Why do I find the first 5 minutes still hard? - Couch to 5K

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Why do I find the first 5 minutes still hard?

22 Replies

I graduated in April and have run outside 3 times a week since then. I usually run around the farm tracks.My warm up walk and the first 3 minutes of any run are on the one pavement we have in the village and the village green. I feel as if I can't get enough air into my lungs. AS soon as I pass the 5 minutes I have no problems until the end of the run. Any thoughts? I have used Vick and Olbas oil on my running shirt without any change. Thanks.

22 Replies
gdeann profile image

I still find my first 10 minutes to stink. I try to go slow and let my body settle into a rhythm. From reading various blogs/tags, it seems to be a common complaint. Gayle

Ifatfirst profile image

Your not on your own-I still do too. Sometimes it's the first 10 minutes!

magster profile image

No you are definitley not on your own - it takes me a good 5-10mins to get going :)

Saruma profile image

I'm running for 30 mins now, and always find the first half of the run more difficult than the second!

greenlegs profile image

Oh, me too! Though if I only run for ten minutes and know I'm going to stop it seems much more ok. So maybe not entirely body-warming-upness, but also the mind fighting the idea of it all, but then resigning itself?!

Does it make any difference to anyone if they do a different pace for the first ten minutes? I haven't tried it, just wondering.

gdeann profile image
gdeannGraduate in reply to greenlegs

I find if I really slow down and focus on slower breathing as well, I settle in quicker. My first few minutes are probably pretty ugly for anyone watching, as my arms are flailing around, I'm huffing and puffing and look like I'm running in place. ;-) Gayle

shelleymcb profile image

I still do my 5min warm up walk & the first 10-15 mins are really demanding. I know I set out too quickly (my garmin says its about a min faster than the rest of the run) & try to slow down but I still find it takes an amount of time to settle into a nice rhythm & feel comfortable. just one of those things Im afraid.

gdeann profile image
gdeannGraduate in reply to shelleymcb

This is comforting to read from you Shelley, considering the time and distance you put in! Gayle

sfb350 profile image
sfb350Graduate in reply to shelleymcb

If I'm running on my own and setting my own pace I tend to walk for 5 minutes or so first, then start off gently. I sometimes find the so-called "steady" runs with running club really tough for the first mile or more as there isn't time to start at a walk and they set off straight into a run without warming up. I prefer the running club speed/interval sessions where we jog our own way to where we're doing the training and I can ease into it - that suits me a lot better even though it is actually a tougher session overall.

Always takes me about a KM to settle into a rhythm, initial pace is often all over the place, although audiofuel helps a bit.

DeliaItaly profile image

Me too, I settle in after about 7/8 minutes to settle, especially now it's cold. I think it's normal.

Anniemurph profile image

5 minutes? Lucky you! For me it's the first 12 minutes that are really tough. Fortunately, I've worked out that this is what happens and therefore I'm not allowed to stop in the first 15 minutes despite all the various bits of my body wailing that they just can't do it :D

I'm not sure if it will ever get better, but at least I know what's happening and can factor that into my runs. I hope it improves for you, though.


WepreRunner profile image

I always find the first ten minutes and the last five minutes to be the hardest. I've spoken to people who have been running for ten years or so and they still feel the same now, so I try to ignore it until I'm into a rhythm.

Thanks for all your answers. No nearer a solution though. Hey Ho. Just grin and bear it I suppose.

AliB1 profile image
AliB1Graduate in reply to

That is the solution! Most people I know find the first part of therein the toughest...me included!

sfb350 profile image
sfb350Graduate in reply to AliB1

The first part is the bit where I wonder why I'm doing this and I find it hard or close to impossible to believe that I've ever survived a 10k race, even with walk breaks.

AliB1 profile image

* the run

Burstcouch profile image

So glad you said this, still finding the first 10 mins hard after a year of starting C25K!!7No answers just know that's how it is for me.

Fingalo profile image

I'm the same, it's generally ten minutes or more before I settle.

Mind, a mate of mine who does much longer runs tells me it's several miles before he finds his rhythm!

Treborstone profile image

I did see an answer to a very similar question that went into details about what was happening in the body during these first few minutes. If I recall, its all about the muscles using different sources of energy and therefore quite normal. I will see If I can find it again.

Lifebeginsat40 profile image

I think this is a universal problem. When you start running your muscles call for blood and your HR rises quickly to supply. Your breathing then is trying to adjust and catch up.

In a while (5 to 15 mins) your body settles in to a rhythm and you are ok.

I know some runners who take up to 4 miles to fully settle down.

c25ktyrer profile image

Yes, it's the same for me too. I hadn't read this post when I ran in my first ever 5k run on Saturday and...as usual a couple of minutes in was wondering why it seemed so hard when I knew I could run at least 4K. Then I heard a woman behind me asking her friend the same question. And the answer...the same as all those above here, the first 10 minutes is hard. Saturday was the first time I ran with other people and it really helped me to hear that others are having the same experience.

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