The first few miles of hell...

My first 2-3 miles are always the worst part of the run, always feeling like giving up, that its too hard all these negative thoughts and feelings, I always manage to run through it and then get into a good pace and flow, does anyone else get this and does anyone have any tips/ ideas on how to improve this section of the run/ race Thanks Hannah


  • Maybe it just takes time for your muscles to warm up properly. When I am running regularly I find I am often sluggish and lethargic for the first mile or 2 before hitting a rhythmn.


  • Hannah its quite normal, as you warm up and get in the rythmn it eases. No known cure just do it.

  • Hannah - I get the same issue, specialy during mara training.  Always helps to do a warm up, lots of dynamic stretching then do your first mile really slowly.

  • If you're talking about a race, make sure you have a good length warm up. ("Good length" depends on your time running, pace and distance).

    Then by the time the race starts, you're nicely warmed up and ready to smash it.

    Took me years to discover the benefit of a warm up...yet I always wondered why mile 1 was so horrible.

    I realised eventually!


  • What would you see as a good warm up, I am noturiously bad for not warming up properly, I think mainly in the worry that I will use up vital energy

  • double espresso before you start

  • It depends Hannah. If you're doing a 10k and never run over 10k in training, then a lengthy warm up is probably out!

    I generally aim for a 3 mile warm up for races up to 10k. 2 miles gentle, half a mile progressing slowly up to race pace, then half a mile with 5 short strides.

    You will get different answers from everyone on here about the length of a warm up - the key is to find what works for you.

    In training, I rarely aim for any quality work until I've got a couple of miles under my belt, and I never worry about pace for the first 2 miles.

  • l find that doing a good ten minute stretch before your long run of the week always helps. lt works 2 fold imo. One it gets your muscles warmed up and ready for exercise and 2 it gets your mind in the right state that it's preparing for whats ahead.

    That said, l still dont find the first couple of miles easy either and it's not until the first mile and a half is under my belt that my breathing has regulated itself, my cadence is in a good rhthym and my head has finally come round to what it is im asking my legs to do.

    As said above though, there's no known cure for it. Just little things you can do to help.

  • I never warm up before a run - only races.

    The first 20 mins of any run for me are the worst - it's just because you are warning up and getting used to it. It's like an old car starting on a cold day.

    I just accept this and know that the longer I run - the less % of my run was hard.
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    I'm lucky or maybe its because I head out early having had at least 3 or 4 large mugs of tea (no sugar mind) that I find only the first minute a bit iffy.

    If I'm still having a rough time of it after 2 to 3 minutes I'll stop and go home. 

    If there's one thing I've learnt in 25 years of running its knowing what training is a plus and what's a waste of time.

  • coughie, do you not do any tempo or speedwork then?

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I was thinking the exact same thing today with my first long run of the year. Felt awful after 3 miles a bit better after 7 and on the way back felt like the last 7 miles were very easy and relaxed and quite a bit quicker too .
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