My pre-race schedule has changed since I first started running road races. I used to arrive about 15 before the races and pick up my packet and jog for a couple minutes beforing heading for the start line. The first mile always sucked, so I tried warming up more. Last year, I even ran to a couple races (about 3-4 miles). I used to think this would make me tired but the longer warm-up actually does more good than harm. I was able to to set a PR for an 8K.
I’ve notice this is true for training runs as well. The first couple miles are really tough as your body adapts from resting to running. But after about 15 min or so, it’s not so bad and you can get into a groove. Yesterday, during a 13 mile run I could tell I really needed the warm-up. The first miles seemed hard at a 9:15 pace but after a couple of them I was able to do 7:41 for the remainder of the workout and felt good.
I’m guessing running is hard for beginners because they listen to their body and quit before getting past the warmup stage. Often, I have heard beginners say, “I can do about 2 miles but no more.” For me, that’s right about the time running becomes easier. My trick is running the tough, first miles, at a slower pace and then walk for a minute before starting my workout. Who’s knows, maybe I’m just getting older too:)