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5339 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Feb 20, 2012 3:33 PM by
Roslyn95603 Rookie 3 posts since
Feb 14, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Feb 5, 2012 11:10 AM

Breathing Help

I have recently started training for the spring/summer events.  The first one I plan to run is in April and its a 10 miler.  I took a bit of a break and only ran a few miles here and there.  I am finding it hard for me to get my breathing under control; it almost feels like I am starting from square one.  Any advice on what I can do to help?  My body feels great; my breathing causes me to walk when my body still feels good to go.

  • Jasko123 Legend 461 posts since
    Apr 18, 2011
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    1. Feb 5, 2012 3:10 PM (in response to Roslyn95603)
    Breathing Help

    I know that some practice breathing exercises while running (like inhaling every couple strides and exhaling in the following steps and so on).  This was always too complicated for me to practice, but it works for some.  Also, try deep breathing in cross training routines (swimming is a good one), and focus on the diaphram as opposed to your lungs.  It sounds a little off, but slowly inhaling, holding your breath and then controlling the slow exhale is also supposed to help over time, even if you are resting and practicing your breathing.  I would also say check out other things that could potentially influence respiratory issues like allergies, exercise-induced asthma, and the immediate environment. 


    Hope you are doing great very soon!

  • Dobrobuck Pro 151 posts since
    Apr 17, 2011
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    2. Feb 5, 2012 6:50 PM (in response to Roslyn95603)
    Breathing Help

    You might try some run/walk splits for awhile to help keep heart rate and breathing under control. If you weren't having any problems before you should come to your prior running level fairly quick. It sounds as if you had a pretty good base since your going to run a 10 miler. You should have plenty of time before April so dont rush it. I'm training for a 1/2 in April and there's even an extra week when the training is over just in case of bad weather ect. I guess it also depends on the definition of "a bit of a break" but you should be fine. You may be pushing too hard too fast!!! Any way to check your mile per minute time to see where your at?? If nothing else just slow down a little!!!

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  • Old Coyote Legend 256 posts since
    Apr 9, 2011
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    3. Feb 8, 2012 12:45 PM (in response to Roslyn95603)
    Breathing Help

    To add to what Jasko wrote: Focus on the exhale, then relax your diaphragm to allow air to flow in naturally. Then focus on exhale again. When you rid your lungs of CO2, you feel less anxiety about breathing. Breathe out, then wait a tic for CO2 to flow from the alveolae, exhale the last little bit that's accumulated, then allow the air to fill your lungs.

    I visualize a balloon. As I exhale, I blow it up, then I relax my diaphragm and the balloon empties into my lungs.  

  • BrianVT Rookie 1 posts since
    Feb 9, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Feb 9, 2012 8:02 AM (in response to Roslyn95603)
    Breathing Help

    I found my breathing became a non-issue when I remember to take full inhales along with a complete exhale.  The full exhale wasn't a natural thing for me early on but once I trained myself to do it (from the diaphragm) things started to feel MUCH better and I think my running improved.  It also helps to give your mind something to focus on for those longer runs.  Give it a try.

  • jjwaverly_42 Pro 388 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
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    6. Feb 16, 2012 6:17 AM (in response to BrianVT)
    Re: Breathing Help

    You're breathing will breathe itself. If you can't control it, you're working out too hard, and are probably near or over your anaerobic threshold. This will eventually do you in with either injury, overtraining, or extra colds and URT infections. Try running at a pace where you can talk very easily. You will be aerobic if you do that. And far away from your AT. You only want to be near your AT during a tempo run, intervals, or racing. And those kind of work outs are best left to after you've built a solid aerobic base and system (and only maybe once a week after that). Now, if you were to use a heart monitor and test yourself running at an intensity off 180-age (if you're 40, run at 140 bpm), this will keep you at a healthy intensity. More than likely, you will have to walk a little (or lot). Or maybe not. But it will slow you down. But if you are training properly, then you should get faster and faster at this heart rate. If you are not, then you aren't training properly. Research Dr. Phil Maffetone, Arthur Lydiard, John L. Parker (his book: heart Rate Training For The Compleat Idiot), Hadd training, VAn Aaken, and teach yourself about periodization, building your aerobic system, overtraining, etc.


    Good luck. Stay healthy. Breathe easy.


  • raf66 Expert 49 posts since
    Jan 15, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Feb 20, 2012 10:11 AM (in response to Roslyn95603)
    Breathing Help

    Welcome to the almost universal problem of having a hard time breathing while engaging in distance running.


    I'm just giving you a hard time.  I'm sure there are breathing exercises you could try that may help ease the problem, but when your body needs oxygen during a run, it's going to do everything it can (even involuntarily) to get it.  Huffing/puffing/gasping/etc. 


    This is more likely a symptom of trying to reclaim your former level of fitness too soon.  When you take time off you will not perform to the same level when you first return.  I don't mean taking a few days off (or even a week), but rather taking a month or more off.  It will take time to build your aerobic base back up.


    As others have said, slow down and get back into running on a consistent basis.  Take walk breaks when necessary.  Put the miles in and it will all come back.


    Good luck.

  • Pro 58 posts since
    Dec 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Feb 20, 2012 3:33 PM (in response to jjwaverly_42)
    Breathing Help

    Jimmy is giving you great advice here. Ever since I got into the heart rate monitor game my running has improved exponentially! I'm way more consistent and steady than i"ve ever been, and am capable of going far greater distances alot more comfortably than I ever did without the use of one.

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