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Pre-Workout Routine for Runners

Posted by George Parker on

Pre-Workout Routine for Runners

By George Parker, Georgia Tech Chemist & Engineer, 7x Boston Marathon Qualifying Runner, and Founder of Peregrune®, which engineers vitamins and supplements exclusively for runners.


A well-rounded pre-workout routine can make a significant difference in your running performance and overall experience. By incorporating effective stretches and warm-ups, supplements, and drinks, you can enhance your endurance, prevent injuries, and ensure you get the most out of your run. In this blog, we’ll explore the best pre-workout stretches/warm-ups, supplements, and drinks to optimize your running routine.

Best Pre-Workout Stretches/Warm-Ups

Warming up before a run is crucial to prepare your muscles and joints for the physical activity ahead. It increases blood flow, raises body temperature, and improves flexibility, reducing the risk of injury. Here are some of the best pre-workout stretches and warm-ups for runners:

1. Dynamic Stretches: Unlike static stretches, dynamic stretches involve moving parts of your body and gradually increasing reach, speed of movement, or both. Some effective dynamic stretches for runners include:

  • Leg Swings: Stand next to a wall or support for balance, swing one leg forward and backward, then side to side. Repeat 10-15 times for each leg.

  • High Knees: Run in place, lifting your knees as high as possible with each step. Continue for 30-60 seconds.

  • Butt Kicks: Jog in place while kicking your heels up towards your glutes. Perform this for 30-60 seconds.

  • Lunges with a Twist: Step forward into a lunge position, twist your torso towards the leading leg, then return to the starting position. Alternate legs and repeat 10-15 times on each side.

2.  Warm-Up Exercises: Incorporate these exercises to elevate your heart rate and further prepare your body for running:

  • Jumping Jacks: Perform for 1-2 minutes to get your blood flowing.

  • Arm Circles: Extend your arms out to the sides and make small circles, gradually increasing the size. Do this for 30 seconds in each direction.

Best Pre-Workout Supplements

Taking the right supplements before a run can boost your energy levels, enhance endurance, and support muscle function. Here are some of the best pre-workout supplements for runners:

1. Caffeine: Known for its ability to increase alertness and reduce perceived effort, caffeine can improve running performance. Take 100-200 mg of caffeine 30-60 minutes before your run.

2. Beta-Alanine: This amino acid helps buffer acid in muscles, delaying fatigue and enhancing endurance. A dose of 2-5 grams taken 30 minutes before running can be beneficial.

3. BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids): BCAAs help reduce muscle breakdown and promote muscle recovery. Take 5-10 grams of BCAAs before your run to support muscle health.

4. Electrolytes: Maintaining electrolyte balance is crucial for hydration and muscle function. Look for supplements containing sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

Best Pre-Workout Drinks

Staying hydrated is essential for optimal running performance. Consuming the right pre-workout drink can provide hydration, energy, and essential nutrients. Here are some of the best pre-workout drinks for runners:

1. Water: Simple yet effective, drinking 16-20 ounces of water 2 hours before your run and another 8-10 ounces 15 minutes before can help ensure you’re adequately hydrated.

2. Sports Drinks: These drinks contain electrolytes and carbohydrates, providing both hydration and energy. Choose a low-sugar option and drink 8-12 ounces 30 minutes before running.

3. Green Tea: Rich in antioxidants and a moderate source of caffeine, green tea can provide a gentle energy boost. Drink a cup 30-60 minutes before your run.

4. Coconut Water: Naturally rich in electrolytes, coconut water is a great hydrating option. Consume 8-12 ounces before running for added hydration and potassium.

A well-structured pre-workout routine that includes dynamic stretches and warm-ups, effective supplements, and the right pre-workout drinks can significantly enhance your running performance. By preparing your body properly, you can improve endurance, prevent injuries, and ensure you feel your best during every run. Incorporate these tips into your routine and enjoy the benefits of a more effective and enjoyable running experience.

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