Quikazhell: Interesting articles. Nothing new (I think) but an excellent overview.
Mike: Will be very interested to read paper(s). What sort of drop off in power would you expect after 20 minutes? What are the physiological mechanisms you propose for the drop off?
I think that a stable warmup routine is a very important of preparation to compete. I mainly coach field eventers and have had success with jog, static stretch (mostly active, some passive / pnf patterns), general drills, event specific drills, warm-up attempts. The length of this process varies with the athletes’ body-weight — so jumpers may take an hour plus, a shot putter perhaps 30 minutes or less.
The streching element forms an important social part of every practice, so I want to keep the same pattern in competition (but with perhaps less gossip!)
My justification for retaining the static stretch is that the nervious system suppression is ‘wound up’ again by the drills and warmup attempts. Also (in major championships) because of callup procedures etc. there is often an hour between the last stretch and the first warmup attempt. I’d be interested in your views on this.
Finally, have you any feeling for short static stretches before explosive activity (for example a sprinter touching his toes and holding for a few seconds before dropping into the blocks). I assume that this not long enough to suppress the nervous system?