The Absolute Requirements of Pain Free Running
Our bodies were meant to move. Move in multiple ways in fact. Truth be told when we don't move, many body systems can malfunction. Those that participate in running and jogging will attest to the "high" that the activity can bring. Squeezing in those precious miles to satisfy their souls. Most runners are going to put in hundreds of pain free miles, but there will come a time when our bodies won't cooperate. How we adjust at that point will affect our tolerance moving forward. Are you a runner that pushes through all pain? One that stops cold turkey with an initial ache? Or that individual that meets somewhere in between these two extremes?
Regardless of your character, your mindset with running should fall into a category of "preparation." In our teens and twenties our bodies are so fresh that minimal preparatory work is needed. By our prediction, most of you reading this article won't fall into that age bracket. Even if you do we hope you are smart enough to plan for your future as a long term runner. As our bodies age our body systems require more attention. That's the truth so DON'T FIGHT IT!
The Warm Up?
As mentioned above, our body tissues are evolving as we age and become less resilient to repetitive stress. Running is a prime example of repetitive stress and as such we need to prepare our muscles, joints, brain, heart, and lungs for the graceful repetitive act of running. A solid foundation regarding any warm up is to KEEP IT ACTIVE!!
Using your heart rate is a good baseline approach to your warm up. You should have an idea of your maximum heart rate. There are multiple formulas to calculate this and all have their reasons, but for sake of a large general audience we keep it simple. Relative to your current age you need to subtract 220 - (your age) = Age related maximum heart rate. For very fit individuals we know you're already barking about this number being too low (and you're likely right), but again we are keeping this simple for a large generalized audience.
220 - (your age) = Age Related Max HR (HRmax)
Now that you have your max HR you need to understand percentages of this value. You want your warm up to raise your heart rate into the 60-75% range for minimum of 10 minutes. To calculate this take your HRmax and multiply by 0.60 and by 0.75 to reveal your range.