Warm It Up to Run Fast

I receive a lot of questions about whether or not a warm-up is important prior to an interval workout or a race.  The answer is, absolutely!  I am a firm believer in a dynamic warm-up prior to any workout and have developed a pre-workout and pre-race routine that has been really effective for me and my clients.

Dynamic Warm-up:

5-10 minutes of light running (or 1-3 miles, depending on your race distance and goals)

Forward skips with arm circles

Reverse skips with arm circles


Side shuffle with arms (both directions)

Alternating fast leg

High knees

Flamingo or Stork Stretch (quads)

Calf pedals

Carioca (not pictured in video)

4-6 faster strides at goal race pace

A proper warm-up will not only enable you to perform at your best, it will also help to keep you running injury-free.  Other benefits of routinely executing the above listed drills include practicing proper form/mechanics, consistency in race-day routine, staying warm on cooler days after completing the running portion of your warm-up and working on stretches through a range of motion, which makes sense for running.  I really like to focus on single leg stability exercises.  Be sure to always check your posture and don’t forget about your arms.  Head up, shoulders relaxed, knee-up, toe-up, ball of foot contact with the ground, pushing off the ground, underneath your center of mass.  Generally, I like to begin my warm-up 45 minutes prior to the start of a race, starting easy and building in terms of intensity (faster strides on the start line).  My go-to is to start with a few minutes of light rolling (travel stick) and leg swings (front to back and side to side).  Then right into the above routine, you can check out the video below for examples.

For questions please don’t hesitate to reach out (  See you at the next race soon!

Yours in running,

Julie Stackhouse

Owner Stackhouse Fitness

Julie Stackhouse

Julie Stackhouse

Julie Stackhouse is a USATF Certified Level I and II Instructor in multiple event areas. She's coached Division I collegiate cross country and track & field teams for over a decade before making personal training a full-time pursuit. Her entire life has been devoted to health and fitness, obtaining both a bachelors and masters degrees in Health and Exercise Science while competing as a scholarship athlete at Furman University. Julie's passion is sharing her expertise in the field, training individuals from novice to elite, youth to masters to achieve their personal bests, no matter their fitness goals!

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