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My Race Day Warm Up Routine

You definitely don’t want to skip your warm up routine on race morning. They key to a successful warm up means planning ahead, waking up early and executing your practiced routine. Practicing your warm up during regular workouts makes it more familiar and will help ease your nerves on race morning. I am going to share with you what I usually do prior to an event and you are free to use these in your own routine.


Once I’ve had breakfast and coffee and I’m at the race venue, I will usually do some kind of mobility work such as yoga stretches and a few PiYo sequences. To me this is a kind of dynamic warm up that starts to bring up the heart rate nicely and sends blood flowing to the extremities.


I’ve always done some sort of jog- about a mile or so- with 6 to 8 strides. A stride is a gradual increase in speed from start to finish for about 50 yards. So, you start out jogging slow and move to a sprint at the end. This can be followed by another 800 yards of light jogging.


If there is a few minutes of swim warm up before the gun goes off, I will swim to the first buoy or so and on the way back do some short bursts of fast swimming to warm up my arms and torso. The key is to get a good feel for the water. I also do one more scan of the course and remind myself of my points of sighting. Sometimes there is no swim warm up which makes a dry land warm up optimal. I have brought some light bands to the swim start before to really warm up my shoulders and arms with a few light exercises. Arm swings, a few pushups, and some tricep dips will also get the blood flowing.


If you have a few favorite affirmations or mantras you like to repeat to yourself just before swim start this is a nice way to calm yourself with a relaxed pep talk.


Remember, the key to a good warm up is to keep it very simple. No need to stress out over this. Race morning brings on enough of it’s own jitters. Practice your warm up ahead of time. Know the logistics of the course and execute accordingly.


I hope you find this article helpful.

Got a race in 2023 coming up? Have you thought of hiring a coach? Don’t wing it. Use a proven plan that is safe and effective. Work with me as your coach. Click the button below for a free 15 min chat about your upcoming race goals!





Mary Timoney

Ironman University Certified Coach

ACSM Trainer

USA Cycling Coach

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