How To Warm Up For A Run | K Squared Fitness

Warm up before you run. Nobody wants to pull a hamstring or hurt there back.
The video guides you through a five minute follow along to do before you run

I grew up very involved in athletics and in my early adult life joined the military. I was used to structure and having a plan and started working out in junior high and became a personal trainer at 18. 

When I got to the real world and started training adults I kept getting the same request over and over again:

I don’t have any time to put energy into creating my workouts, I just want to be told what to do.”

I realized everyone is juggling something. 

Balancing the demands of life, jobs, kids, etc but the one thing that everyone wanted was better health, and to feel good. For many, that meant running. It’s something simple you can do just walking out the door. My objective today is to expose you to some of the best things you can/should be doing before you lace up and head out the door. A proper run warm up. Today I’m going to cover:

  • Why You Should Warm Up
  • How To Warm Up
  • The Best Running Drills & Stretches To Do Before You Run

why you should warm up before you run
These are just a couple of reasons why you should warm up.

Why You Should Warm Up Before Running 

If you are like most people you just start off running the first five minutes slow and you call that your warm up. You do this because you don’t have the time to “warm up” and just want to get the workout started.

Remember why you are running in the first place though. To feel better, to get faster, to lose weight? Maybe all of those things and I know being pain free is one of those too.

Make warming up a part of your new routine/habit. You lace up your shoes, then you get started with your run warm up. You will feel better during your run, have practiced some running drills will make you feel faster, and get your body primed to run which will result in better fat burn

Remember this:

High heart rate = high calorie burn + burning carbohydrates

Lower heart rate = lower calorie burn + burning fat

You want 80% of your run training to be at a lower heart rate  “aerobic” and 20% of your run training to be in the high heart rate zones. This is what we help provide in our run training plans at K Squared Fitness. 

Get your body to perform higher intensities at a lower heart rate is when you become a fat burning machine.

How To Warm Up Before Run

The key to warming up is not just running around for five minutes and then starting your run workout. You want to get blood flowing to your body, here is an exact protocol you want to do to have the best warm up. Do this:

Foam Roll (3-5 minutes)

Take a few minutes to release your calves, your body will thank you.
Do this before you run to prevent achilles issues.

Spend 60 seconds on each muscle group, this is found within our “prep” section within our app. We make it easy so you can just follow along 🙂 try our fitness app by clicking here

Lower back tighten up when you run? Add this to your warm up. There is nothing wrong with bringing a foam roller to your next 5k 🙂

Foam rolling your muscle tissues helps to break up and is one thing you should be doing before and after so you can stay pain free!

Follow A Run Warm Up That Is Tailored To Your Workout

Your warm up run needs to be tailored to what your body is going to see later on in the workout. Example of the best warm up flow for a run workout that calls for Intervals (speed training)

Warm Up – Two sets:

  • Run x 200 meters @ moderate pace
  • Run x 200 meters @ fast pace

After your run warm up we want you to spend 3 minutes on working on running mechanics (see below)

Then complete the speed primer- Three sets:

Run x 20 seconds @ fastest pace 

Run x 40 seconds @ recovery pace

Then take a 3-5 minute break and then you are ready for your run workout. 

Best stretches for running
This is the go to stretch after I run every time. Painful at first, but you make it a part of your routine I guarantee it will help take some pressure off of your back.

Warm Up Running Stretches

Stretching is great to promote recovery and should really be done at the end of your workout. Don’t be like most and skip stretching. Make it a routine and have a couple of stretches you do after every workout. Here is one that you definitely should be doing after every run.

Loosen those bad boys up. Hold each stretch for 60 seconds.

Warm Up Running Drills

The last time/ if ever did running mechanics may have been high school am I right? But they are important and you did them in track because they make you a better and a more efficient runner. Take a few minutes to study and do a few of them before you go out for your next run. 

Learning proper run mechanics will help take pressure off your back, make you more efficient and it’s kind of fun!
The B Skip is tricky to learn, but take your time. Slow the video down and practice!
Hamstrings and Adductors are always bothering runners. Do these few run drills before you run so you aren’t next.
To run fast…you have to train fast 😎

Speed Prep 

You foam rolled, you did a small warm up, you practiced some running mechanics, and now it’s time to get your body ready to run! This is important and only takes about 3 minutes. You are priming your body for the run and it’s going to thank you. 

Here are a few examples for this section of your warm up. 

Option A

Three sets:

Run x 20 seconds @ fastest pace 

Run x 40 seconds @ recovery pace

Option B


Run x 30 seconds @ moderate pace

Rest x 30 seconds

Run x 30 seconds @ fast pace

Rest x 30 seconds

Run x 30 seconds  @faster pace

Foam Rolling After You Run
Your lower back takes a beating when you run. Take some time to release your glutes after your workout.

Cool Down

After a great run workout you want to bring your heart rate down as quickly as possible because now you want to get your body to begin the recovery process. This does not mean finish your run, walk inside, take your shoes off and go take a shower. Even if you just dedicate 3-5 minutes to a cool down routine to do:

  • Sit and just breathe for 60 seconds
  • Choose 1-2 areas to foam roll
  • Choose 1-2 stretches


A proper run warm up is going to help you get into a better fat burning state, save your joints, and help you become a better runner! Here is a breakdown of the run warm up we discussed:

  • Foam Roll 
  • Run Warm Up 
  • Running Mechanics Drills
  • Speed Prep
  • Rest 3 minutes then you’re ready to crush your run!

Join Our Run Training Program To Get In The Best Shape Ever Without Having To Run Everyday By Clicking Here!

Comment down 👇🏻 with any questions you have.

how to warm up for a run
Coach Kevin & Katie running after a great warm up 🙂

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