Who posted about the slump?

Recently some one posted a really interesting explanation for the slump we all have after the first few minutes running. They explained how the body uses energy in different ways during exercise. I've searched but as it was a reply, not a post, I can't find it. I'd love to read this again so if anyone knows where  it is, please will you let me know. Thanks Jacqui


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18 Replies

  • Is this a thing? I thought the reverse applied? Certainly does with me. The first few minutes are really tough going then it suddenly all falls into place and becomes easier.

  • Me too..first five mins really a slog.

  • although that would only really happen if you sprinted for teh first few minutes then slowed down to a steady pace.

  • Hi..I had a detailed reply about this..in another petsons,s post..but cannot remember who sent the details..it was an article by Ranulph Fiennes and someone else! I will try and fond the link🙂

  • I think it was oldfloss in response to my post "week 5 run three done". Just tried to copy the answer but it wouldn't work! 

  • Thank you, this is the article I was looking for. 

  • Found it:

    I quote - "When you start to run your muscles need extra oxygen but your body is not set up to increase the supply immediately. For the first few minutes of a race [or any run] you develop oxygen debt as you use more energy than aerobic systems can supply. It is only when oxygen in the blood has been depleted significantly and levels of carbon dioxide have risen that your brain senses these changes and sends instructions to set things straight. At that point you will begin to breathe harder and your heart will pump more strongly. But by then , besides having to meet the demands of your continued movement, you also have to repay the oxygen debt and clear the lactic acid that has accumulated. This takes time, and so the first couple of miles of any run can be rough.""

    But that says the opposite - you are going into oxygen debt for the first few minutes and then recovering as your blood becomes more oxygenated again.

  • Brilliant!

  • Hi Rig, Yes this is the article, thank you. I struggle at the start of a run during the first few minutes, then somehow get through this and then feel fine for a while (this while is slowly getting longer). 

  • Thus perhaps the reason for a brisk walk before a run to "start" the system up...???

  • Perhaps my brisk walk isn't brisk enough!!

  • The first 3 mins of my runs usually feel pretty difficult, and Rignold's quote seems to make a lot of sense to me.  I've been running since Sept 2014, and my long Sunday run is now up to 18km, but the first 3 mins of all my runs seem to be hard work.  Often feels like these are not my legs, and perhaps I should cut today's run short.  After 5 mins, everything settles down and I am commited to running the distance I had planned  :) 

  • Yes, that's right, it's very interesting to know why that happens and it will help to keep pushing on - it's always the first few minutes when the gremlins are the worst and I think -oh this is a bad day I'll give up and try again tomorrow.   

  • Thanks everyone. 

    I guess you're right it is the first few minutes that are hard but when I remember a run I always remember starting full of enthusiasm, then I hit the slump (perhaps it's that elastic time warp Rig spoke of).  But this was what I was looking for so thank you everyone.

    OK hannah141 now we have our answer, it's the oxygen use not chemical energy, but it was still a scientific explanation. I hope this has helped you too.

  • Thank you! I remember something similar to this at A-Level biology (quite a while ago now!) but it's v interesting to see it actually applying to something. Thanks to all for going to the effort of tracking it down :D

  • There is also the 'wall' which hits marathon runners usually about 3 hours or so in, when all of the glycogen stores have been used up, which is why distance runners chuck those nasty gloopy sugar gels down their necks to keep topped up. Although there is a way round that - shift to a ketogenic diet and cut out those carbs so your body uses stored fat for energy rather than glycogen.

  • Running for 3 hours sounds so silly and unrealistic at the moment, a bit like running for 30 minutes sounded a few months ago.........

  • it generally seems pretty silly and unrealistic after 3 hours of running too. And even more so the following day, and the day after that... until you see the next race entry form when all is suddenly forgotten and it seems like a marvellous idea again.

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