Why do Runners Need to Warm up and Cool Down?
Runners need to warm up to prepare the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system before running. A light jog can help increase your heart rate gradually and stimulate blood flow to the exercising muscles to increase their reaction speed. Dynamic stretching may also be beneficial as part of your warm up. Allowing the muscles to contract and relax encourages maximum lengthening of the muscles and reduced muscle tension. This aids running performance in addition to reducing risk of injury during your run.
Runners need to cool down following a run to slowly reduce the heart rate and decrease activity in the muscles. Cool downs should follow a similar format to the warm up and may include static stretches rather than dynamic to eliminate any tension developed during your run. Cooling down helps to remove lactic acid build-up in muscles which can also prevent or reduce muscle soreness over the following 48 hour period.
What to Expect
Your physiotherapist will take a subjective assessment to discuss your injury (if you have one) and your training schedule. Your joints and muscles will also be fully assessment to identify any areas of tightness or weakness. Following the subjective and objective assessment your therapist will devise a warm up and cool down for you to complete pre and post run.
Other forms of physiotherapy assessment and treatment may include:
- Functional movement assessment
- 3D running analysis and retraining
- Manual therapy such as joint mobilisation and massage
- Strengthening and conditioning program
- Flexibility program
- Dry needling/acupuncture
- Footwear advice
- Walk-jog program
Your warm up and cool down will be individually designed for you taking into consideration your own personal needs and goals.
The Benefits of a Warm up/Cool Down
There are many benefits of warming up and cooling down.
- Increased muscle flow to muscles pre run
- Reduced risk of injury
- Prevention and release of muscle tension
- Reduced delayed onset muscle soreness post run
- Greater reaction speed of muscles
- Develops mental focus in competition or training
- Sets momentum and self-running analysis pre run
- Speeds up recovery following injury
How do I book in for an assessment?
To book a biomechanical running assessment with one of the specialist physiotherapists, please call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 today. You can also book appointments online using our online booking system