Struggling with breathing....

I started running recently and am up to running 1mn 8X and 2 mn walk 8X.  I really enjoy it but find that my breathing lets me down.  I seem to be out of breath almost as soon as I start running which makes it hard for me to keep going for more than a minute!  Any advice?  I am not running too fast either!  Thanks


  • Your breathing will become better the more you run.  Almost every new runner finds it difficult at first, I certainly did and can run for an hour without stopping after just 3 months.  Your lungs are just like your muscles and need time to adapt and get stronger.  If you can manage with the walk/run x 1min that you are doing I would stick to that for a week and then increase it to 2min run/2min walk. 

    Good luck and well done.

  • I am the same, it does get better the more you train, I could only run a min at first, now I can manage nearly 30mins without stopping and my breathing sometimes is still all over the place when I start off my run, so you're not alone in experiencing this image
  • Presuming you don't get out of breath when you walk I'd say you are still going too fast. Instead of trying to slow down from running, try to speed up from a walking speed. Good luck and don't give up. image

    Ps. Sometimes trying to get the focus off breathing helps too. You can think about it too much sometimes.

  • Thank you all for the useful comments.  I will try to slow down a little more and I do think I am over focussing on the breathing too!!  I might need to just relax a little and keep trying...
  • Try to relax a little, I have to correct my posture sometimes. Involuntary I sometimes lean forward, look down and hunh my shoulders up. I loosen up my shoulders and 'run tall' which seems to open up the lung capacity.
  • loulabellloulabell ✭✭✭

    like the others  have said the breathing thing is same for all beginners. this time last year i attempted a 5mile event with no training(bit daft) and couldnt run more than half a mile before i thought my lungs were going to burst! poor hubs had to keep stopping the whole way round for me!

    a year on i am now heading for my first HM. Most weekends i  now run 10k as my training , something i never thought id be doing after just12 months. it takes some time and myself and a friend did perservere through the winter, but  your body will get used to it. i still puff for like an old steam train for the 1st mile and then it settles down !

    i agree, sometimes you can over concentrate on breathing. maybe find a tune or song that fits your pace and hum it just to start off until your breathing settles down. i find it works for me-sounds crazy but does work! 

  • I'd guess you were running too fast too. General rule is if you running so fast that you can't speak more than a few words at once, then you're going too fast. I did the same thing when i first started. My speed seemed slow when i saw other runners, so i tried to speed up - big mistake. I just ended up gasping for breath and getting stitches. I slowed down and kept reminding myself to run easy and after a few sessions like that i found i could suddenly run further and faster while breathing quite comfortably. It's great when that happens, so don't give up. Keep going xx

  • Would love to jump on this post and get some advice. I'm not a novice runner (despite still being slow) - I've been running for almost 20 years but am quite a tense and stressed type, feel tired all the time and have become obsessive over my poor running performance which translates into difficulty breathing. I'm a chest breather rather than stomach breather anyway and generally forget to breathe deeply most of the time when not running. I run off road with my dogs three to four times a week so can't have music on to distract me due to needing to pay attention to the dogs and surroundings. Any advice?
  • Should I try to breath to a rhythm? Or just breathe however my body wants me to breathe? 
  • GuarddogGuarddog ✭✭✭
    Hi jessiebelle and williams.

    Firstly for jessiebelle I think you've perhaps answered the question yourself when you say you're a tense and stressed type and that you've become obsessive over your performance. If you're not relaxed then everything is going to seem hard. Perhaps if you try to take the stress away from your running that may help. Rather than think about your performance just think about how nice it is to be out in the fresh air with your dogs. Don't put any pressure on yourself to run a particular pace or distance, enjoy the surroundings. Once you've mastered relaxing during your running hopefully what you consider to be a problem with breathing will improve.

    Williams - I think there it's a case of however your body wants to breathe. It honestly is what works for you. Personally I hated hearing myself breathe when I first started so I'd listen to music.
  • @williams your body knows when you need to breathe, just let it get on with it :)
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