The first five minutes of almost every run is hell. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Here’s how to make it better.
Your breathing is off, your legs are either Jell-O or lead depending on what you did the day before and it’s hard as heck to catch your stride. It’s enough to make you turn around, head home and pick up a beer on the way.
But TRUST me, there is a better way to maximize those first five minutes to make your run smooth, smooth, smooth. You won’t believe how simple it is.
When you’re getting ready to go out for a run, do this EVERY TIME and you’ll feel 100% better.
Step 1: Stand, sit, stretch – it doesn’t matter. I don’t care how you do this, just do it.
Step 2: Hold your breath, count as high as you can without getting lightheaded (you don’t want to run while you’re light headed, believe me) and then slowly and forcefully exhale.
Repeat this five times in a row.
So what does this do? You’re training your lungs to function at optimal levels during your run. This means less huffing and puffing and turning around to head home during those first five minutes. This eliminates 75% of the issues you might face during a run. Why? Deep breathing improves posture, can help reduce side stitches (the worst!) and gets you in the zone. Every time I do this exercise, it also helps me run longer.
Someone asked me, “Should I try for six or seven repetitions if five doesn’t cut it?” Guess what? No! If you don’t feel ready to hit the road after repeating the above exercise five times in a row, maybe today just isn’t your day. Hang up those shoes and try again tomorrow. Chalk it up to a rest day. I’m sure you deserve it.
Mike Gotfredson, known to his Road Runner Sports family and friends as ‘Chief Runner,’ is CEO of Road Runner Sports. He’s a workout junky, runner and most of all, a family man. He can tell you anything and everything you need to know about the hottest shoes, and which ones are on the outs.