Katie Mackey is a member of the Brooks Beasts Track Club. Her most recent accomplishment was placing second at the 2019 USATF Indoor Championships 3000m.
DON’T consider skipping your warm-up.
Katie says, “As you move during warm-up exercises, a little bit of fluid gets in between your joints, helping lubricate and protect them. If you just get off the couch and start sprinting, your body isn’t prepared and you’re more likely to hurt yourself, but by gradually warming up, you reduce your chances of injury.”
DO consider skipping during your warm-up.
After your opening exercises you should feel loose and ready for a bit more dynamic activity. Skipping is a step above walking and stretching and a step below running – a versatile, dynamic warm-up activity.
Katie gives two reminders regarding skipping drills:
- “Make sure you land with your whole foot on the ground and that you’re not just coming down on your toes. You want to feel the rolling through the foot motion, which is important because it affects how everything moves all the way up.”
- “Make sure your arms are relaxed and that you’re tall through the torso.”
DON’T ignore your body.
Katie says, “Mentally go through a checklist and take note if you feel any weird pinching or if there’s a particular motion that causes an unusual reaction. If you do feel anything unusual that’s a good indication that maybe you should take a minute to stop and do a few specific stretches targeted at that muscle area until it feels normal. Your body will give you a lot of useful clues for preventing injury and staying healthy, if you’re listening.”
DO work out with a friend.
Consider doing stretches one at a time with your workout partner so they can watch your form and give feedback.
Katie says, “They’ll be able to spot stuff that looks wonky that you may not pick up on. There’re times my technique is getting a bit sloppy and my teammate will walk by and point something out to improve. You don’t get those benefits training by yourself.”
DON’T forget why you run.
Katie says, “I always feel better after a run. We live in a culture where there’s distraction at your fingertips, so to get out there and totally shut off all distraction is just relaxing. I never return from a run and regret it.”
For more about the Brooks Beasts and why they run, check out the Run Like A Beast video series.