Warm-Up for a Marathon?

10.35 miles @ 8:34 pace for my Tuesday morning.  I went with Emilee and with every day we are feeling a bit more like ourselves post-marathon.  Excited for some speed today!

I always find it so cute when Brooke holds Skye because Skye looks like she isn’t much shorter than Brooke.

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I took the girls to meet up with my sister and her kids at the duck pond

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I am really hoping we get a few more weeks of fall because it really is just the best.

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Andrew got back from a training and then we all went out on a bike ride.  He bought Brooke and Knox special riding gloves and it made their life.

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The highlight of Skye’s day was that we found her dog that she is obsessed with. She went a full 24 hours without it.

And then we had more Cafe Rio leftovers at my sister’s house for dinner.


The other day Sonia told me that she has a marathon coming up in December (GOOD LUCK)!  She asked if I would post about how I warm-up before a marathon!  She doesn’t want to waste energy on a warm-up before running a marathon but she finds that her 1st mile is usually the slowest!

Here are my thoughts on warming up and what I have found to work for me!  BUT remember (like always)… I am not even close to an expert.  I just write a random running blog and what works for me might not work for you but I think the key is experimenting around to find what is best!

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Before all of my shorter races leading up to the marathon (half, 10k, 5k) this year I have tried to get in about a mile or more of easy running with 4-6 strides at the end (20-30 second sprints).   After my strides I like to do some dynamic stretches (like front leg swings, side leg swings, high knees and even some squats to wake up my glutes) and I try to time this so that I finish my warm-up routine about 5 minutes before the race starts!  This routine has worked great for these races and I felt like I was ready to go from the beginning of the race to run fast.

For St. George this year I did a very minimal warm-up.  I jogged around the elite corral for a few minutes (maybe .3 miles total) and from there I stretched out my hamstrings with front leg swings and I did this IT band stretch in the movie below because I was randomly worried about my IT band (even though I had had zero problems with it leading up to the race) before the gun went off!  For the marathon I REALLY find that I have a much better race if I treat the beginning miles as a warm-up.  This helps to prevent me from going out too fast.  26.2 miles is a long way and I really don’t want to go much longer than that when I add in the warm-up.  For the marathon I love mentally splitting it up too… the first 10k is a warm-up, from the 10k to the half I focus on sticking to the paces I planned on and then holding strong until mile 20 and then LETTING LOOSE for the last 10k.

Random tangent of the day—> I loved this article that came out about our team!

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PPS Megan D made these cookies for me (yep, candy corn + peanuts + white chocolate) and they are pure heaven.

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Tell me about your warm-up routine before a race?

What is your favorite stretch that just feels amazing?

Last person you went on a run with (if you are someone that likes to run with other people)?

What is your favorite animal (question from Brooke today)?

-Brooke’s is a cheetah and Skyes current is a duck so the above duck pond was quite the event.

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43 comments

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Can you get the recipe for those cookies?? I mix candy corn, peanuts, and chocolate chips with popcorn but putting them in a cookie sounds even better!

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I need to try that popcorn! I asked her for her recipe but I haven’t heard back because she is at work! If I get it I will post it. Have the best day Kate!

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Gorgeous pictures! Brooke looks (at least in still-life! ha) like she LOVES being a big sister. My favorite animal is a dog!

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She really does love it so much. Andrew’s too! Have the best day Amanda!

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PB CANDY CORN COOKIES FTW. One Christmas my SIL made some mini muffin PB cookies with PB cups in the middle and now I’m thinking I could do the same thing with those candy corn pumpkin things. Hmmmm…

(Also my brother/her husband is allergic to peanuts and she made these anyway bc she loves pb cups so much so she just ate most of them haha smart woman)

Hmmmm marathon warm up – I usually just walk/do some drills/muscle activation so that I’m not stiff, but marathon effort for most people is high aerobic effort, so you don’t need to be warmed up like you do for a 10k or something that is more like threshold effort. Also I think it might depend on your marathon time – if you are a really fast marathoner you are more at a tempo-type effort so you might need a bit of a slow jog so you can get going at your desired race start pace. I think a lot of the men who run 2:0x and those kind of times do a bit of a running warm up, which makes sense because that is kind of like a half marathon for somebody like me who runs like 1:50ish, and I need at least a mile of running before a half to do well.

I am wondering if you are inching closer to benefiting from a tiny jog with as fast as you are at the marathon? I bet your coach has thoughts :).

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Oh my goodness I need to have those cookies that your SIL made right now. That sounds so good. YES to everything that you said about how different race times effect the need for a warm-up and I am very interested to see what he says to do before CIM! Hope you are having the best Wednesday.

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Love that article and how it emphasizes the friendships and women working together, along with the premiere coaching, makes it a great read!
I don’t have a particular warmup routine before races, though trying to get warm and not start chilled or with stiff muscles is a goal. I really like hip-opener stretches, like placing the ankle of one leg on the knee of the opposite leg (while standing) and pushing my hips back into a partial squat; I push the knee of the non-standing leg toward the ground until I get a nice stretch in the hip flexor and also activate the glute on the standing leg.
My last run was with my best friend Karen–we’ve been working together for 11 years and running together for more than 10!
My favorite animal today is my dog, Indy, who we rescued 3 years ago today!

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To answer Brooke – my favorite a dolphin. My 6 year old sons is a reindeer and my 4 year olds is a dog.
Favorite stretch is pigeon pose. Ahhh release tight hips.

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Love how running brings peeps together, and how we just migrate to each other! Great story, great friends! Last run was my 5 mile run Sunday with my friend Rachel. 3 yrs ago I ‘met’ her on our towns FB page and I mentioned I had gone for a run, she said ‘I wish I could run’ I told her she could and I would help her and the next day she was knocking on my door, LOL! We have done a dozen races together and trained together for her first half! We have a 10K this weekend.
I love seeing your pics of the kids, they seem to really love each other and love spending time together, xoxxoo

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Thanks Tara, it really is so nice to have something like running to bond with each other over. Your story with Rachel… gave me goosebumps. That is wonderful Tara and I am so happy you brought running into her life. Thanks so much Tara and I hope you are having a great day so far!

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Even though I don’t like candy corn, I have to admit those cookies look pretty good! Last person I ran with was my mom. My warmup routine varies from race to race, but last time it was just a quick half mile jog. Favorite stretch? Hmm, I will have to think on that one. They all feel so good! And my favorite animal is either a bluebird or a rabbit. Or any animal that’s a baby!

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Oh, and congrats on being in the article. Also, I loved all the finish line stories yesterday. And I would definitely be interested in seeing all your marathon training in one post. And as soon as I post this comment, I think I’m gonna think of something else I forgot to say! 😂

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I LOVE that you get to run with your mom! Thank you so much Leah… excited to make these Finish Line stories a common thing over here. Hahaha love hearing from you and I agree on what you said about any animal that is a baby!

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Oh, you’re going to do more finish line stories? I thought it was just a one time event! My day just got a whole lot better, haha! Yes, running with my mom is pretty special. We’ve been doing it since I was 14, and I never want to stop! 💜

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My favorite stretch right now is anything that stretches my quad, even simple heel to butt. Working on getting my glutes back into the game so my quads are taking a beating lately.

Hi Brooke! My favorite animal are horses and dogs!

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Oh that is so awesome you are working on that. Why do our glutes love to make everything else do the work? She will be so excited to ready you love horses and dogs. Thanks Amy!

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Recipe for the cookies?!

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Just asked her wahooo!! Hope you have the best day!

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Let Brooke know, mine is a frog, my daughters is a koala and my son is a turtle.

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Oh I totally will! She will be so excited to read these after school! Thanks Rachel and I hope your day has been great so far!

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I ran 6 miles with my new training partner last night! She has worked across the street from me for years but I didn’t realize she was a runner until recently. We just started training together and it is so motivating to have a running partner again. My last running partner moved away and being an introvert I thought I was fine running alone. But now that I have a running buddy again I have been running more often, running further and getting faster:) Tell Brooke that my favorite animal is a dog.

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JO. I am THRILLED about your new training partner. This is perfect! SO so happy you have each other now and keep me updated with it all. Brooke will be happy to hear that! Thanks Jo!

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Thank you so much for posting an answer to my question! I think I will do a minimal warm-up (I don’t want to run one step more than 26.2 unless I have to) this time as well. I love how you break down the marathon into segments – I really got to focus on maintaining my pace until mile 20 (instead of ending up with a much slower second half like I usually do). Best of luck with your CIM training!!!

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Oh I am so glad! I hope it helped and I can’t wait to hear about the awesome race that you are going to have! Thank you so much and you’ve got this!

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I’m always curious about other peoples warmups. Personally I need more for a short race and less to none for longer races (none for a marathon).

And Brooke my favorite animal is black leopard or a snow leopard. A+ choice with cats!

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Yes! I feel the same way! Brooke will love to read your response. Hope you are having the best day Hollie!

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I REALLY need those cookies in my life, yum!! I just got some Candy Corn Boom Chicka Pop yesterday and it’s pretty darn good!

Basically the shorter of a race, the more of a warm up you actually need :) It also depends on what I’m trying to accomplish during the race. If I use it for more of a training run, then I usually get a mile or two in beforehand. If I’m all out racing a marathon, then probably just a 1/2 mile super easy warm up and dynamic stretches.

My fav stretch right now is the pigeon pose, man it helps with my tight hips and IT bands.

This morning I ran with my boss and my husband. I feel super lucky to be able to run with other people about 95% of the time.

My fav animals are my dogs Charlie & Ollie, but if we’re talking a zoo animal, then any kind of big cat – jaguar, lion, tiger, etc. I love them all because really they are just like house cats in a huge body!

Best of luck to you with your CIM training!

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I must try that popcorn asap! You are right on with your warm-up! I need to take a break and do pigeon pose right now. So glad you get to run with people… especially your husband. That is the best. Brooke will love your answer and thank you SO much Marissa. Enjoy the rest of your day!

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Favorite animal: tiger!! :)

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Brooke will love this:) Thanks Abby!

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Ran with a girl friend. But also myself on the the treadmill. Because it was pouring outside

Puppies and lions.

I am not great with warmups but usually start slow in the marathon. I think I might need to sign up for another one soon.

Have a great day Janae!

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Puppies and lions… Brooke will love that combo. Let me know what you sign up for soon and I hope you are getting some sunshine soon! Thanks, you too!

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LOVE the article on you ladies and your coach!!!!!

My warm up routine is usually 1-2 miles, depending on the distance of the race, along with my dynamic routine—-lunges, cross over high legs, leg swings front and side to side, cross legs/bend over/side shuffle, butt kicks. Sometimes, I’ll pop a gel and a bit of Run Gum, too :)

The last person I ran with was my friend Ben, LAST DECEMBER!!!!! I clearly need to find more running friends! ha! I value running alone so much, but I know running with others has SO SO many benefits, too!!!

My favorite animals at the zoo are the flamingos and the polar bears :)

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I have still never tried Run Gum! I really should. Your routine sounds perfect to me. Wish you lived here so we could run together and Brooke will love your answer. Thanks Jen!

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Great article about your group! I agree with your marathon warmup. I let the first mile serve as the warmup. And, I’m usually waiting in the port a potty line for a last minute nervous race pee, so there’s no time left to warm up! haha I like the way you broke your race down into segments. Wish I had something left in the tank to let it all go for the last 10K :)

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Hahaha that is so true… the nerves just send us to the porta potties right before we start! Thanks so much Lisa and I hope you have the best day!

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Love the article, thank you for sharing, really nice to read about these inspirational strong women you train with.
Warm up—- eh. I don’t do much, some dynamic stretches before but I usually take the first few miles to warm up. I try to control myself get into a good rhythm with breathing and form so I don’t crash and burn later on.
Last person I went on a run with was the 1:40 pace group at race this past weekend. It was a first responders run. really fun!
Favourite animal… Dog of course!

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Thank you so much Stephanie, they really are amazing! I love what you do… it’s all about going out smart so we can finish strong. Way to go on your half this weekend, sounds like a blast. Hope your Thursday has been great so far!

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Lol, am I really the only person who had to look at that first picture a few times to see where in the heck your right leg was? I thought maybe it accidentally got photo-shopped out.

My youngest son, who is now 22, has been Tapir crazy since he was younger than Brooke. We still have annual passes to the zoo! My wife and both boys recently drove down to the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma just to see the baby Tapir that was born there July 12th. So, I’m going with Tapir.

Definitely the cobra stretch for lower back at least 3 times per day. (I didn’t know it was even called a “cobra” stretch until just now…).

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Oh I didn’t even notice that until I saw your comment! I have no idea how to use photo shop ha! Oh I love that, I can see us doing that with Brooke too if it happens here. Oh yes, that stretch IS THE BEST. I think I’ll take a break and do it right now. I hope you are having the best day so far John!

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Here is a link about the baby Tapir at Point Defiance Zoo: https://www.pdza.org/our-tapir-calf-is-born/

Devon and I also got to pet a baby Rhino from the back of a safari truck at San Diego Wild Animal Park back in 2008. That was really, really cool. I think we actually thought that was the highlight of our trip over Disneyland, Universal, and Sea World! We were told that it’s the only opportunity to pet a Rhino in the world. We also had Giraffe stick his head into our truck while driving through the compound.

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Thanks for the great stretch demo. I started it right away!
What shirt is that that you are wearing in the top picture? It looks perfect for these cool mornings!

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It really is the best… I got it from moving comfort (which doesn’t even exist anymore) about 6 years ago. I wish they still sold them because I would buy every color now. Hope your Wednesday is going great so far!

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