A Better Warmup Routine

Warming up before a race or a speedwork session should mean more than just a 10-minute trot. Gentle running will get the blood flowing, but to avoid that heavy-legged sensation in the opening mile of the race, or the first few repetitions of your speedwork, try some dynamic flexibility exercises as part of your workout.

Dynamic exercises help to reduce muscle friction as you run, easing the sluggish feeling that can hit you if you try to push the pace early on. And because you keep moving as you do them, you won't get cold - make time for them in between your warm-up jog and heading to the start line and, as soon as the gun goes, you'll be running comfortably.

Arm Swings

Your upper body should remain relaxed while running. Loosen up by swinging your right arm in a giant circle. Do six forward rotations and six backward rotations. Repeat with your left arm.

Eagles

Lie on your back with your arms outstretched. Touch your right foot to your left hand. Keep your leg straight. Return to starting position and switch legs. Repeat 10 times.

Leg Swings

With your left hand on a wall, stand on your right foot and swing your left leg backward and forward in an exaggerated kicking motion. Complete 10 swings and repeat with the right leg.

Bicycle Kicks

Sit "upside down" with your weight supported on your shoulders and upper arms. Keeping your legs straight, do 10 large scissor kicks, then do 10 "Y" kicks out to the sides.

Ankle Bounce

Lean forward against a wall with your feet close together and flat on the ground. Raise both heels as high as possible and then "bounce" them off the ground. Repeat 20 times.