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I'm wondering because it's taking me, lately, 2 to even 3 miles to find a nice groove. For instance, on today's run, the first few miles were around a 9 minute pace. I felt tired, even winded, and my muscles were tight. For the last couple of miles I finally found my groove. Felt good, legs felt good, and didn't feel winded. Overall, my pace was about an 8:30 for the 4.8 miles. I'm thinking this is because I'm putting in longer miles during the week???? During longer runs, I like to start out slow because I know that I won't make it through the whole run if I start out too fast (like I did yesterday).

As for 5K racing, I'm kind of wondering about this routine I've gotten myself into. I like 5K racing...is there somehthing I can do before a shorter distance race that will warm up my body so I'm ready to go at a faster pace right away without expending too much energy before the race? Do any of you notice that it takes a while to focus and find your groove during a run?

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It takes me probably two miles to find a groove but I think that's part because the two routes that I use the most have a general uphill feel to them for the first two miles. After that, I'm pretty much set and can go for any distance. If I'm doing a tempo run, it takes at least 1 mile before I can pour it on.
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It depends on the distance. Typically, since I run very early most of the time, its a least a half mile or so until I really get going. When I race, it takes me a lot shorter though.
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I also take about a half mile to get my groove on.
As for warming up before a 5k race, you might want to try some striders for about 30 yards. The number would depend on you and how you feel.
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Seems to differ daily for me. On short days I seem to get pumped quicker and can find the groove in less than a half mile, sometimes a quarter mile. Some of my long run days take up to 3 or 4 miles before it all of a sudden hits me and I don't feel like I'm working hard.

Prior to a 5k I make sure I'm 100% loose and stretched and I try to get the heart rate up. Don't have a monitor but I make sure it's warmed up and ready to go.
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1/2 mile usually during training. In a race, depending on the distance, usually a mile, after crowds thin out a little.
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It really depends on the day. I have had training runs where I have never found my grove and others that by my 2nd step I have the rythm. Usaully it is after the 1st 1.5 miles or so. In races the 1st mile is always difficult. That is why the 5k is such a pain, by the time I find a good grove the race is almost over. :?
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For me, it depends on how far into my training I am. Right now, I usually don't find the groove until around the 2-mile mark.

As for 5K races, I like to do a nice warm-up jog before the race - maybe even jog some of the course to get acquainted. A few sprints in the last few minutes help as well. I have less problem finding the groove on race day mainly due to the adrenaline rush going through my body.
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Usually about 2 miles until I can get into a groove.
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1! My race on Saturday was indicative of that.
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