Why is the First Ten Minutes of Exercise Always the Hardest?

The title says it all really. Plus, I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this. I have spoken to many people who run or take part in football, tennis, personal training or any form of exercise really. The answer always comes back the same.

Take running for example. As I’m following a 16 week marathon training programme, I thought that week by week the first ten minutes would begin to get easier. But no, it’s still as hellish as ever! It’s always in the first ten minutes when I want to give up and very nearly do.

So I got to thinking there must be something scientific behind this feeling. There is.

It seems that according to research the body is basically crying out in pain at the beginning of exercise. All of the nerve endings are saying “Woooooooaaah! Why are you waking me up?”

In reality what is happening is that the *senovial fluids are taking their time lubricate your joints.  Your breathing seems irregular and difficult and talking to a running partner is just a no-no.

Other factors such as that feeling of early fatigue during exercise is actually quite normal. In fact, it happens to even highly trained athletes. But rather than feeling demoralised and psyched out by your heavy breathing and burning legs, use this knowledge as a reminder of the importance of the warm up, and remember what’s happening in your body in the first few minutes of exercise.

Have a read of this great article from Elizabeth Quinn which goes into more depth about the scientific reasons for this problem. It tells you all you need to know and how to combat the worst effects so that when minute 11 kicks in; you are really in the zone! Elizabeth concludes “that If you want to take a gentler approach when you head out for a workout, use the first 5 minutes as an easy warm up, the next 5 minutes to ramp up the pace and then settle into your workout as usual”. So no great revelations, just good practical advice.

If you feel suitably relieved having read this blog and you are training for an event or just coming back to fitness, why not get extra help with personal training in Bedfordshire, North Buckinghamshire or Northamptonshire. Just call Jules now for more expert advice and support.

And remember, even Mo Farrah and the Brownlee Brothers feel exactly the same as you do in the first ten minutes. Now that’s a comforting thought!

*The senovial fluids are the bodies way of lubricating the joints and so once this happens you tend to get into a groove after the ten minutes.

 

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