Last Updated on March 12, 2013 by Jimson Lee
Did anyone notice Shawn Crawford’s 100-300m double at the 2009 NIKE Prefontaine meet? He ran a 10.21 (+0.1) 100 meters followed by a rare 300 meters in 32.47 about an hour later.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Shawn Crawford crossed the line in 4th place, got a silver medal from 2 disqualifications (Churandy Martina and Wallace Spearmon), then decided to give his medal back to Martina.
You’ve seen 100/200 combos if the schedule permits. Same day 200/400 combos are rare unless you are a NCAA athlete.
You’ve also seen 100 and 200 meter Semi-Finals and Finals separated anywhere by 90 –120 minutes. This is great if you can cruise through the rounds, and then you really don’t need much of a warm-up for the Finals. Just a good rub down and “shake-out” from your trainer.
But what about running an all-out “maximal effort” 20 minutes (or up to an hour) before a big race?
Kick-start Your Engine
This is a good reason why you see the 4×100 meters as the first event in an All-Comers meet. In that relay, 3 of the sprinters run about 120 meters “on the fly”, and only the lead-off leg uses starting blocks. You can argue the lead-off leg only runs about 90 meters.
By running all out prior to your race, you can get some of the nervous energy out of your system, and become more relaxed for the big race when it matters. Any mistakes can be corrected. After all, running relaxed is the secret to running fast. Just ask Bud Winters.
We used to do an all-out 150m on the fly about 15-20 minutes before our 200 or 400 meters. It just "loosened us up", gave us confidence that all systems are in check, and a chance to test our track spikes on the track surface.
But the plan can backfire.
You have to time your race carefully. I’ve done this before only to have the starter request to start the race 15 minutes early! My ATP/CP stores weren’t even replenished when I was walking back to my blocks!
In a similar situation, I’ve also run a full turn of the 400 meters only to have the race called back. You can bet I used some family un-friendly expletives when I heard the gunshot again coming off the turn and heading to the back stretch.
The Purpose of a Warm-up
What does all this mean?
It all goes back to the meaning or definition of the Warm-up.
The purpose of the warm-up is simply having your body ready to perform when the gun goes off.
I’m not going to harp on static or dynamic warm-ups, just as long as you do whatever you have to do to get ready. Even if it means an all-out 150m Flys (say, 95% maximal controlled effort) 15-20 minutes prior to your race.
If you’ve tried this method, please comment below whether your results were positive or negative.