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Beginner Running

Beginning Runner... heavy/burning lungs? Is this normal?

asked almost 6 years ago | Report

My biggest issue is not being tired or fatigued, it is my breathing. I would give my left leg to figure out how to get my breathing under control, and stop getting "out of breath" (heavy/burning-feeling lungs???) so much. Maybe that is normal, I don't know, but I don't remember having this problem when I was younger. I could run/jog for much longer periods of time if I could only get that darn breathing part down pat.

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  • Hey Wendy

    I always had the same problem and I have worked out that my legs just got fit quicker than my lungs/heart did!! (I think most people are the other way around...I know my husband is)

    Your heart is a muscle also and needs to be conditioned/trained the same as your legs do.

    Maybe you could try some interval training - on your x train day? Cycle or strength train or elliptical to bring up your heart rate to about 80% then slow down/decrease level until it drops back to about 40% and repeat 10x - you will find that you can gradually run longer and longer before reaching 80% and that it drops back to 40% quicker and quicker.
    Do you wear a Heart Rate Monitor? If not I would suggest you get one just to learn your body. Also are you following a 5K program? These programs are very precise in increasing your fitness at a steady rate - C25K is definitely one I recommend and will improve your heart fitness as well as your legs.

    I am no expert and am a fairly new runner so more experienced runners may tell you different but I just know that my legs had no problem with keeping on running...it was always my lungs/heart and this is how I combatted it!!

    Good luck

    answered almost 6 years ago |edited almost 6 years ago |Report

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  • Most beginners feel like that, the only cure is to slow down, take walk breaks as soon as you start to feel breathless, regular slow runs gradualy builing up the distance. It WILL improve. remember if you can not run & talk, stop & walk

    answered almost 6 years ago |Report

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  • Brian's right. Running takes practice. Start out easy... really easy. Run/walk training with a C25K program. You WILL get better at it. It takes some work, but one day in the near future you'll go for a run and it will all feel great. That's the moment worth working towards.

    answered almost 6 years ago |Report

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  • I agree with the others that it is likely you are just going too fast. Slow down and build your speed very slowly. You'll be surprised at how fast you improve by taking it slower! Good luck!

    answered almost 6 years ago |Report

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  • Great advice here so far! I was the same way when I started a few months ago, and still get gasping for breath when I push too hard (increasing speed or running hills). The C25K worked really, really well for me!!

    answered almost 6 years ago |Report

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  • Absolutely, it's normal. When I was a kid I just figured I couldn't run because I'd be gasping. When I started running 8 or 9 years ago, I would do 8-minutes running, 2 minutes walking to help with my breathing. It took time, but eventually my lungs caught up with my legs. There's plenty of good advice above.

    answered almost 6 years ago |Report

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  • I always thought that I was just out of shape, but I had the same problem while training for my first marathon. I got to the point where I should have really gotten used to it, and I was still struggling. I talked to my doctor and was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma. Now I use a preventative inhaler and have no trouble! Might be worth mentioning at your next appointment if it doesn't improve, just to make sure it's not a physiological problem.

    answered almost 6 years ago |Report

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  • When I first started running I had a bad habit of taking off too fast (to this day, I still have to tell my self to "slow down!" when starting off) That's probably what it is. That, and your lungs are not used to it yet. It gets better, I promise! I would get out of breath after running for a mere 30 seconds! Now, I can run for 2 hours. You'll look back to this time in a year and be amazed with how far you have come. Good luck!

    answered almost 6 years ago |Report

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  • Completly normal. I felt the same way. Now I am ready to run my first Marathon this spring. Good luck and keep it going. Try a challenge for yourself like 30 days of running every day. Slow down and enjoy the scenery you will get there soon.

    answered almost 6 years ago |Report

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