This is what I've learned in my jogging adventures...
I used to gasp and die for air when I'd try to run, too, but here's what has helped me:
#1 and MOST important for me: PACE YOURSELF. If I try to take of in a full-on sprint, I'm gonna pay for it quickly. When I jog, it's slow for right now. For me, it's sometimes even helpful to keep my eyes cast downward maybe three or four feet in front of me so I don't get mentally excited about hurrying up and making it over to the next landmark or whatever. Pacing myself is extremely important. When I jog at a rate my body can handle, I can sustain it MUCH longer than if I'm trying to push myself really hard.
#2 Concentrate on breathing slowly. I really pay very close attention to my breathing while I jog.. I suck in a breath for every four or so foot falls and slowly blow out for another four or so footfalls. Breathing length will be different for everyone, but that's what's presently working for me.
#3 Do it in short distances with walking breaks in between. Very few people that I know of can just run a whole mile after having never ran in the past before. I used to only be able to jog maybe 100 feet... and then I kept practicing where now I'm at a point that I can jog a full mile and a half before stopping. And note this - I'm an advanced exerciser. I can do full impact step aerobics with complex choreography with ease, but when it comes to running, it's like kryptonite to my body. haha
I'm currently not trying to actually run or break any time records at the moment. Right now, I'm just trying to get myself used to the movement and feeling of it. When I feel ready for it and the energy is there, I gradually pick up my pace... or if I know I'm towards the end of my run, I might sometimes burst into a full on sprint, but I don't maintain that pace indefinitely.
Hope this helps. But yeah... pacing myself is the biggie. I may feel like a snail at the moment, but I'm actually doing the movement and sustaining it for longer and longer distances, and for me that's what counts.
Fitness Minutes: (10,436)
243 6/3/13 4:41 P
You may have Exercise Induced Asthma. I used to wonder why I couldn't run for very long and why I was always out of breathe. I told my general practioner and she prescribed me an inhaler to try. It worked like a charm!
Fitness Minutes: (4,777)
37 6/3/13 4:09 P
I too would love to be able to run. I have been working out solidly for about 6 months now. I started with the c25k program, but I struggled so much that I got bored with it. I started doing cardio classes and not really worrying about running. Then I signed up for a 5K because a friend begged me. I did it 6/1. I shocked the crap outta myself when I jogged the entire thing. I paced myself soooo very slowly that at times my husband next me almost started walking. But I kept at it. I think that's the biggest thing....keep at it. It may seem like you walk more than you run, or that you are huffing and puffing more today than you were yesterday...that's ok. Just don't stop and eventually you will get it. And yes, it does get easier. However, during my 5k I'll admit that if my husband hadn't talked me out of it I would've stopped and walked, even though I obviously didn't need to, so having the motivation of something like a program or a person there to push you the extra little bit might also help.
Even though I was FIT (I'm talking working out 5 days a week doing high intensity cardio), I had trouble running. I figured it was because it was a sucky activity and that I wasn't in as good of shape as I thought. Then I went to my allergist and (LO AND BEHOLD) I was diagnosed with asthma (not exercise-induced--flat out asthma). I know that most people here wheeze because they are just embarking on fitness journeys, but if you're in decent shape and still feel like dying when you're running, I recommend you visit an allergist and make sure you aren't asthmatic. Being medicated has made a huge difference to me and I ran a 27 5K about a month after I started my medicine. THAT is amazing, considering before I was medicated, I couldn't run for a mile without stopping and wanting to die.
Fitness Minutes: (8,552)
145 6/2/13 10:14 A
Feel free to check out my blogs...they aren't all about running, but I have documented a bit of my experience with starting C25K.
I started the program when I was 280+. It took me five weeks to finish "week one". I don't think there's a weight limit to running, you just have to listen to your body and not push yourself too far, too fast because the program tells you to.
If you want to run and your doc okays it, go for it! For me it is a struggle, but ultimately I'm already getting such a feeling of accomplishment from it so that makes it worth it for me.
Fitness Minutes: (2,557)
173 6/2/13 8:47 A
Great advice so far, I am halfway through C25K but on hold for a month or so (addition of four new foster children means in home exercise only at the moment) however, I would say that when I slowed down... my breath increased. Also the more strength training I do, the better the runs and ability to breathe and make each week increases drastically!
Fitness Minutes: (2,560)
130 6/2/13 7:03 A
C25K didn't work for me, either. I could make it through the first couple of weeks, but it was hard enough that I always dreaded run days and I never managed to do week 4.
Now I'm doing my own walk/jog routine, which is a lot heavier on the walking. After a brisk 5-minute warm-up walk, I jog for one minute, then walk for four. I repeat that three more times, for a total of 25 minutes of moderate activity. Next week I plan to increase the running time to 90 seconds. The key for me is the extended recovery periods, so it's really more a walk with some light jogging sprinkled in. I'd suggest something similar for you, with the jogs at however long you can comfortably manage.
I redo the C25K program every summer. I hate running, but walking just doesn't do it for me anymore. I struggle, I have problems breathing, I want to stop. I do make it through. It will never be easy for me, but I do make it through and I feel better having met a goal. I too envy those who can run with ease.
Fitness Minutes: (42,043)
789 6/1/13 6:40 P
Okay, I had to do a little searching to find this, but I posted this plea for help on this forum back on November 15, 2010:
"The treadmill is a different story. I've been stuck at 15 minutes for ages, and the last five of those are torture. I watch the clock, struggle to run without clinging on to the bars for dear life, and generally feel like I've been put through the wringer despite burning (according to the machines) fewer calories. My heartrate sometimes goes through the roof.
I run at about 4.5 - 5, and it feels like if I drop much below that I'll be doing a fast walk. I've tried switching it up, but doing the elliptical before or after the treadmill seems to make no difference. Is it because I'm having to haul my weight around more while running (for reference, I'm about 160 pounds on a smaller frame)? Is it purely psychological because I don't like the machine? Or maybe I'm doing something wrong on the elliptical that's making it too easy.
I want to continue on both because I like to switch it up, but I'd also like to be able to go beyond my fifteen minute running limit. I'm at the point where I'm tempted to just drop it all together and incorporate that time into something else."
To sum it up, that was two and a half years ago, when I first started on this site. I could barely last more than ten minutes on the treadmill before I felt like I was going to throw up or collapse. Fifteen minutes pushed me to the very limit, and anything beyond that was completely unthinkable.
And I just ran my first marathon a week ago.
I took the advice I got in that thread and started C25K. Once I graduated from that (it took me ten weeks instead of eight), I followed the same pattern to bring myself up to 10k. I signed up for my first 10k race in May 2011, and my first half marathon in May 2012. I was obese when I wrote that post, and I've been maintaining a healthy weight for close to two years. So yes, it can be done
I wouldn't recommend doing it if you genuinely don't like it (or if you have injuries/medical issues that make it impossible), but if you want to run and you're willing to start at a level you can start at, even if that means you're just building up a walking base, it absolutely does get easier.
Edited by: CHRISTINA791 at: 6/1/2013 (18:57)
Fitness Minutes: (42,051)
81 6/1/13 1:19 P
I can only talk about my own experience, and running did not come easily to me... it still doesn't, but I can handle 5Ks now, so that's something.
The biggest thing, for me, was speed. I had this idea that running meant 5.5mph or more. It doesn't. My trainer put me on a treadmill at a fast walk and gradually increased it until I just barely changed to a run. And stayed there. At 4.2mph. And that's where I learned to keep it up for 3,5, 10, and finally 20 minutes at a time. Now, I go faster, but not as fast as I'd want to. Still, you have to start SLOW. That helps.
I can't speak to when is/isn't too heavy to run, but running is high intensity, and there are a lot of muscles and tenons and ligaments that will be under a lot of pressure, so listen to your body. It's better to back off earlier than you wanted than to injure yourself.
Thank you for all of your recommendations. I guess wheezing was the wrong terminology, I'm just really out of breath. I'll continue my walking as it's getting better and better. Doing a 5K walk tomorrow. I guess it was just the fact that even the couch to 5K is not possible as there was no way I could even think of jogging for a minute, and while I love the idea of the audio file to help, it would be nice if there was a easier one to go into.
I'll keep truging along until I get stronger and can go faster.
I disagree with Mrstightwad's recommendations. Not that HIIT isn't a great way of building fitness. But rather that it doesn't really address the challenges of running.
The hardest thing about running is not so much the fitness, but rather dealing with the impact. This is even more so when you are heavy, as the extra weight exerts extra force on your ankles, knees, hips etc with every step.
Ellipticals, stationary bikes, etc are very low impact, and just don't adapt your body for the much higher impact of running
I'd recommend building up a solid base of walking first. You should be able to walk 5K briskly and comfortably before contemplating running. This will build a reasonable baseline of fitness, and the moderate impact of walking helps your leg muscles and tendons adjust to the impact of running.
A couple of other points about running: * it is generally recommended that rookie runners (anyone with less than 6 months running experience) run just 3 times per week. This allows sufficient opportunity for your legs to recover and get stronger. It is fine to do lower impact cardio on non-running days. * Keep your pace down at this stage - probably only slightly faster than a brisk walk. It is more important to get used to the motion of running, rather than worrying about the speed. This should help with the huffing and puffing.
I'm also trying to structure my exercise around running - at one point in my life I used to have enough stamina to run for over an hour! Now I struggle at 2.5K. I just pretend like I'm starting over from complete scratch so I don't bum myself out!
I agree totally with MRSTIGHTWAD about not thinking about running for now. Before I started running again (this time around) I waited until I lost a good amount of weight (around 6kg) before even attempting it again. I'm still considered obese now, but I take it very easy. I wear the right gear, I try to stay 'light' on my feet, and alternate running with yoga and stretching exercises. As the weight slooooowly drops, I see a very noticeable increase in my stamina and running speed.
I would definitely advise you to try out more cardio until your weight has dropped to a point where you are not putting as much stress on your knees.
I'm still at a point where I'm building up my stamina. I'm aiming to achieve a continuous 3k run this week. I'm going to have to test my endurance!
I really admire your goal to go running/jogging. Don't give up on it! You will certainly find a lot of joy in the challenges it can bring to your exercise routine!
(PS: Do you have any respiratory problems? You should get this cleared with your doctor before trying to do exercise that is going to put a strain on your lungs!)
Fitness Minutes: (5,102)
30 6/1/13 12:43 A
I've been doing the C25K program and have definitely built up a level of running endurance that I haven't had before, even when I was very fit, and I'm only about halfway through the program; I really think the key was starting out slowly, because my endurance level was basically zero at the beginning. When I started out, I really felt like I was pushing myself even running in 1-2 minute spurts...it was tough! As I started running for longer intervals, I noticed that I was starting to wheeze; in my case, the wheezing was the result of exercise-induced asthma, which was something I hadn't really experienced in the past (the part where it was brought on by exercise, at least - I've always had asthma). Taking one puff of my albuterol inhaler about five minutes before I go for a run solves the wheezing issue for me. I don't know if it's asthma that's causing your wheezing, but I'd recommend seeing your doctor and looking into that possibility.
Fitness Minutes: (110,059)
2,975 6/1/13 12:29 A
No blogs come to mind, but I was there where you are, and I am so happy to tell you that it does get easier. Check out the C25K beginning runner's program at coolrunning.com. There is a team on here, too. It's a 9-week program that eases you into running. Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can.
Fitness Minutes: (2,769)
80 6/1/13 12:27 A
First off, I commend your desire to want to run.
Now for the not-so-nice parts.......but it's reality and I am known for being direct.
The average "normal weight" person puts 600lbs of pressure on their knees with each step they walk. Imagine the pressure that a person puts on those same joints with 50 lbs off added weight. Now imagine it with 100 lbs of added weight.
The reason you are getting out of breath so quickly is because your body is not ready to run. The added weight will destroy your knees, so forget about running for the moment and hit cardio equipment that is low impact. I.e.-elliptical, bike, arc trainer, etc. You'll still be building your endurance while burning calories.
As a personal trainer, I have worked with obese clients and I NEVER let them run. There's too much that can go wrong and it can put too much stress on the heart. You need to build up to that point. The best way to do that is to do a modified High Intensity Interval Training set on what ever cardio equipment you want to start on.
Let's say you start on the bike. Aim for 5 minutes your first session (not including warmup), and make it look like this:
2 minute warm up @ 45 rpms 1 minute @ 60 rpms 1 minute @ 80 rpms 1 minute @ 60 rpms 1 Minute @ 80 rpms 1 minute @ 60 rpms Cool down for 2 minutes at about 40 rpms.
Your next session, aim for 7 minutes, then 10, then 12.....so on and so forth. Once you get to 30 minutes and you can carry on a conversation while you're doing it, then it's time to either up the rpms or go to the elliptical keeping at 3 mph for your slow speed and 4 mph for your fast speed. (Just remember to back down your times....the elliptical is far more demanding than the bike)
And be sure to see your doctor before you go tackling this! Make sure your have a green light where your heart is concerned.
I would love to be able to run/jog.. whatever. I see people effortlessly breeze past me as I trug along walking and huffing. I read blogs all over of people who are running now, but would love to be able to read someone's blog where they were struggling.. and then it got easier. Does it?
I've been going to Bootcamp run by a man who lost 135 lbs himself. I'm having fun, but still, unable to run more than 100 steps without wheezing. Does it get better? Can someone direct me to a blog or whatever which can give me hope?
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