Myth 1: Warming up will make you tired for the race.
Many beginners don’t recognize the importance of warming up before a race. Not only will a warmup prime your muscles for hard running, it will dramatically increase performance and help prevent injuries. When I’ve asked runners why they don’t warm up, the number one reason is that they’re worried it will make them tired before the race.
Don’t feel ashamed if you’ve made this mistake. We all have. I remember thinking my high school coach was crazy when he told me to jog for 15 minutes before the start of my race.
“Uh coach, running makes me tired and I’ve got this big race to run, you know.”
Of course, I was wrong. If you’ve put in the necessary training to prepare for your goal race, jogging 10 to 15 minutes followed by some short, fast accelerations before a race will not fatigue you in any way. You won’t burn significant glycogen (energy) and you won’t get tired. Warming up will increase your core body temperature, however, which speeds oxygen transport throughout the body, primes the muscles for hard running, and triggers the neural pathways between your brain and your muscles to improve muscle contraction and power. By warming up before your races, you’ll toe the line ready for optimal performance, as opposed to needing the first few miles if the race to get into a rhythm.