A marathon is a daunting task, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned marathoner.
For both newbies and veterans, warming up before a marathon is still crucial.
Here’s how you can warm up for a marathon to reduce the potential for injuries and perform better.
Purpose of warming up
The main purpose of warming up before a run or a marathon or for any exercises is to prevent unnecessary injuries.
People are more prone to being injured without a proper warm up. Don’t skimp on them as you only need five minutes for a warm up.
During your warm up, your heart rate should increase and pump more blood towards the exercising muscles.
Additionally, it also helps to loosen your joints. Together, they help prepare your body for rigorous movements, and a marathon can be extremely tiring.
Exercises you can do to warm up
Here are some basic exercises you can do to warm up before a marathon, be it a half marathon or a full one.
There’s no fixed exercise routine for this, but here are some suggestions.
1. High knees
One of the basic exercises before a marathon or a run is to do high knees. If you’re a beginner, you just have to stay stationary and put your knees up one at a time. Just do it with a left, right, left, right motion.
For veterans, you can do a more vigorous version which is more jumpy, where you’re sort of simulating running with high knees.
2. Heel kicks
Another warm up exercise you can do is heel kicks. It’s the opposite of high knees.
For heel kicks, your leg goes the other way – meaning your heel goes towards your butt. For beginners, you can remain stationary and do that.
As for veterans, just like high knees, it’s a harder version where you’re sort of jumping on the spot as you’re doing heel kicks.
3. Rotational hip warm up
Next, you can do a rotational hip warm up. You should hold the wall or a solid structure while doing this to give you balance.
Lift one knee up and move from the outside (side of your body) to the inside (front of your body). Do this for a couple of times.
When you’re done, do it the other way – from inside to outside.
Also, don’t move your stomach and torso too much when doing this. Just keep them firm. Do it for both legs.
4. Leg swings
Last but not least, you can also try leg swings.
Similarly, hold something to give you balance. Just swing your leg forward and backward. Do it a couple of times.
Then, switch to your other leg and do the same motion for the same number of times.
After doing forward to backward swings, you can switch to side-to-side swings.
Keep your torso and stomach still when doing the swings.
In a nutshell
Warming up for a marathon is crucial to prevent muscle injuries that could have been prevented.
The exercises mentioned above are just suggestions. There are plenty of other warm up routines available online.