Tempo Warm-Up: Part 1 -

Published by CoachJay
Uploaded Mar 3rd 2009, 2:10pm | 9718 views


The Tempo Warm-Up is a well thought-out progression, starting with joint mobility moving to light General Strength with technical runs and ending with sprint drills. We've split up the video so that it loads quicker, yet this is a continuous warm-up that can and should be done with no breaks.

This week's Tip is time sensitive for this reason - if you just finished indoors and are now training for outdoors, you might want to consider doing more work in the WU, especially if you're a sprinter or middle distance runner. Not everything in this WU would be appropriate on race day, but that's a simple way for me to get you ask questions about this warm-up, so fire away and I'll answer questions throughout the day as time allows - it is Tuesday Tips after all and no more of me waiting until Wednesday to answer.
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Jay Johnson

*Weekly RunningDVD giveaway! We know that people are watching these Tuesday Tips and that's great, yet we'll all be better served if you and others will write questions/comments/observations in the comments area. I'll respond, then you may decide to respond to that response and pretty soon we'll have a much richer resource for us both. To that end, will be giving away 3 DVDs each week to the first 3 people that comment on the newest "Tuesday Tips" video and become a fan of the site. Simply post your comment below, become a fan and shoot me an email at with your name and mailing address. I'll send you a free copy of Vol.1 or Vol.2 of Building a Better Runner, just specify which DVD you'd like. I look forward to your comments and to making Tuesday Tips a dialogue that helps us all.

Post here with any questions regarding the givaway.

Jay Johnson

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8 comment(s)
Way back in 1997 I was at a running camp at NC State with Raleigh Geiger where they claimed that rolling your neck was dangerous and could cause long-term damage. I can't remember exactly why it being so long ago. They taught us to stretch our necks in different directions without rolling. What do you all think about this? It seams that if I followed this line of reasoning that rolling the hips would also be dangerous. I'm a little confused now. Can you help clear this up?
Coach Jay

I really want to thank you for all these videos. They have really helped me stay healthy. I'm also wondering if it would ever be beneficial to do all the warm ups as maybe a light workout
KarenK -

Lots to digest there. The obvious issue is that you work with a variety of athletes who then work with their respective HS coaches. It would be nice if everyone agreed that a "distance WU" contained more than 15 min of aerobic running and "striders" (a term I hate), yet my guess is that until the best athletes in a town, region and state are doing this type of WU the masses won't buy in. But again, things trickle down; find Running Times from two months ago and read Scott Douglas's great article on 6 things elites do that Joe Runner can do.

Sorry I don't have more advice.

Also, I REALLY appreciate your writing in, yet since you've one a DVD prior we can't give you a second. Sorry, but please don't let this keep you from writing in.

Jay, again thank so much for these amazing "tips". My HS'ers (that I coach at the club level)have been "doin' the atlas" on and off over the last week. They experimented with a 5lb free weight, but today were able to use a medicine ball at the gym and reported feeling it differently in their core. More importantly, they feel confident about going into practice with predetermined drills and have been likewise teaching their younger cohorts.
That being said, the HS coach of most of the youth I train during the off-season does not beleive in stretching, let alone "drills". Can you concisely explain to the HS'ers the importance of neuromuscular stimulus in regards to readiness to race? (Though their coach is not into stretching, he oftentimes allows it if they are armed with good answers to why and what-for--seemingly your explanations are more magical and easier for them to grasp than mine...hmmmm.)
Also, you mentioned that this WU in its entirety is not necessarily targeted to 1500m runners. As my HS'ers typically enjoy the 1600 and 3200, what would you suggest would be a typical progression to incorporate this WU in practice prior to attempting it on race day?
Thanks again for you time and seriously invaluable advice.
(On another note, having Christian in last week's video prompted several to view his amazing leap for the Olympic slot..I just pray they don't try the same tactic during next week's meet...)
Karen k
Coach Jay,

You specifically mention sprinters and middle distance runners being aided by this warm up. Is this one that you would suggest longer (5,000m; 10,000m; Half Marathon) distance runners to avoid?


Will - Good question. First, the fitter your are as 5k or 10k runner the more you need to have a little intensity in your warm-up. That said, this is a great WU for a 5k/10k runner who is doing a 1,500m race pace workout as it ensures that they're fully ready to run. I can't speak for Mike Smith, but I would/do use this on Vo2 days as well for the simple reason that we get more work in. The end of this WU (part 4) IS NOT realistic for for 5k/10k runner, but may be a perfect neuralmuscular stimulus for an 800m runner.

I'm working on a couple of WU videos that are similar to this in that they ask the athlete to do more than 20 minutes and 3-4 strides, yet one is 5k specific and one is a 1,500m competition WU; both are easier than the full tempo WU. They will likely be seen later this year on Tuesday Tips.

Thanks for your question Will and if you have more questions feel free to ask.
Okay, this is a GREAT question...and a question I can't really answer. I very much believe in the theory that very light ecentric work is a great way to improve patellar issues...but it's tough to do that during the season. The cool thing about you getting the DVD is that we have 3 different exercises in the DVD the focus just on the I guess I couldn't have scripted this better - you're about to get a DVD that may help you stay healthy in that area.

I'm always saying "find a good Physical Therapist (PT)" in my Nike posts but it's because I really believe that, especially with a patellar issue.

In regards to a Competition WU - yes, Sara Vaughn did some of this prior to her race this weekend in Boston...but she's being doing this in practice prior to her workouts for 3 years.

You can experiment with this prior to workouts, but keep your race WU simple.

...but just wait as we have a REALLY cool WU video coming here on Runnerspace in the coming weeks.

Thanks VegRunner...though I wouldn't want to run behind you given what some veggies "magically" do to tummy ;-)

Coach Jay:

I recently came off of a patellar tendinitis injury, would this type of warm-up, specifically the squats help to prevent a reoccurence of the injury?  Also, would you recommend doing this warm-up prior to a race?


Matthew Knott

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