Sports FAQ
Home / Running / Walking

What is wrong with me!?

Pan Dulce2010-05-01 10:03:17 +0000 #1
The title says it all! I've been running for around 3 months, usually about 3 times a week but it varies due to the kids' schedule. I can only jog for about 45 seconds to a minute before I lose my breath and I have to walk again (usually for 45 seconds to a minute also). And I can only go about a mile before I'm pooped!!

I don't get it! I'm in reasonably good health (5'6" ~135 lbs), I keep reasonably active (jog, bike, run after the kids).. but I can't get past this wall! It's incredibly frustrating, especially because I have a fitness test that I need to pass next month and I need to run 1.5 miles in a certain amount of time.

I get so out of breath and exhausted that I can't go further, usually my chest will get tight so that doesn't help the breathing issue. What am I doing wrong? What is wrong with me!?
OakLeaf2010-05-01 10:05:32 +0000 #2
Have you been evaluated for exercise-induced asthma?
Pan Dulce2010-05-01 10:26:05 +0000 #3
That's interesting.. I never thought of it, because I don't cough or wheeze when I run. I get pretty fatigued though. I've been tested for thyroid problems and low iron/anemia (trying to find a reason for the fatigue), no dice. I wonder if I could just go to my regular doctor for that.

It makes me feel so stupid though, like I'm so out of shape. My legs don't get tired or ache or anything, my chest just hurts like heck and I can't breathe, then my whole body gets tired. I feel so out of shape, though it doesn't feel like I should be..
witeowl2010-05-01 11:07:32 +0000 #4
I suspect that you need to slow down. Concentrate on jogging rather than running. For now.

Other possible tips: Don't pump your arms. Lean forward slightly from your ankles so that you're naturally moving forward rather than having to push yourself forward. Make sure that you're exhaling adequately; get rid of that carbon dioxide building up in your lungs. Consider breathing rhythmically with your steps. (I like to inhale for two steps and exhale for three.) And, again slow down. It seems counterproductive, but it's not.

You're not out of shape, surely, but running takes specific training. (Just like a marathoner can't expect to jump on a bike and do well in a time trial.)

I've also struggled with just being able to breathe while running. It's not my legs or anything else - it's my cardio. Which always felt odd because it's been like this despite fitness in other sports. I'm finally up to about 5k, but it's taken me some work. Do you have a heart rate monitor? I've found that that is a vital tool to making sure that I'm not pushing myself too hard while running.
Charlieggo2010-05-01 10:41:05 +0000 #5
I have to agree that it sounds like asthma. Both my daughters have dealt with it. Get yourself checked out, they'll probably give you an inhaler to try and see if it helps you out.
Syndirelah2010-05-01 11:25:29 +0000 #6
If it isnt a health/asthma problem, run slower. Run for time and not distance... that might help.
OakLeaf2010-05-01 11:39:10 +0000 #7
True that. My instinct is to immediately think of a health issue. But finding one's breathing rhythm is super important, and it's not always easy with a new sport. For me it's jumping rope. Part of my problem is just uncoordination and tripping over the rope

but the other part is that I haven't figured out how to breathe while jumping, and haven't stuck with it enough to figure it out.

Pay attention and try different breathing patterns. For a moderate run, all my life I've done in 3 - out 2, and it was kind of gratifying to read in the Chi Running book that in 3 - out 2 is recommended as a pace that's right on the edge of sustained aerobic effort. For my long runs, it's in 3 - out 3. Hard efforts like hills and the last mile or two of a race, in 2 - out 2.

Steep hills and sprints are where my breathing tends to fall apart (anything less than 2 steps is too short for me to get a full breath), so it's no wonder I'm slow.
katluvr2010-05-01 13:34:45 +0000 #8
My first thought was also...slow down! Get a pace you can run/jog at for a longer time. I am working w/ a friend new to running. Just lost a lot a weight and has more to go. We are doing a 1/2 marathon in Jan. So she is doing a "couch to 5 k program". So that was a nice introduction to running. Now there is not more walk was 28 min of full jog/run today. I did it with her. Pace was very slow...between 14:30 & 15 min mile. But that allowed her to finish teh full 28 minutes without needing to walk or be exhausted.

Now, true if you have a future test w/ a time limit you may need to push up the speed...but try to get the distance SLOWLY first.

Ok, must my opinion...not an expert. But trust me, I am not about speed, but distance and endurance.

(oh and relax....sometimes you have to relax to control your breathing. And is it HOT out...that will add to difficulty catching breath)




Other posts in this category