It’s a bird eat bird world + Dynamic Warm-ups

I drove to one of my normal routes for yesterday’s run and had to fight the urge to throw the towel in. I had plenty of energy, but everything felt stale.

And then I saw this.

turkey vulture

That would be a turkey vulture taking a break from its afternoon meal. How crazy/awesome is it that I happened to be in the right place at the right time?!

I get that this might be disturbing to some, and sorry if I’ve offended you, but I am a biology geek to the extreme! Anytime I see nature in action I find it fascinating. Turkey vultures and I go way back. In college, I conducted a research project that involved positioning decaying meat in the wild to see how turkey vultures located their food and how accurate they were. Turns out turkey vultures are one of the few types of vultures that can use smell to find their next meal (Note: my research was in no way affiliated with National Geographic…only in my dreams!).

I digress. After seeing this turkey vulture so close and getting to watch it do its thing, I got all geeked out and excited. Suddenly I was all about exploring, wandering off the beaten path so to speak, and I ended up having a fantastic and scenic run.

off the beaten pathup hillview from the tophappy memarinaback to the bottom

I’ve never been big on warming up before runs, but I’ve been working on it the past couple weeks. This article about dynamic warm-ups showed up in my inbox one morning, followed not too much later by this blog post. If Hungry Runner Girl is doing it, it has to be legit right?! I’m a fan of trying out anything that makes me as fast as Meb:

  • Gets my heart going
  • Opens up my joints
  • Gets my key running muscles firing (glutes especially!)
  • Tells my mind that it’s time to get down to business
  • Helps me be a stronger runner

I did a little research and came up with a routine that takes me about ten to fifteen minutes to complete…not too long that it’s tedious, and not so short that it doesn’t accomplish anything.

dynamic warm-up

A typical run before dynamic warm ups:

pre dynamic warm up

A typical run after dynamic warm-ups:

after dynamic warms

The thing to focus on here is the first mile pace. Granted, my general sense of pace has improved as has my overall fitness. But, knowing that I was using my first mile as a warm-up in past runs gave me an excuse to run them anywhere in the 12-13 pace range, so that’s what I did.

Also, pre-dynamic warm-up, my legs usually felt like lead for the first half mile or more. Lead legs are much rarer these days. Going through the dynamic warm-up really makes my legs feel springier and more responsive. Maybe it’s mental, but whatever it is, I’ll take it.

Here are the resources I used to put together my routine. The first video is from Hungry Runner Girl’s post:

Let me know if you try the warm-up routine!

Always, Sierra

Do you warm-up before runs? What’s your routine?

Do you like seeing nature in action?

What gets your inner geek going?