Warming up before running is very important, especially at races where you want to perform your best. While many experienced runners already have their own warm-up routines and habits, it’s always a good bonus when race organizers provide someone to lead a proper warm-up.
Whenever I’ve had a chance to lead a warm-up (PDA Run, BMAP Great Bank Fun Run, and the 1st TAKBO.ph Runfest), I teach runners how to warm up dynamically. If you check out Monica Torres’ blog post To Stretch or Not to Stretch, she summarizes why a dynamic warm-up is more effective than the static stretches we’re so used to. (I also wrote an article about this in Action&Fitness Magazine in 2009. Will repost it here soon!)
So when 7-Eleven asked me to lead the warm-up at their Run 800 last January 20, 2013, I created a five-minute set to music. Then I realized I would have to do this 10 times for the 10 waves of runners. Yay?
Run 800 was held to celebrate the opening of 7-Eleven’s 800th store in the Philippines. That’s a rapid expansion from the 700th store opened last year when they held the Tour 700 cycling event. The run had been postponed a number of times already, but on the day it was finally held, thousands of people still turned out to run. Many of the experienced runners signed up for distances 10K, 16K, and 21K; they knew how to take care of themselves because I saw them already warming up before I took the stage. For the shorter distances there were a lot more newcomers to running, so I was determined to warm them up properly so they’d have a better experience on the road.
For the latter half of the warm-ups, the Animo Cheer Squad joined me. Running Host Boy Ramos provided banter and directions for the waves of participants as he hosted the race program.
We started around 4am and ended at 7am. Phew! But it was always an encouraging sight to see the sea of runners go past us.
I was wasted by the 10th wave, but fulfilled and happy to have been part of the runners’ race experience. Hopefully they also learned how to warm-up properly so they can use the same moves for their next race.