No matter how long you’ve been running, that first five minutes sucks. It’s just terrible. It’s just terrible. Why is it so terrible? Well, I’m Jessie Funk and on today’s episode of Runner’s High, I’m going to demystify why that first five minutes of running sucks no matter how long you’ve been running.

This may be your first video with me here on the channel. And if it is, you’ve probably not seen me preach about warm-ups before, the importance of warm-ups, why we need to warm up all those kind of things. And this is really kind of another similar video about warming up.

That first five minutes is terrible because our body is not warmed up and ready to go. But what does that actually mean? A big component of warming up is your body temperature elevating and then your muscles having more elasticity.

The effect of that is that your muscles can fire, they can contract stronger without the risk of them tearing. So, you kind of have just like lethargic, stiff, heavy feeling sometimes in that first five minutes because your body temperature needs to raise, you get more blood flowing through all your muscles, all those kind of things are important in that first five minutes.

Now, five minutes is just representative of an average. It’s not the whole thing. Sometimes it’s a couple miles, sometimes it’s 20 minutes, it just depends on the day. But that’s one of the reasons that first five minutes, just terrible every single time.

One of the other things that’s often overlooked is that yeah, we need to warm up the muscles. Okay. We need them to be more elastic, we need them to perform, but there’s also this function of our joints. And it takes some time it takes some motion for our joints to become lubricated and get to kind of full function so that we can actually move and use those muscles at full capacity without injuring any of our skeletal system, which includes those joints.

So, there’s a certain period of time that we need for all that lubrication to happen, for our joints to be able to use that full range of motion and for us to get the most out of our bodies.

The best way for me to illustrate this is actually a story from my life. Back in my freshman year of college, there was a guy on our team who always warmed up 20 minutes before we were going to go race. Now, keep in mind in college, at least when I was Cross Country season a race is five miles long.

So, he’s gonna go warm up 20 minutes which is three miles, give or take, probably a little over. And then he’s gonna do the same thing when he cools down so race day is going to be 11 miles long, three warm-up, five to race, three cool down. And at least initially we all thought he was nuts.

At that point, I’d been running for five years around eighth grade four years in high school, and you get to college, you’re like, I’m gonna run in college, like I’m cool, I’m hot shit, like I know what’s going on. But the truth is, you’re just getting started and you still don’t know anything at that point, or at least that’s really how you should approach it.

The thing is, we thought, okay, we should do five to 10 minutes warm-up. Our college coach was pretty lacks, he kind of let us do what we wanted to do. And this guy always had more consistent results than everybody else. Just hands down, more consistent results.

Was he perfect every day? No, absolutely not. But he was much, much more consistent and he was very serious about his running. So, he kind of had the ride of it. And I kind of moved over to his side and eventually, over the years, the whole team transitioned to this 20-minute warm-up, which turned into a 45-minute warm-up 20 minutes run. And then 25 minutes plyometrics all because it takes time for your body to warm up, both in temperature and for all those joints to be lubricated for your maximal performance to be the best.

So, take from me from experience that the warmup is very, very important to make sure you feel good. And that’s part of the reason that that initial 5, 10, 15 minutes, whatever it is, just, it sucks. It doesn’t feel good. You need to get going. Now, designing a warm-up routine doesn’t just mean heading out the door. There are things you can do besides just running to get warmed up.

If you want to know what those are, subscribe to the channel and soon there’ll be a video popping up on the screen. Click that. I talked about designing a warm-up, figuring out what’s gonna work for you. And it’ll link you some other videos right talking about different warm-up methods. So, I’ll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.