Recently Curlygurly2 posted a link 'Toxic 10' (in reply to another post) explaining how the body is adjusting at the beginning of a run. There are also many references on this forum to people struggling at the beginning of a run. I have tried various things to relieve the breathlessness and general feeling of 'I can't do this/why am I doing this?!' Firstly, the usual 5 minute warm up walk but really quite brisk rather than a stroll, which I sometimes did. I also tried walk/run intervals - this was ok. I also tried running very, very slowly at the beginning - but I found it difficult to increase my pace and still felt out of breath when I did try going faster. I have also walked uphill at the start of the warm up - making my body work harder.
However, I think I may have discovered a better way of signalling to the body that I need more oxygen etc without the effort.....I start running DOWNHILL! No warm up walk just start jogging downhill. My (very unscientific) theory is that running downhill is obviously much easier but requires the body to work a bit harder than walking or slow jogging. Signals are sent to the body that it needs more oxygen to the muscles etc, thus kick starting that process while still going downhill so by the time the ground levels out the body is physically more prepared. In addition I find that it has psychological benefits - firstly, it is easier and less uncomfortable (less huffing and puffing), also the pace is faster than my usual starting pace so I feel more confident and also it is an incentive to try and maintain or keep close to that pace. Another bonus is that in inclement weather (last week was awful here in NW Scotland - lots rain and wind) the body warms up quicker.
Has anyone else tried this?