When does it get easier?


I'm running about 3 x 2 miles per week and will gradually build up from there. (I trained up to 4 miles over two months earlier this year and then stopped). Can anyone tell me when it will start to get easier?

At the moment my chest burns at the beginning for a while then my legs ache for a while then then pain in both subsides (after about 1/2 mile) but doesn't completely go away until after I've finished. I'm out of breath (but not really badly) all the way, I can talk but only about 2 or three words at a time.

I'm so looking forward to being able to run and actually enjoy it while I'm doing it rather than forcing myself round because I know that I'll feel good afterwards.


  • Warm up, interval running/walking and stretching afterwards helped me improve. If I didn't stretch I wouldn't be able to move the next day!

    Don't overdo it. Listen to your body and do what you can. You will improve.

    I am using the treamill now. I started at 5kmph (2% incline) walking for 20 minutes and found that a strain, then gradually increased the speed over time. Eventually doing intervals and using a heart rate monitor.

    I can now run at 7.5kmph for 30 minutes no problem, although road running would see me back to doing some intervals I'm sure.

    I started 6 months ago.

    Beth (a beginner, relatively speaking so I'm sure you'll get some good advice form the more experienced on here soon)
  • It does not get easyer - you just get faster for the same effort

  • Do you think you might be running too fast? Comfort is more important than speed (although I'm sure there are those who would argue with me).
  • Hi Brixton Runner,

    I have found it getting easier - there is hope! I started in April this year, having been inspired by colleagues running the marathon. Anyway, I am now doing 3 miles regularly during the week and 6 miles on sundays. I have two 10k races coming up and feel more confident about them each time I go out.

    I just did my regular 3 mile circuit without a walk break, (it is quite a hilly route, so I have to stagger up hills sometimes!). I felt so pleased with myself and that achievement this morning!!

    Also, knocked 6 minutes off my 6 mile time, and hope to complete the 10k races in about 70 minutes or under.

    I can't believe I am running and showing improvement - it is amazing! You will get better / breathe easier / run faster / manage hills. If I can do it, anyone can.

    And I stopped smoking 7 weeks ago too. Wonders never cease!!!

    Best of wishes on your running - keep it up.

  • Scotty4Scotty4 ✭✭✭
    Hiya BR,

    When I started running I had the same burning in the chest and actually felt sick on occasions.

    It took me a month or two to get over this initial uncomfortable stage. Basically your muscles are currently working on producing more and more blood vessels to cope with this change in life-style and greater demand for oxygen. It's this change in the muscles and their increasing ability to use oxygen more efficiently that will in time put less strain on your lungs.

    I have to agree with Will. After the initial yuckyness, your will-power and pain threshold will increase to a point where you will be annoyed with yourself if you're not hurting. Enjoy !!!
  • Dear BR
    My sister and I have been runnning since April and we have just started trying the Run/Walk approach. Initally thought it was a cop out but I have found I can run further and faster more comfortably. We run between 3 and 5 miles 3 x week.
    It is suppose to be fun - Pain is not your friend!!!
  • I take a beginners running group. We start with the walk/jog and go really slowly so the ladies can still chatter whilst running. When the chat stops, i know that they are going too fast, so slow them down.
    By keeping slow, they are usually feeling good about themselves by week 4/5, and by the end of the course (week 8) they are enjoying it. Most of them that keep going say that after 6 months they feel as if they have been running forever and will continue to run forever!!
    So hang in there and keep on doing it slowly.
  • Thanks everyone for your comments.

    WildWill: I can't believe that it won't get any easier at all...ever....please say it's not true! Maybe you've forgetten what it is like when you are a complete beginner? I'm hoping that's true :-)

    I prefer to believe what Scotty says (thanks Scotty!), it seems to make sense too that it just takes a while for your body to get used to what you're doing to it and adapt accordingly. I kind of know about that pain/pleasure thing from doing weights for several years.

    Beth and Soozie: I thought the run/walk thing was a bit of a cop out too....isn't it? I thought I had to be and old soldier and just keep going no matter whether I felt like my legs were on fire and my lungs about to explode!

    Dangly Spice: What you say makes sense but if I went any slower it would be faster to walk, I would get depressed if people were running past me :-( From what you say I think it will probably take about 8 weeks to feel better....I can live with that...thanks :-)

    Go-slow: Well done on stopping smoking, I know how hard that is. I stopped 12 years ago, it was so hard I was nearly suicidal for the first day, it then gradually got better. How awful that is so easy to get hold of a substance that is so horribly addictive. Congratulations! ...and keep up the good work, thanks for your support also.

    Mungus: I think you may be right, but I am the sort of person to always feel that if I'm not pushing myself hard then why bother.

    I think I'm going to join the local running club and see what other beginners there are doing. Thanks again everyone, I'll let you know I get on.

  • I was on a project away from home with a work colleague and when at the hotel I mentioned I was going to go for a run he said he wanted to come with me - of course I said OK although he hadn't run for "2-3 years". Anyway off we went at his pace and within 2-300 yeard he was completely unable to talk and was driving forward with arms and lags flailing as if running into a very strong wind!!!!! So we looped round after half a mile and after 15 minutes dropped him back at the hotel and off I went for another few miles.

    The moral of this story is we do forget how difficult it was when we started and realise how incredibly fit you actually are (relative to the mass of the non-running population). So it will get easier BR but will is right once its gets easier you'll want to run faster and one day you'll get that "runners high" - the feeling when you're gliding along, seemingly barely making contact with the ground breathing easily but moving quickly. And once you get that feeling it becomes like a drug, you want it again and again - so be patient, keep working and we'll try and keep you inspired!
  • My comment was not meant to imply that nothing gets easier but: -

    At first you may struggle to do a mile, as soon as you can do a mile you struggle to 5k then 5 mile then 10k and on and on

    Also you star at 12min-miles then aim for 11, 10, 9 …

    You constantly push for that new PB when racing

    So the original couple of miles in half an hour becomes easy but, with the drive for improvement most runners seem to have – in general your training can still be [email protected] hard :o)

  • I just started running around ?? march this year --Decided my treadmill has been a clothes rack for long enough. Have made it up to 3 miles in about 38 minutes-- I have dropped 20 pounds -- even though I still eat too many carbs! Have about 5 - 10 more pounds to loose (even though I am now officially "normal weight") I have decided to enter my first 5K on Sep 29th. --I figure it will force me to keep at it.
    Your tales of running marathons motivate and frighten me. Is it possible to get that in shape and then slide all the way back down to square one? -- I plan to find out myself -- the in shape part that is....
  • BR
    The phrase 'You have to walk before you can run' fits here!
    Intervals is good training and it worked for me.
  • Hi Brixton Runner,

    I am also a beginnner (started August 2002). I am currently training for the Nike Run London 10K and have just put in my entry for the London Marathon 2003.

    The most important thing that is helping me to run longer periods is my breathing technique.

    When I first started running my breathing was all over the gaff and so my running was very short. I started reading a very good book called "The Complete Book of Running for Women" by Claire Kowalchik. In the book it suggests that you exhale for three steps and inhale for two on longer runsm 3:2 ratio. (2:1 ratio for speedwork/5k races). I tried it and found it hard at first to get my footing in sync with my breathing. But after a few runs it becomes embedded in your mind. My running is now improving immensely and I am running longer and more comfortably without feeling like I will collapse.

    Thinking about running the London Marathon 2003 is looking much easier now. ha, ha.

    Hope this helps.

  • Sam,
    I am reading that book too! JUST read the part about breathing properly.--Plan to try it today.You are a brave soul to shoot for the marathon -- I must first prove I can run a 5K -- then I will think big.
Sign In or Register to comment.