Is it always necessary to do the warm up, cool down walks?

This is more for the experienced graduates. I wouldn't dream of skipping the warm up,cool down walks while still completing the programme - but am now on week 7 so have an eye towards my post graduation running plans. Some of my keen runner friends start running as soon as they leave their front door and run continually until they are home again, they say thorough stretching afterwards is all that is needed. For those who have been running a while, is this something you also do?

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  • I do a 5-10 min warm up with stretches indoors first then start my run from my gate and finish at my gate with another 10 mins of various stretches indoors. This works well for me. I was reading yesterday though that you should cool down to a gentle jog a few minutes from home before stopping and then stretching. I don't ever give these a miss and view them as an important part of my run and though some don't see a need for a warm up stretch, as long as you do it when your muscles have warmed up then it won't do any harm. Sue

  • I think you need to warm up particularly when the weather is cold. How vigorously you do it depends on how fast you go during the run. What I've observed at Parkruns is the guys who pass me at 3k when I'm at 2k are jogging faster in their warm up than I can run!

    One of my worst runs was when I met someone I hadn't seen for years before I had warmed up and stood chatting for 10 minutes getting cold. I tried to run immediately after I left her but never really got back into the run.

  • When I had a 1:1 coaching session the warm up / cool down the trainer reiterated the importance of both. I do these at a very slow jog....trust me you can always go alot slower than you are already....rather than a walk.

  • I've noticed a difference between when I go to running club and when I set out from my house.

    If it's a running club night, we tend to arrive by car, stand around chatting, then go straight into a run. Sometimes, I can be halfway into a run before I start to feel comfortable and enjoy myself.

    If I set off from home, I always start off with a warm up walk of between 5-10 minutes, then a slow jog. I start to feel more comfortable more quickly on those days.

  • I do stretch before running but don't walk now I've graduated. Similar to Sue, I find a warm up and cool down using my own exercises more beneficial for me than walking. But I'm sure others would swear by it.

  • yes, I always do a 5 minute walk before I start to run. especially when its cold as it gets your muscles warmed up ready for a run.

    as for the cool down walk, again I think this is really important. I sometimes wonder if those people who collapse at the end of a marathon do so as they run faster to the finish line then stop altogether without thier heart rate slowing gradually.

    good luck with the rest of the plan & Merry Christmas x

  • I always do the walking - partly because seeing other runners in my family do all that stretching stuff before and after a run... let's just say it was one of the reasons that I never thought I'd be a runner too. (I am doing some yoga at home now, but really I am not into fuss) Reading about the walk instead was one of the reasons I decided to give C25K a go...

  • More fool them Saruma-even professional athletes warm up/cool down. Did you watch the Olympic Games?

  • thank you for asking this question as I wondered this myself. What do you do then if in a race? Do you do your warm up run before the race starts?

  • Laura tells you to do the brisk 5 minute walk at the beginning and at the end. That's what I do . I just do what I'm told and I've been fine. I will keep doing this as it's got me through so far

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