Have you experienced sometimes that the first 10 to 15 minutes of running are extremely difficult? Some days you even feel like giving it up. And after a while the muscles start behaving such that there is no trace of the tired feeling.
Well this most likely is a result of not having warmed up enough before the run!
A good warm-up helps your blood vessels with an adequate supply of oxygen while you prepare yourself for running. It ensures that the muscles are well supplied with oxygen before you give them a vigorous workout. It also raises the temperature of your muscles as a name (warm up) indicates for optimal performance and output. It also helps you gradually raise your heartbeat to minimize sudden stress on cardiac function through dynamic exercises.
More importantly it will help avoid any stress related running injuries commonly known as a stress fracture.
This explains the sluggish start but what about the sore muscles post run?
Remember: All your runs should start with a warm-up and end with a cool-down.
Warm up prepares for a run. A systematic cooldown is as much important to help you recover after your run (work out).
These two bookends to your run will help you prepare for your best effort and recover at the end of your workout.
Cooldown helps body gradually come back from work out state to normal. The warmed up muscles need to be stretched appropriately to release the tension. A structured cool down sequence helps all your vital parameters come back to their normal state. It helps your body relax and catch up on your normal breathing, It has a calming and soothing effect on your muscles and help you recover faster. Now this will explain the sore muscles if you have been skipping the cool down stretches.
Warmup is always dynamic while cooldown stretches are always static!
How to Do a Proper Warm-up
How to do proper Cooldown
Always Bottom to top
Always static — We are now trying to cool down the muscles. Here the idea is to stretch the muscles as much as possible and hold the position for — 20 to 30 seconds
Raise hands and suddenly release the body to the ground — just to loosen up the whole body
Spread the legs and bend down — Touch the ground at the center then hold the right leg, back to center, then hold the left leg, back to center and repeat one more time.
Static Lunge — backside Heel touching the ground, knee locked and front Knee at a right angle. Additionally, touch the ground with both the hands. Repeat on the other leg
Bend the ankle inwards and push against a wall — repeat on the other ankle
Bend one knee and keep the other one locked — now pull the toes of the locked leg towards you stretching the hamstring — repeat on the other leg
Cross the legs and bend down, hold the toes, repeat by crossing the legs on another side
Stand on a step, One leg resting fully and the other with the ball of the foot resting on the edge of a step. Apply full body weight on the heel that is hanging, repeat on the other leg and then with both the legs
Calf stretch — Raise one calf and stand, repeat for the other leg and then for both
Hold right leg next to the butt and stretch the thigh, repeat for the left leg
Keep right leg on a raised platform and pull the toe towards you, repeat for the other leg
Stand on one leg, pull the knee towards the nose without moving the head in front. — Gluteal Stretch, repeat on the other leg.
Hold all the fingers including thumb and pull the palm 1. Palm facing out and down, 2. Palm facing out and up, 3. Palm facing sideways and in — repeat for the other palm
Stretch the arm by touching the other side knee — repeat on the other arm
Hold the fingers at the back repeat on the other hand
Marjarasan — Push both the hands up, bend forward look ahead, back straight and push an imaginary wall