Stamina building

Hi there, new to the forum and just looking for some advice.
I've only been running for a few weeks. I usually run twice and week and do aerobic exercise of some kind twice a week too. When I first went for a run, I have to admit it was the first time I'd genuinely ran out of choice - was often of the belief one should never run unless being chased! However I have really got determined to get good at it and have been enjoying it. I can run 2 miles in about 20 minutes now but last week or so I seem to have terrible problems with breathing, which I have seen has been discussed in another thread here. I get this feeling that I can't get a deep breath and that sets me off feeling all panicky and I haven't been able to run more than a mile without stopping. Is this a question of general rubbish fitness levels, or is there some kind of technique that I'm just ignorant of.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as I feel quite demoralised at the fact I appear to have got worse rather than better!
Thanks in advance.


  • I'm no expert, but it sounds like you might be running too fast? Have you tried pulling the pace back a bit? When I started running in November, I went slow and built the speed up - I was at a ten minute mile maybe a few weeks ago, start of March - mind, I was starting from being well and truly overweight...

    The only time I've felt a bit like you describe was when I tried to tank it up a hill a too hard a pace - back of my head went tingly, and I knew I had to reign it in... image

  • If you don't mind me saying this... I think it's also the worry.

    You know... you've been out and had a bad experience and got all panicky... and now, well, when you're out you worry about it in advance.

    I suggest the following. I don't know when you run, but get yourself all sorted for it. I do the following. I eat some carbs at lunch time. Make sure I drink at least 2 liters during the day before running, have a good loo session as well. Download something interesting as a podcast on my cheap little machine.

    I get my running gear out (not too warm), get my watch ready and just before I set out, I take a deep breath and say: I'll just run for a laugh. Listen to my interesting podcast and just simply enjoy myself. I sent off really slowly and then just let my legs do the work. Switch off my brain.

    Often, when you have a crap run, one finds it hard to forget about it. And i might suggest, that the whole "not being able to take a full breath" is an anxiety thing. If you stopped and did it, it would work. I think you're panicky that you can't breath freely, but hey, you're running... it's exercise.

    My advice. Reduce all the ifs and maybes before a run and RELAX. It's not a competition, it's supposed to be fun. The more fun it is, the better you will get at it. Just enjoy yourself. Nice and easy...

    Hope this helps without being patronising?
  • Chicken farm, I quite like my crap runs. They make all the other ones even better by comparison.

    And you mention 'interesting' podcasts. Any recommendations? I don't really know my way around iTunes - I've only just updated my iPod for the second time since I bought it about 5 years ago.

  • Nykie: crap runs. Not my thing. image

    I don't do I-Tunes myself but go for the stuff from the BBC. I guess here in Switzerland you learn to apreciate the good old BBC for its mostly quality stuff. 

    I go here:

    I like the documentaries or newshour or "from our own correspondent" all on the World Service.

    I also don't mind "thinking aloud" on bbc 4

    I have kids and all and enjoy just to turn off and let myself catch up on the world news or on some kind of interesting topic. Just listened to one on an Irish matchmaker... very funny. 

  • Thanks, I've saved that as a favourite and I'll have a good browse.
  • Just commented about this on.GNR thread. I was exactly like this apparently from not emptying lungs on whaling I was told to concentrate on puffing air out quickly so your lungs automatically fill up. It certainly helped me and I always do this on hill or speed work
  • Thank you for all your responses guys. I am going to give all suggestions a try and hope that it helps. Pretty sure a lot of it is psychosomatic and one of those 'the more you think about it the worse it gets' type things. See how it goes tonight!
  • Struggle to breathe means you are running too fast, trying too hard, or not warming up proerly. Guilty of all of those myself.
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