Warm Ups for Middle-distance Runners
BY CHARLIE WAKEFIELD
What warm-ups can you do for middle-distance running over the winter? If you need inspiration, this video by Charlie Wakefield, one of Neuff's latest bloggers, should do just the trick!
Here's what he has to say to all his fellow middle-distance runners in the UK and beyond...
INTRODUCING CHARLIE WAKEFIELD
"Hey! My name's Charlie, and I'm a middle-distance runner from Norfolk. In this video, I will take you through a quick warm-up routine that you can do at home to incorporate into your training as a middle-distance runner this winter!
I believe it is essential as a middle-distance runner to keep your fast twitch muscle fibres activated even throughout the winter, perhaps once a week, just adding something a bit faster into your training with some strides, speed endurance intervals or some hill sprints at your target 800 or 1500 pace. The benefits of this mean you can hit the transition between cross country and track for those of you who run cross country. Particularly if you've got to run some qualifying times early season for English Schools, it makes that transition easier, and the speed is less of a shock to the system.
These drills are perfect for controlling the movement and keeping those fast twitch fibres activated whilst also being a good warm-up. You can also do this rig on its own or before a training session, and if you can incorporate this into your routine, you will see the benefits of drills and plyometrics massively come through when it comes to speeding up and getting on the track!"
MIDDLE DISTANCE TRAINING AT HOME!
SINGLE LEG KNEE RAISES
Make these raises slow. Hold the raises for about three seconds, and try to make them as controlled as possible.
Make sure to also focus on your form as you're doing so.
RAISING THE HEEL
This is a progression on the single leg knee raises above.
It's similar to a calf raise. This progression isn't as easy, so make sure to take care when carrying out this drill and ensure that your balance is controlled.
SINGLE LEG KNEE RAISES... BUT QUICKER!
Pick up the pace this time round, and make sure there's a bouncy feel to these leg knee raises.
"ONE TWO BANG"
This is what Charlie likes to call this particular drill!
This is essentially the same as a single leg knee raise, although this time you're counting to two, and then raising the knee very quickly and sharply.
The purpose of this drill is to essentially think that the floor is lava, and to try and raise your feet off of the ground as quickly as you can.
SINGLE LEG RAISES
Make sure you're stretching your legs out as much as you can, which will help stretch out your hip flexors in return.
"KICK YOUR BUM"
This is what you may have called this drill at school!
For this drill, you simply have to imagine that you are practising that very movement.
ONE-UP AND ONE-OUT FLICK
Make sure to stretch out the groin when carrying out this drill, as well as your abductors and adductors.
SINGLE LEG AND EXTENSION
Try and be really bouncy on your feet for this one, while still controlling the movement.
Again, try to be as bouncy and as smooth as possible when doing this. Also make the movement deliberate and controlled.
Try to keep on the ground, and progress into a jog.
Gradually get faster with your ankling. Then, progress into a knees up movement at the front, before moving forwards into a stride.
ELF WALK & STRIDE
This is the same movements for the previous elf walk, although this time, you will progress this movement into a stride.
"STRICTLY COME DANCING"
...but not literally!
Here, you are essentially imagining that there are hurdles near you!
Every time the leg comes up and over, you have to imagine that there's a hurdle beside you.
THE HURDLE DRILL... WITHOUT HURDLES
As soon as your foot touches the ground, you want it straight back up again. You also want to be as bouncy and as on your toes as you can possibly be.
BOSU BALL EXERCISES
Now... it's time for something a little different!
In the gym, Charlie likes to use this piece of equipment to perfect balance and to help with controlling drill movements.
As a part of Charlie's routine, he raises one leg on the BOSU in this video, all while being very cautious in controlling his movements, while touching a kettlebell weight on the ground.
The above works all of the micro muscles in the ankles. If you're shaking while doing this, don't panic, as this means that you are doing the movement correctly, as you are doing something to your body!
NOTE: Please be cautious when using a BOSU, as it can be much more difficult to execute drills on this apparatus, depending on your athletic ability.
GIVE IT A GO!
We hope you enjoyed learning about Charlie's warm up routines for middle-distance running.
If you will be incorporating any of Charlie's drills into your routine, leave a comment below, as Charlie would love to hear from you. Or alternatively, feel free to give us your thoughts regardless!
Both Charlie and the Neuff Athletic team would like to wish all middle-distance running athletes the best of luck with their winter training. Roll on the competition season later this summer!
ABOUT CHARLIE WAKEFIELD
Charlie is predominately an 800m/1500m runner, but he also runs 5K and cross country.
As part of our blog team, Charlie will primarily be making content focusing on middle-distance events.
His goals over the next 5 years include achieving an England/GB vest on the track and breaking the 4 minute mile!