I've long been a huge opponent of the warm-up. I know that sounds like a completely ridiculous thing to say, but at my speed, it's kind of all a warm-up. At least that's been my take. And yes, part of my naivete has come from being young and not injury prone, a situation that is most likely fleeting (the young part is already gone, and I suspect the not injury prone part is on its way, too).
Anyway, I was reviewing my Garmin data from my recent 5k, and I noticed something interesting. For the first mile of the race, my heart rate was an average of 160, a max of 168. Second mile: 171 average, 177 max. Third mile: 181 average, 187 max. (188/189 for the .1).
Well, well, well... it seems that warming up might actually be beneficial after all. I can see it in my heart rate, and I wonder how hard I was having to work to get my heart rate up in the first mile when I could have been working on racing faster/better. I can't help but wonder how my race would have been different if I had started with my heart rate elevated rather than at a resting rate. I'm going to have to do some speedwork and see what the results are.
Also, while I'm data dumping, I was noticing my heart rate for the half, too. Aside from the first mile, my heart rate was an average of 164 and, for most of the miles, a max of 169-171. That's pretty solidly in my comfortable running heart rate range. Should I have been pushing it more?
On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"