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Trouble breathing while jogging

Over the past year I've lost 42 pounds. When I started losing, walking on the treadmill for 5 minutes was torture enough. Within the past 6 months, I've decided to start doing some jogging. I've only had the time to try it a few times (I have a Fred Flintstone treadmill that is all but impossible to run on so I have to go outside). When I start out, my body can go for a while without getting tired, but it's like my lungs can't quite get enough oxygen. (I don't have asthma) And by the time my lungs finally adjust my body is starting to get tired. Is this normal? Any tips on 'working' my lungs? LOL, does this make any sense at all??

Tue. Feb 28, 9:25am

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I'm like that too. You have to work up to aerobic exercise. Try doing intervals - jogging for 1 minute, then walking for 2, then jogging for one, etc. Try "following" a couch-to-5k-type program, even if you're not planning on running that far, or if you'd like to be able to run further. Just adapt it to what you're comfortable with. Work up very slowly. It seems to me like I have friends who, after not running for months, can go outside and run 10 miles! Me, on the other hand, I have to work for a couple weeks just to get up to one mile! And I'm at my goal weight!

Here's a link to a Couch-to-5k program that looks very doable.


Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 10:12 AM

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When you are running try your best (I know it's hard) to take long, slow breaths and not do "lamaze" breathing. It will help. It takes time to work up to running. Be patient and keep working at it. You'll get it!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 10:33 AM

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If it is a cold climate and I am running outside, sometimes my chest feels tight. I usually try and take a few deep breaths before I start running and when I am just walking around outside.

Also, I used to be self conscious about breating heavily while running and so I would try to regulate my breathing, but this just made it hard to run. Just allow yourself to breathe naturally (no matter how it sounds) and, with practice, you will start to breathe less erratically.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 10:54 AM

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sure you don't have exercise induced asthma? I did- could play volleyball at the university level, couldn't "run" to save my life.

Lung capacity is 20% better in the evening than in the afternoon.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 11:41 AM

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I wanted to mention that it's generally recommended to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth... However, my main comment is a revelation I recently had, as I have just begun running/jogging myself.

It sounds silly to say it, but try running at a slightly slower pace. It may feel too slow, but try running at a pace where you can breathe okay, and then eventually, you'll increase pace, intervals, and speed. Simply slowing down a little made a huge difference for me!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 12:09 PM

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In the cold air, I have to wear a running mask (or scarf) to help warm the air as I breathe or I am coughing for 30 minutes straight after I stop.

I agree with the above poster as well - I am in very good shape and even a slow pace still gets my heart pumping way better than walking.

I also built up my endurance by alternating jogging and walking. Intervals are great for increasing aerobic capicity, and they feel easier because you are always getting a little recovery time rather than pushing constantly.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 12:21 PM

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OP here...

Thanks for letting me know I'm not crazy!

I've thought about using a scarf or something, it just seemed too warm for it last night. And I'm glad to hear about the interval training...I couldn't jog the entire time to save my life! I try to jog 4 'streets' then walk 1, jog 4 walk 1, and so on.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 1:33 PM

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I bought the running mask at a sporting goods store for like $12. It's thin, neoprene material and it velcros in back. It has a big nose hole and small mouth holes. It is fabulous, and not too warm. I look like I'm going to rob a bank though.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 1:43 PM

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inhaling through your nose will warm the air a bit before it reaches your lungs. the inhale-through-the-nose-and-exhale-through-your-mouth method is highly recommended. Just try to make sure your not snorting it in and forcefully blowing it out. Try to keep it controlled and even (think yoga). Make sure that you are upright and your shoulders are back and down so your lungs can expand to max capacity. If you run hunched forward like a boxer you are not going be able to really fill your chest with air. Also, make sure your are not crossing your body with your arms. That will also constrain your lungs. You would not believe how much these changes in form can help your breathing.

Make sure you are getting an adequate warm-up and not just launching into your full-on pace. Fast walking for a 1/2 mile (think 4 mph or more) will also really get you into the groove, by the time you break into a light jog - it will seem like less effort than walking ;-) The interval suggestion is great however remember to keep your intervals brisk, and don't allow yourself to cool down, just catch your breath. Also consider some cross-training. Swimming, and the american crawl in particular, did wonders for teaching me controlled breathing (and is a good upper body work out). Riding the stationary bike at a high rpm has really been great too.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 2:01 PM

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To the person who provided the link to the Couch to 5K program, THANK YOU SO MUCH!

I've been meaning forever to try and jog rather than walking on the treadmill, but each time I tried it I'd give up within seconds, also mainly because of breathing issues. I'd always thought of trying to do alternating between jogging and walking, but never got a program going (was probably trying for too much too soon and giving up).

Anyway, I tried the first session of the Couch to 5K today, and it was extremely manageable, and even quite fun, so I'm going to give it a go.
Thanks again for the suggestion and the link. I had heard of Couch to 5K before, but the 5K bit had always put me off, and I thought it was some sort of group training program.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 9:23 PM

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Congrats on beginning the program!! I'm glad that you found it manageable! Good luck building up to more!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 10:15 AM

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Went for a jog tonight and it was a little warmer. I didn't have near as much trouble breathing tonight. I did try to breath in through my nose more, but it ended up making my nose burn. Can't win for losing I guess!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 10:08 PM

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