The First Mile

4 Aug

According to the Sheryl Crow song, the first cut is the deepest. According to runners, the first mile is the hardest. There is something so hideously awful about the first mile, and then suddenly after that everything falls into place for a great run. Somehow even mile 13 or 14 doesn’t feel as bad as mile 1.

I think what makes it difficult is that is your adjustment period. You’re trying to figure out your pace, your breathing, the rhythm of your run, and it’s awkward. It’s a shock to your system to go from maybe sitting at your desk all day or sleeping all night to pounding down the pavement. It’s when I get a side stitch if I’m going to get one.

The entire first mile, I always want to quit. I hate it, and I think of a million reasons to stop in my head. I say to myself this is an off day, this isn’t going well, I have a side stitch, my breathing is off. Then it’s like magic at mile 1.1. Suddenly, all the excuses disappear, and I’m in the groove with my run. I can go for miles and miles now. I’ve found the rhythm of my pace and my breathing, and I’m off.

This seems to be a common thing with all runners I talk to, but I am curious for your input. Do you find the first mile the hardest? What gets you through that adjustment period to go onto longer runs?


3 Responses to “The First Mile”

  1. Kathy August 5, 2011 at 2:33 AM #

    Yeah that first mile is rough! I just focus on the fact that whatever I’m feeling, it’ll pass after the first mile and then I’ll have found my groove.

  2. laurapayette August 7, 2011 at 12:47 PM #

    Interesting — the first mile is usually the easiest for me. In fact, I have to hold myself back so I don’t go out too fast. I feel my best and most energized right when I start running. If I keep my pace steady, I still feel good later, but if I go out too fast I feel awful at the end.

    • Noel D. August 8, 2011 at 5:07 PM #

      I do have the problem of going out too quickly sometimes especially the few races I’ve done. However, I’m usually so discombobulated trying to find my rhythm, it doesn’t last very long. LOL Laura, I think you’re the exception. All other runners I’ve talked to hate the first mile as well! 🙂

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