Runners are renowned for wanting to skip the ‘warm up’. I get that. All we want to do is lace up our shoes and pound the pavements – or trails – for training. The sooner we get that fix of movement, escapism, freedom and that scientifically proven “runner’s high” the better.

If you’re training for the Cigna Round the Bays (19 February 2017), then I’m keen to share training tips like this with you along the way. It will help you to improve and step up your training.

Firstly I recommend doing a dynamic warm up routine before you run. This could include controlled, smooth ‘walking lunges’ (10 times on each leg) and then ‘hamstring leg swings’ (10 each side too). Dynamic stretching means a stretch is performed by moving through a range of motion repeatedly and not holding a stretch for a long time. Why do this? This warms up the body to prepare it for movement and ultimately helps with your performance.

A lot of people avoid warming up because they’re impatient. But I want to reassure you that just a few minutes of moving, dynamic stretches before a run is sufficient.

And if you do this, you will feel the difference. Your body will feel less tight and function better.

Now, I bet you’re keen to know if a ‘warm down’ is important? The answer is yes! But again, you only need to spend a few minutes doing some stretches to help lengthen your muscles out. If you want some step-by-step instructions for some warm down examples of ‘stretches for runners’, then you can find some on my blog on Meanwhile, if you can, perhaps invest in a roller. This is a great self-massage tool.


Register for Cigna Round the Bays at and remember to join #STEPITUPNZ to be in to win a family escape to Hawke’s Bay prize valued up to $2,500.

Rachel is a runner, qualified yoga teacher and director of lifestyle website, and follow more of her personal journey to get race-ready with her family on her Facebook & Instagram pages