Two very important aspects of any good training plan are time and attention placed on proper warmup and cooldown. Coach Lydiard always ensured any runners he was working with started and ended their sessions with warmup and cooldown.
A solid warmup should be considered the first part of your run. It warms up your muscles and gets your ready for your main run. Usually this takes about 10-15 minutes and you should jog then gradually increase your pace naturally as your body gets ready. There also is a more formal warmup done prior to an interval session for example that involves 10-15 minutes of jogging, 3-6 100m stride outs then a few minutes jog.
The warmup should never be eliminated, rushed or cut short as it gently allows all your systems to kick in prior to moving into the workout and reduces the chance of injury.
A good cooldown should always be done after a faster workout. And if that workout is anaerobic in nature it should be at least 15 minutes and as long as 30 minutes jogging. It aids in recovery and stimulates blood flow to metabolize acidity and tissue damage incurred during the workout. Never skip the cooldown as this will increase the chances of illness and injury. One way to think of this is the cooldown begins the process of getting your body ready for your next workout.
As you can see here in this picture from Pre’s log, even he always included a good warmup and cooldown in his workouts.
Please stop in the store to learn more about the Lydiard Method. We are trained Lydiard coaches and can help you sign up. While your personalized plan costs $100, and goes to a non-profit, we provide the day to day coaching at no additional charge.