Colin’s Coaching Corner: E2 – How to warm up

Think of your body as a car. Putting the pedal to the metal right from the start will hurt the engine, and you’ll eventually end up in the repair shop. Here’s how to take good care of your body before and after a run.

1. Take your time

Working out is not just about charging in and going at it full-on. You need to take time to rest your mind and focus on the workout that lies ahead. So set aside plenty of time to warm up, exercise and cool down.

2. Go slow

Warming up is extremely underrated. I see so many people going from standing still to flying down the track, and it makes me shake my head. Try thinking of your muscles as students: You need to tell them what to expect in the exam so they can prepare for it.

 3. Come up with a ritual

Athletes love rituals and so should you. I recommend stretching your lower back, your quads and then your hamstrings, but any pattern you feel comfortable with is fine. Make sure you repeat it before each and every run. It will become natural, and your body will get used to the thought that there’s a run coming up.

 4. Stay flexible

I know this one sounds bit odd, but anything that helps you gain flexibility will make you a better athlete. Flexible muscles can move more freely, and you’ll gain a better range of movement. Try a little stretch here and there during your day.

 5. Cool down

Cooling down properly is as important as warming up. Your body needs to know that work is over, and that it can ease back into recovery mode. Allow yourself a few minutes after you’re done running, walk a few steps and pat yourself on the shoulder: Well done, another training run checked off!

Colin Jackson (48) is the International Sports Director of the Wings for Life World Run and two-time 110m hurdles world champion.

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Everyone commented on the positive atmosphere and how great it was to be running 100% for a good cause. My personal belief in the Wings for Life foundation and my passion for running made the Wings for Life World Run a no-brainer for me.

Astrid Kaltenböck, Local winner in Brazil 2015 and Verona 2014

Nothing could hold me back. I had been waiting for the Wings For Life World Run for several months and was ready to push my body to the limit.

Pauly Plewa, Niagara Falls, 2015

I’m very happy and moved to be a part of this amazing cause. I got goosebumps when the race started, but to have the opportunity to be in the car and thank everyone personally when the Catcher Car passed them, that was  amazing.

Catcher Car driver, Adolfo Aguilar in Lima, Peru

Remigio and I promised from the beginning to run together. The first 70km were super with Remigio next to me.

Lemawork Ketema, Global Champion 2014 and 2015

Thousands of people at that very moment are sharing the experience with you. The fatigue, the joy, the emotion afterwards. Everything. It was great.

Daniel Ricciardo, Race number 1 and Formula 1 driver