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First-mile blues

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5ksandcabernets: First-mile blues


Friday, November 21, 2008

First-mile blues

No matter how far I run _ a brisk 7-miler or a plodding 20-miler _ the first mile is always, always, always the slowest, hardest, most awkward run.

I'm sure its like that for most runners. When you run first thing in the morning, when its still dark and cold outside, your body still thinks you should be in bed, and your digestive system thinks you should still be in the bathroom.

And so I get that. But my first mile has to be slower than most. I've turned out to be one of the faster runners in the Tuesday and Thursday morning Lukes Locker group runs. But on Mile 1, I am absolutely the slowest. Maybe not the whole Mile 1, but at least the first quarter to half mile. My body warms up slower than most.

Take Thursday morning for instance. There were about 15 of us. We took off at 6 a.m. And out of the blocks, I could feel my body saying, "I told you that you shouldn't have had that glass of wine last night. I told you about eating salmon from the Central Market foodie bar. They use that weird oil that makes you sick."

It took a while for my "systems" to kick in. Its like I can feel all the crud melting away in my lungs, and muscles. A few minutes into the run and everyyyyyyyyybody was ahead of me. Everybody.

It usually takes about a half-mile before I start feeling like myself, before my breathing syncs up with my stride and the fuel starts going to my legs. But until then, I'm plodding. During Thursdays 7-miler, I did every mile under 8 except for Mile 1, which took me nearly 9 minutes to complete.

Again, I know this is common to lots of people. The first mile is usually a warm up mile, you get your "second-wind" and then you are into the groove. Its just that on my first mile, I look and feel nothing like the runner on subsequent miles.

Anybody else got those first-mile blues? Some people suggest taking a quick shower before you run to warm up your muscles. What do you guys do to get to that "second-wind" faster?



Blogger astathatos said...

I thought it was just me that the first mile was the hardest! It actually takes me quite longer to really get into mile 5 or 7. I didn't know that Luke's Locker had running groups. I can't wait to check it out!

November 21, 2008 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Derek said...

I guess that why they call it a warm up. The first few steps are always the hardest. I usually start my runs with a 100-200 meter walk so I can ease into it, but then again I don't run any miles under 8 minutes!

November 21, 2008 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger P.O.M. said...

Oh yeah - the first mile is always the worst. Sometimes on really long runs, it's the first 5 that suck. ha ha.

November 21, 2008 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger Just_because_today said...

I know that feeling but I have come to appreciate it. When I run faster than what my body really wants to on the first mile, I pay for it the rest of the way, so...slow and hard as it feels, it is a blessing in disguise.

November 21, 2008 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Ewen said...

Same here - although it's only the first kilometre ;) It gets worse with age - wait until you're doing 2 mile warm-ups for your warm-up runs!

November 21, 2008 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger Victoria said...

Every first mile, I'm convinced that my running career is over because I can't run anymore. Fortunately by mile 3 or so, I'm not quite as despondent and I realize that I actually might have some miles in me.

November 21, 2008 at 11:37 PM  
Blogger Linden said...

I'm with Victoria (and you). The first mile (and usually the second) feel awful, like I'm crazy to even think I am a runner, but then my body warms up. I started doing warm up runs, usually a half-mile or so, really slow, just get to get my body going. But I only did that before important runs, like races and long runs.

November 22, 2008 at 11:02 AM  

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