If you’ve traditionally not warmed up before a run but then begun implementing it into your routine, you’ll know how different it can feel. It might not be interesting, and you may well be short on time and tempted to skip this part of your exercise, but when you can, get it done.

Benefits of warming up before a run
We’re designed to run. It’s entirely possible for us to run, and run hard, with no warm up at all. That doesn’t mean it’s the best idea though, with performance being diminished and injury risks being higher. By using the R.A.M.P. method of warming up, you’ll be better prepared physically and neurologically, to run well.
Components of a RAMP warm up
Raise – heart rate, blood pressure, brain activity muscle temperature and elasticity.
Activate – engaging the muscles that will be used.
Mobilise – move the body using the same or similar movement patterns to the main exercise/s.
Potentiate – increase the intensity (gradually) of the movements ready for the session/race.
Don’t let the fancy acronym put you off, this is, for the most part, what’s been taught for years now, with only some minor changes to the latter part. The main change from the traditional warm up, is the lack of static stretching, with this being replaced by Mobilisation.
A RAMP warm up for runners
This doesn’t need to take much more than 5 minutes generally speaking however, in colder conditions you may need to spend a little longer on the Raise section or add short periods of Raise work after the Activate and Mobilise sections.
Raise – a 1 minute jog/gentle star jumps/jog on the spot.
Activate – 2 minutes small squats, lunges, or step ups with arm movement added.
Mobilise – for 1 minute, use heel lift and arm drive drills with gentle jogging for a few seconds in between.
Potentiate – 2 minutes of adding jumps and hops to squats, lunges and more vigorous star jumps. Running short bursts with speed approaching the speed to be maintained for the race/session.
If you run with a group this can be hard to do as they typically will start straight away with a slower run for a mile or two first. When you get to your first stopping point before the main session begins though, you can slot in at least a couple of quick drills and a set of squats whilst listening to what the session will entail.
So that’s it, a warm up can be that simple, but incredibly effective. You’d probably do most of that during the prep for a race anyway, so why not do it for your training runs to get the most from them and in the end, be able to run faster in your races?
Written by Kyle Brooks, Running Coach in Norwich, Norfolk