I had a few comments about my pre-race routine, with a 55 or 60 min warm up before entering the Call room.
I usually take a full 60 min, but have cut it back to 55 minutes on race day. Prob because of nerves, or I’m slightly rushing it. Or, I don’t have my teammates with me to “talk, yack or gossip like grandmothers”.
The duration of the warm up has a lot of factors, such as call room times, weather, if this is your 1st or 2nd race of the day (or 3rd in some cases like the UK 100m Senior Nationals!), etc. What you do for you warm up is entirely up to you.
Eyewitnesses at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where David Rudisha ran 1:40.91 for an 800m World Record, saw him perform a 45-minute jog and nothing else!
Valery Borzov (USSR)
The 1972 Olympic 100m gold medallist Valery Borzov (URS) would start his warm-up 60 minutes before his race in warm weather, and 70 minutes in colder weather.
However, Borzov would only do a 40 minute warm-up if he had run a race in the two hours prior to a competition, as is often seen in championships between semi-finals and finals.
My Warm up Routine
As mentioned in a previous article from EMACs in Pescara, my warm up looks like this:
- 10 min jog
- Gerard Mach Drills: A skips (all drills 4x10m or 4×10 foot contacts)
- B skips
- (I have since cut out C skips or butt-kicks, like many people)
- Stiff Legged Bounds
- Running Hops
- Derek Hansen’s 10x10m protocol, on grass.
- 6 x 60m strides, increasing speeds
If you’re not familiar with Derek Hansen’s 10x10m Protocol, here is his video:
However, when I race twice in a day with less than 4 hours between races, I do what they call “halves”… everything is halved, so instead of 4 x 10m in distance for my drills, I only do 5m. Instead of 4 sets of 10x10m protocols, I do 2 sets. So technically I only need 30 minutes, but I like 40min.
Post-Activation Potentiation (PAP)
The generation of force and power comes from the muscles and tendons, and the motor units of these tissues are dependent on the excitation of the motor neurons by the CNS (central nervous system). Research has shown that greater recruitment is possible when the relevant nerve pathways are stimulated, or activated, as this strengthens subsequent impulses along the same pathways. An example of efforts to create a post-activation potentiation (PAP) effect is the tuck jumps or vertical jump-ups many sprinters perform before getting into their starting blocks. The ergogenic stimulus of PAP has been found to last between two and 30 minutes. However, further research is required to determine if PAP is beneficial for both maximal and supra-maximal efforts.
Recently, we’ve seen Harry AA, or Noah Lyles do a pre-jump before settling in their blocks. Just Google Image them. But this pre-jump goes way back. Even to the days of Jeremy Wariner. Or Pearly Spencer.
Sprinting fast or making the fast movements in a jumping or throwing event is all about muscle contraction and relaxation of the agonist and antagonist muscles. Therefore, any means to increase potentiation, the strengthening of nerve impulses leading to muscle contraction, immediately prior to training or competition is a logical goal for a warm-up. That’s it!
I can only say one thing. Do whatever you have to do to be 100% ready when the gun goes off. Plan (and expect delays). But timing is everything, if you are prepared and well conditioned.
See you in the Call Room.