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4278 Views 19 Replies Latest reply: Jul 16, 2011 10:57 AM by jliller3 RSS 1 2 Previous Next
Tdaughtersmom Amateur 8 posts since
Jun 23, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 7, 2011 9:26 AM

HELP I can't breath!

I am new to running, and actually have only been very physically active for a year and a half.  I started by simply going to the gym 2-3 times a week and working with a trainer.  I've gained strength and energy and somewhere along the way decided to run a 5K.  I have tried the Cto5K a couple of times, and joined a group training for a 5K.  My problem is I simply cannot breath!!! I've corrected my posture, tried pacing and counting, and a number of other techniques, but still, I am very short of breath.  I can fast/power walk 4.2mph, and breath OK, but if I try to jog even at that slow pace, I have to stop after just a couple of minutes.

Can anyone give me some other ideas to try to increase my lung capacity?

  • cmtpt53 Amateur 28 posts since
    Jun 26, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jul 7, 2011 3:51 PM (in response to Tdaughtersmom)
    Re: HELP I can't breath!

    The reason you have trouble breathing when your run is because you use larger muscle groups more vigorously than when you walk.  You have to ease your lungs into running.  Try this little trumpet player trick: before your activity, take as big a breath in as you can. Fill up from the deepest part of your abdomen all the way to the top of your lungs.  Hold that breath in, and while you do, do stretches; arm stretches, torso stretches, leg stretches. Keep that breath in, and take periodic 'sips' of air.  When you feel like you can't hold the breath any longer, slowly breathe out the entirety of the air.  Do this exercise twice, then begin your warmup walk.  During your warmup walk, make sure your breath is rhythmic, and you are breathing as deep as you can.

     

    Another trick you could try anytime is timed breathing: give yourself a moderate beat or click in your head and take a deep breath in in 8 beats and out for 8 beats while raising and lowering your arms with the breath(this makes sure you are expanding your lungs and diaphragm properly). Then do the same thing for 4 counts, 16 counts, 2 counts, longer and shorter, switching it up as you see fit.  Maker sure when you do this, you are filling your lungs completely not just taking little breaths then make sure you are emptying your lungs completely as well.

     

    These are a couple of exercises that I have used in my years as a trumpet player to expand my lung capacity.  Don't forget though that you have to ease yourself into running.  Only run as far as you can, or use a training program.  Only increase your milage by 10% a week or you risk injury.  Hope these exercises help.  They mould make more sense if I could demonstrate them and the proper way to breathe (yes there is a proper way to breathe), but that just isn't possible in a message board!

  • thoroughbred21 Amateur 19 posts since
    Jun 11, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jul 8, 2011 5:16 AM (in response to Tdaughtersmom)
    Re: HELP I can't breath!

    I struggle with feeling out of breath also.  I've been running for about a year but lost condition over the winter.

     

    Some things that have helped me are:

     

    1.  Stay relaxed through your upper body as you run.  Don't get tense and stiffen up through your shoulders, upper back, or neck.  If your rib cage can expand as you breathe, you will take in more air.

     

    2.  Every now and then, deliberately take a complete breath that really fills your whole core down to the waist.

     

    3.  Do a deliberately strong exhale, followed by a deliberately deep inhale.  Many of us never completely exhale, strangely enough!  Shallow breathing can lead you to that hyperventilating feeling, light-headed and almost faint.  Deeper breathing can help prevent that.

     

    4.  Finally, you probably know this already, but wind sprints are great for increasing your aerobic fitness.  Go to a local football field (when no one is around!) and sprint as fast as you can from the goalpost to the 50-yeard line.  Walk back.  Repeat.  Work up to 10 sprint/return sets.  You'll see a big benefit very quickly.

     

    5.  When running, take a little walk break when you need to.   Keep moving briskly but just let your lungs get caught up and heart rate down a bit.  As time goes on you will need these less and less.

     

    Keep on running!!

  • SingingPilgrim Expert 56 posts since
    Jun 12, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jul 9, 2011 6:23 AM (in response to Tdaughtersmom)
    Re: HELP I can't breath!

    Thank you, that's really cool advice. I think I will try that.





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    "No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore strengthen your tired hands and weakened knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated,but healed instead." -Hebrews 12:11-13

  • Marykb Legend 1,347 posts since
    Jan 16, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jul 10, 2011 4:23 AM (in response to thoroughbred21)
    Re: HELP I can't breath!

    @ thoroughbred21

     

    +1  Good advice.  When I first started running (and started back running) I made it a point to take an occasional very deep breath when I felt I was close to getting out of breath.  And I also made sure to occasionally exhale fully, usually by blowing, so I could get as much fresh oxygen back in my lungs as possible. I do think that helps increase lung capacity.  I never "learned" those techniques but they were just instinctive and worked for me.

     

    Breathing in rhythm or cadence, however, has NEVER worked for me.  The few times I've tried it, it has been so distracting it actually made running harder.  I am of the opinion that many people make breathing more complicated than it needs to be.  Your body needs oxygen and is going to figure out how to get it.   Maybe for competitive athletes trying to wring out the best possible V02 max, special breathing patterns might be useful.  For most of us recreational runners, though, the only thing that will make breathing more comfortable is continuing to do the exercise until we get into condition.

     

    To the OP, unless you have asthma or another medical condition, in which case you should check with your doctor, you just need to keep running slowly and consistently to build your conditioning .   Even though you have walked a lot there is still a whole other level of conditioning to reach for running since your body demands much more oxygen, so take your time and work up to it.





  • James Grove Amateur 14 posts since
    Feb 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jul 9, 2011 12:37 PM (in response to Tdaughtersmom)
    Re: HELP I can't breath!
    You have not mentioned your age or health status but it might be a good idea to see your doctor to make sure you are completely healthy and do not have a problem with your heart or lungs.  Best of luck with your running and stay motivated.  It's a great activity but please make sure you healthy too.




    Jim

    "Do or do not. There is no try." Yoda

    11/13/2011 Harrisburg Marathon 4:08

    10/9/11 Harrisburg Half Marathon 1:40:41

    11/24/2011 New Castle Turkey Trot 5K 21:22

    8/6/2011 Attack the Gap 10K 49:19

    4/17/2011 CVRT 15K 1:14:53

  • Focused40andFabulous Rookie 2 posts since
    Jul 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jul 9, 2011 2:38 PM (in response to Tdaughtersmom)
    Re: HELP I can't breath!

    I have had the same problem--but ONLY outside....I do just fine running a full 5k on a treadmill, but when I get out on the road just running a 1/2 mile kills me in the breathing dept.  Thank you for asking about this and it's good to know we're not alone!

  • PoohRules66 Rookie 2 posts since
    Mar 24, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Jul 9, 2011 8:48 PM (in response to Tdaughtersmom)
    Re: HELP I can't breath!

    SO glad to see this post.  I too am very new to running and this is my biggest struggle, and very discouraging.  Matter of fact I joke that I am going "running" and always put it in quotes, as I stop so frequently due to breathing that it is not really running.  Really interested in if the "sprints" exercise helps. Please keep us posted!

  • Pineyboy Rookie 5 posts since
    Jun 11, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Jul 9, 2011 10:32 PM (in response to Tdaughtersmom)
    Re: HELP I can't breath!

    I'm so glad that you started this post.  I have been stuck on w5d2 of c25k for about 3 weeks now.  I can walk all day long and not get winded, but as soon as I start running I can last about 5mins tops.  I will try the breathing exercises tomorrow.

  • James Grove Amateur 14 posts since
    Feb 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Jul 10, 2011 3:18 PM (in response to Tdaughtersmom)
    Re: HELP I can't breath!
    I would encourage you to see your doctor because shortness of breath can be a symptom of heart disease or lung disease.  I really encourage you to keep running because it's such a wonderful activity, but it would be a really good idea to see your doctor also and describe what you are experiencing.  Keep at it and stay healthy!




    Jim

    "Do or do not. There is no try." Yoda

    11/13/2011 Harrisburg Marathon 4:08

    10/9/11 Harrisburg Half Marathon 1:40:41

    11/24/2011 New Castle Turkey Trot 5K 21:22

    8/6/2011 Attack the Gap 10K 49:19

    4/17/2011 CVRT 15K 1:14:53

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