Part 1: Run Faster in 15min!
You are probably wondering how you can get faster in 15min. Yes, it is possible. So read on to wrap your head around that statement. This series is going to be a 3-course mental meal, and this first part, is only the appetizer, a hearty one at that. So my fellow athletes, sit tall w/ posture, grab your popcorn and don't forget the butter, and I will explain how you can run faster in15min.
Before every training session you should perform a warm up to get the mind and body ready for the #gainz. A proper warm-up takes 15-20min to complete to be completely zened in for an epic training session. At this very moment, is the perfect time to help make you a speed demon by incorporating the regimen that not only gets you pumped but also gets you faster on the field.
Now, before I pass on this legendary knowledge on how you can get faster during warm ups; first, we need to understand why we need to do a warm up in the first place before each training session. Yes! The warm up needs to be taken seriously people. It’s 1/3 of a complete workout, and it matters. If you do not believe me, then here are 5 reasons why you MUST warm up backed by my friend named SCIENCE.
Reason #1: Your body is cold, turn the heat up!
We warm up because we need to increase the body's temperature for exercise. The body likes to perform when it is nice and toasty (not too long in the toaster though) on the inside. This helps with alertness, reaction times, working memory, and visual attention (Wright Jr., Hull, Czeisler, 2002). The arteries increase in size to allow for more blood flow called vasodilation. This flows to the working muscles and they can receive up to 90% of cardiac output (blood flow), and your heart will pump 5L/min of blood resting to 20-22L/min of blood during intense exercise. That is approximately 5-6 gallons of blood a minute! That is a whole lot of milk!
With increased blood flow to the muscles comes oxygen! This is very important for aerobic exercise since it is an oxidative system. The more blood to the legs during a run, the more they can breathe jk. This system is used during low intensity activities and will primarily use fats and carbs, but depending on the level of the athlete, and other internal and external conditions, it will use fat as primary energy source, which takes oxygen to metabolize the fats and carbs into the krebs cycle, then to the electron transport chain. As you burn the fat and carbs, water and Co2 are the final byproducts of the electron transport chain that exits out the mouth as water vapor. OMG! YOU JUST BURNED FAT AND IT CAME OUT OF YOUR MOUTH! The secret to burning fat (or losing weight)!
Even if you will be doing a strenuous workout that will be using the glycolysis energy system (does not need oxygen for work, but stored glycogen and glucose), a warmed-up body helps the hormone glucagon to be released from the pancreas. This hormone tells the liver to release glucose into the bloodstream due to blood glucose levels dropping from the working muscles that are performing too fast for the oxidative system. Did I lose you? Okay, let me clarify the two-systems real quick. Glycolysis is for sprinting, weightlifting, and other high intense exercise. Oxidative system is for low intensity work like walking, sitting, jogging, and marathon type events. Back to the glycolysis energy system! A lack of a warm up can potentially cause hypoglycemia. Hypo-what!? A can condition of low blood glucose levels that causes dizziness, lack of energy, weakness, fast or irregular heartbeat, shakiness, and sometimes unconsciousness. The sudden increase of work without allowing the body to warm up, can lead to the body not being able to supply the body with sufficient glucose in the blood, when the muscles just sucked it out like the desert do when it rains. Then hypoglycemia strikes with a vengeance.
Reason #2: Your body needs lube! Where’s the lube!?
Warming up helps with lubrication as synovial fluid (the human WD-40 but better) is released from the synovial membrane in the joints so that when you're training the joints can move freely without any disturbances. Synovial fluid has a thick viscosity which allows for frictionless movement between two joints. It is also involved with the hydraulic system between the connective tissues (tendons, ligaments, & fascia), muscles and joints. Did you just say the body has hydraulics in it like a car? Yes we do, and it performs in a similar way to run and jump. The fluid is used as a shock absorption between the joints. The more force applied, the stiffer the fluid becomes to prevent your two bones from having a serious crash with each other; and if they do, I hope you have insurance.
Reason #3: Is your mind in it though?
You know what sucks the most when training? Not being able to get in the zone for that hardcore workout. If you did not focus on your warm up or did not perform one, I am pretty sure this is a common occurrence. The beauty of an excellent warm up helps prepare you mentally. Believe it or not, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Lebron James, and Steph Curry, exercise before the games or perform a very extensive warm up routine before their games. This helped them create that laser focused mindset to dominate on the court. This video gives proof of Kobe’s mental preparation through his training before a game Kobe Bryant Insane Work Ethic.
When I am coaching at Springfield High School in Springfield, IL, I have the team do an extensive warm up before game day that involves them to count their reps in 5 secs, then must beat that number the next two sets. When they are done with the warm up, they are sweating and breathing heavily, and their bodies are revved up and ready to go! They are also more mentally prepared because they cannot laugh and play around during the warm up but forces them to focus on their movements. The more focused you are during the session, the more benefit you would get out of that session as it increases alertness. Remember, QUALTITY OVER QUANTITY!
Reason #4: Jumper cables needed!
A proper warm up is like jumper cables for the body. It excites that enormous computer system inside the body. As we spoke about body temperature earlier, this is all controlled by the sympathetic system part of the autonomic system (we cannot control consciously). Meaning
it controls the heartbeat, digestive system, and other functions we do not have to think about doing 24/7 because it’s automatic. This system puts the body in BATTLE MODE! Scientifically this battle mode is caused by the sympathetic nervous system known as the FIGHT or FLIGHT response. Then the neuromuscular system (the central nervous system connected with the muscles) is also affected by allowing more forceful contractions by recruiting more motor units (human horsepower!) due to more messengers (neurotransmitters: acetylcholine) released in the neuron synapse gaps between the muscle and nerves. I mean it is life and death to hit that PR of 200kg (440lb) on the back squat or PR in the 100m and 1600m race.
Reason #5: Wake up those sleepy muscles
Did you know that muscles can be lazy? You trying to get better but your muscles doing a no call, no show because they are still sleeping. Incorporating foam rolling and isometric exercises can help wake those lazy sons of mitchs. The foam rolling in tight areas in your own human anatomy can break up the fascia surrounding the muscles to allow them to be free. Releasing the tension within the muscle helps reduce unnecessary stiffness that limits athletic potential. For example, rolling out the calves for a runner or sprinter cause are usually tense can help improve the hydraulic system in the ankles. For real? Yeah! Foam rolling the Achilles tendon can increase elasticity for better reactivity.
Now, how the hell isometrics can help wake up my muscles? With isometrics, you are contracting the muscles without causing them to lengthen or shorten. So, you can either squeeze your fist hard as you can or push against a wall and see who will move first (I’m pretty sure the wall will not be the one moving). We are going to use the butt cheeks for a quick example. A very powerful muscle that sometimes like to take las siestas. The glutes can be affected from a lack of warm up by not being activated well which can hinder your training session specially if you are do any explosive training, back squats, or driving and striking phase in sprinting. This could potentially lead to other muscles to being over activated to compensate such as your hip flexors for the lack of glute muscles of being activated during exercise which can mess up your mechanics trying to exercise, disrupt your muscle synergy, and potentially lead to overuse injury. By performing a simple glute bridge and pause for 3-5secs at the top and squeezing those cheeks as hard as you can for a set of 10reps, can do wonders in activating that juicy muscle. Furthermore, flexing the toosh during a hip flexor stretch can help activate the glutes at different ranges of motion that mimics running angles, and help the hip flexors stay relax as the hip extends instead of flexing or tensing due to stiffness of the muscle and tendons.
That concludes part 1 of the get faster in 15min warm up series! Stay close for Part 2 to hit the internet because it is going to be hot! It is the dinner of the series, so bring your mental appetite.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!
RELEASE YOUR INNER ATHLETE!
Wright, K. P., Hull, J. T., & Czeisler, C. A. (2002, December 01). Relationship between alertness, performance, and body temperature in humans. Retrieved September 07, 2017, from http://ajpregu.physiology.org/content/283/6/R1370.article-info