Breathing techniques / stamina

Advice needed on how to maintain runs without stopping

11 messages
11/06/2012 at 15:18

Hi there, I have been running regularly (once or twice a week min) since Dec 2011 and in that time I have built myself up from 1 mile to 8 miles. I’ve taken it at a leisurely pace and it has been a very satisfying achievement, particularly as I don’t ‘love’ running the way some people do. However, I’m doing a half marathon in Oct 2012 and something is concerning me. Still, after all this time, I find myself having to stop running and walk at a medium pace for 15-25 seconds every couple of miles. I find I have to do this to catch my breath and sometimes my legs ache so much, despite spending ½ hour warming up before my runs. So the big question – am I normal? Because my runner friends don’t seem to experience this at all – they claim they never need to stop. Even those who are beginners like me! I’d love to know if anyone else battles this because I feel like I’m cheating when I slow to a brief walk. Or am I being too hard on myself? I wonder if it is a mental thing but I do struggle to get my breathing going at a steady pace. Any tips on how to conquer it would be hugely appreciated. Thanks, Holly

Edited: 11/06/2012 at 15:20
11/06/2012 at 16:23

Wow, half an hour warm up? That seems a little long to me, I would only usually spend 10-15 minutes most.

I think there could be a few breathing techniques that could help you out, most of them are slightly yoga-like. Practising them can do you the world of good, I think there should be some articles lurking around the training section.

Walking isn't cheating! I've been running for 3 years and there are still runs where I feel like I've been hit by a truck and need a quick breather, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

A lot of the time walking is partly willpower, it can be hard to push through the moments where you just feel tired with heavy legs. It gets better with practice, however if you feel nagging pains its always best to stop.

11/06/2012 at 16:30

Speaking of when it's best to stop, I've been out for a while with a knee problem and I've recently got back into it - I'm at 20 minutes now - but when should you stop and go home?  I mean, the way I see it, you're always going to feel it a bit in your knees but I'm not sure when you should pack it in and go home.  The other day I felt it a bit - not a twinge or tweak or anything, but I am being super cautious right now and cut the run short.  I don't want to put myself on the injury bench again!

So to sum up - what sort of knee aches can you run through and what sort should immediately send you home? 

11/06/2012 at 18:23

i've had a dodgy knee since i was 17. so novice runner, old hand re knee pain. since i have been running i have had few problems, somethimes when going downstairs pain, but it doesnt last. i hate to sound like an old lady but i do honestly believe knee trouble never goes- i am 35. you just have not run through pain, but twinges and the odd pain is fine.

sorry waffle bin drinking

11/06/2012 at 18:34

Well done Holly, sounds like a lot of progress already.

Some things to try - see if they work for you :

  1. Simply running a bit slower, or
  2. When you feel the first urges to walk, jog very very slowly and easily instead, or
  3. See if you can get someone of about the same pace to come out with you - sometimes all we need is a little light chatter to distract us!

And also: I really wouldn't worry about half a minute's walk break every couple of miles - your overall pace won't be affected much by that anyway!

11/06/2012 at 20:56
Holly when I was fitter than now I used to get this at 3 miles, my legs felt dead and my lungs felt like they were about to explode, I found providing I wasn't in loads of pain if I gritted my teeth and ran through it all of a sudden it was gone. Though I have to agree with fido on the steps to take. Sometimes it can be a bit of a mental block, try to relax as much as possible whilst running, also as my coach used to say to me when the legs feel tired think of your arms, cos they are lighter
11/06/2012 at 21:36
Breathe in on every second left foot strike and out on the other left foot strike. Breathe in slowly.

So:
In....right.....out......right.

If that makes sense.
Some people take three steps per breath but I've no idea how.
12/06/2012 at 01:58
caroline west 6 wrote (see)

i've had a dodgy knee since i was 17. so novice runner, old hand re knee pain. since i have been running i have had few problems, somethimes when going downstairs pain, but it doesnt last. i hate to sound like an old lady but i do honestly believe knee trouble never goes- i am 35. you just have not run through pain, but twinges and the odd pain is fine.

sorry waffle bin drinking

Yeah, you're probably right - I don't think it'll ever be right, like the shoulder injury I picked up about twelve years ago - having physio on it helped a lot, but it's never going to be completely right.

Holly - sorry about hijacking the thread!  My twopence is remember to swing your arms while running - it makes quite a bit of difference.

12/06/2012 at 15:05

Running shouldnt always be accompanied by pain. lots of people get some niggles when running or when not running but you can generally tell what's ok and what's not. Something that gets worse with running generally is not good and you are making matters worse - time to ease-up and take advice. Whereas something that eases with running is generally ok.

As Runners are always struggling as we are always trying to extend our ability - faster, longer, further. Take an easy week once a month and ease back on the overall load. I;d encourage you to walk more rather than push through discomfort. You dont achieve anything by pushing through discomfort - your body is talking to you so listen. But it does get easier - you dont realise it because you are pushing your limits. Go for a 3 mile run and compare it to how you felt back in December - that will show you how you have improved. Be patient.

14/06/2012 at 20:32

I've recently had physio on it - thanks for the info though, that's very useful.   I've been adding an extra five minutes a week - maybe it would be best to change that to extra five minutes a month.

It's not pain or anything, or even twinges - just a slight ache.

Edited: 14/06/2012 at 20:46
19/06/2012 at 08:45

Thank you all for your support! It’s very encouraging. I guess I am being a bit hard on myself… I had a really good run on Saturday by concentrating on calm breathing & not worrying so much about my time. I shall pursue with patience... Cheers guys! 

Edited: 19/06/2012 at 08:45

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