likely require stretch cords for swimming. The ‘openers’ could be done with cords again or whilst swimming to the start it may be possible to add in 10 strokes easy 10 strokes hard for example. In cycling the ‘openers’ could be high cadence and short intervals at threshold power.