For 5k training and racing the reason for a warm up is to reduce injury and increase performance. It does this by increasing an athlete’s body temperature, heart rate, breathing rate, and the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles. However the warm up is also there to prepare the body for the movements and motions that will be experienced during the session or race.
The length of a warm up can vary depending on the type, length, or intensity of the session, weather conditions, and the ability of the athlete. However as a basic rule it should be between 800m and a mile, with enough intensity to make the athlete feel slightly warm.
When completing a warm up the athlete should wear more clothes, removing them as they heat up. At the end of the warm up an athlete should then run 2 or 3 sets of 75m at race preparing them for the movements in the training session or race ahead.
For Races, Fartlek, Repetition, and Tempo runs Drills should also be added to the warm up (These will be explained in a later post).