There I was, just looking at my email waiting for something fun to come in. Maybe another offer from Forever 21 or some junk to delete. And I received my weekly newsletter from Coach Jay Johnson. Lo and behold, the videos that Roots Running and I helped him record months ago (when I was having a pretty bad hair day…) were included. So, I’ve decided to share them here as well as an interview with Jay about the importance of this daily warmup and the post-run strength and mobility routines.
Jay is a former CU Buffs cross country runner, former CU Buffs Cross Country assistant coach, director of Boulder Running Camp, and long-time coach of runners at the collegiate and elite level. He also just released his new book: Simple Marathon Training: The Right Training for Busy Adults with Hectic Lives (so essentially, he knows a little something about running).
He has developed simple warmup and post-run routines that any runner can & should do daily. Below, you can see the two separate routines—the Lunge Matrix and Leg Swings warmup (LMLS) and Strength and Mobility (SAM) routines—each having a progression from easy to hard, which runners can progress to over an 8 week period.
Jay elaborated on LMLS and SAM and explained his most valuable tools for injury prevention in runners of all ages and caliber:
Just briefly, what are “LMLS and SAM” and when do you recommend athletes use them?
Runners need to move in all three planes of motion before they run and the Lunge Matrix does that. It’s the first thing you do before a run. The Leg Swings work the hip area – crucial to running well and staying injury-free. When you combine the two you have a 5 minute warm-up that everyone has time to do. If you think you don’t have five minutes to warm-up properly, then you’re not being honest with yourself.
What benefits do using LMLS and SAM everyday provide runners?
You need to understand the following analogy. Your engine is your aerobic ability – so your heart and lungs are your engine. The engine can get bigger faster than the chassis – the bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments – can. Most runners get injured because they go out and do some good workouts and long runs that improve their engine, yet their chassis isn’t ready for this bigger engine. SAM is key if you want to strengthen your chassis. LMLS strengthens the chassis as well. When you buy into this view of training, then LMLS and SAM are not “nice to dos”, but “need to dos”.
What would you suggest to runners that face constant injuries? What is the best way they can use LMLS and SAM to get back into running healthy and consistent?
Every injury is different and I think the the first place to start is finding a practitioner that can help you with your specific injury. The next idea relates to the above – many people can come back from an injury and stay injury-free if they do LMLS and SAM. But first, they need to get the current injury taken care of.
Share with us anything else you believe is fundamental for runners’ injury prevention?
I think diet is important, but I think sleep is more important. I don’t need to go into all of the reasons a sound diet will help you stay healthy. But sleep – something most people don’t get enough of – is crucial if you want to run to your potential. Check out the podcast I did with Dr. Carwyn Sharp on the Run Faster Podcast to learn more about the importance of sleep.