A Sprinters Warm up. 3 Essential Rules:1. Think relaxation in all things you do. If you are not able to perform the movement in a relaxed way do something easier.
2. Take your time. Don’t rush your warm up. I learned this lesson the hard way from former World and Olympic Champion in the men’s 100 meters Ben Johnson. I asked what he had thought of my race at one of my first national championships in 1991 in Montreal. He said “ okay , but you would have done so much better if you didn’t rush your warm up.”. I never forgot what he said and it changed the way I prepared for all training.
3. An excellent guideline to know you are ready for the actual work of your training is achieving a mild sweat on your forehead. This rule does not seem overly sophisticated but it works. I am not talking about profuse sweating before you begin.
Guidelines for an extensive warm-up before Sprinting or Tempo
Note : Get in the habit of timing your warm up, pay attention to how much time various parts of your warm up and training take, and record it in your training diary.
1. Jog slowly for 10 minutes or X number of laps around the track or grass if you have it. Usually 3 to 4 laps outside on outside track.
2. We used the length of the football field (post to post) to perform a lot of the drills and runs in the warm up. It was a predictable distance and most often easy to replicate in almost any location in almost any country. Approx. 100 yds or meters depending Canada, US or Eurupe. Soccer or American Football.
3. Once the 10 minutes of jogging took place we usually launched immediately into side skips down one length and shaking back. Generally we would mix in one , maybe two exercises at one end of the field. Generally the end where we had all of our bags , water etc. The exercises would be a mixture of med ball throws, donkey kicks. sit ups mixed with stretches. 5 to 8 minutes
4. Side skips, grape vine, back ward arm circles and tripling were the main exercises on the way down the field and then usually we did what we called shaking back which was like a jog but shoulders are down and you are shaking your entire body. Some have commented on the silliness they feel doing this exercise but it promotes relaxation throughout the warm up.
NOTE: Shaking promotes relaxation. It’s not a jog. It’s not a skip. Your hands should fall to your side and as you are shuffling along in somewhat of a jog as you are shaking your body.
5. @ approx. 18 to 20 minutes Power Speed Drills = Power Speed was included in 99% of every warm up I ever performed in 7 years of training.
• Bum kicks
• A skip
• B skip
• Running A’s
The distances might vary. A typical progression might be =
3 sets of each drill over 10 meters , then 4 x 10 meters of each drill. As the drills improve so too does the distance maybe. Quality first , volume second.
Total time up to this point = Not more than 45 minutes but not one hour.
More is not better / Practice makes permanent
In my next blog I will discuss the things that need to be added after the power speed but often on tempo days the above warm up might be it. But maybe not.
Often we used a series of med ball throws routinely in our warm up.
After the 10 min jog and within the back and forths and before and or during the power speed.
When I first started out , I did far more little exercises in the body of the warm up before Power Speed. ( see the bike workout for this)
The reason for this was to gain FITNESS. So for all of you talking about how possibly fitness is not important for speed or the development of speed.
Pay close attention to the details within the warm up.
And I never lifted one weight for 2 full years. Instead I worked extensively with a very light med ball. I think it was 2 or 3 k. I remember complaining on deaf ears "when can I use a heavier ball". I got nothing back.
You are ready to move ahead when you are ready to move ahead. Most athletes all want to move ahead faster . No kidding.
I'd love to hear about your warm up. Thank you for all of your questions and feedback. I will do my best to respond to you.