I think smoking might be bad for your health

I've got my RSC coming up soon, and i'm attempting to get fit again.

I'm 22, about 11 stone and seriously unfit - not fat, infact I think i'm a little underweight, but seriously unfit. When I was at school i used to play five a side at least three times a week, which kept me in good shape. Since then (5 years ago) I've had hardly any reason to run anywhere.

Upper body strength is not a worry, as I have done weights on and off since i left school. I quit smoking about 4 months ago (less than 10 a day) and have knocked the pub on the head for the time being.

The problem is, since I've started to go out jogging I get out of breath after maybe 6 or seven minutes running. Every day I go out I do notice an improvement though, which is encouraging. My legs don't get tired - I walk about 5 miles a day, which has got to count for something - it's just.........I cant f*ckin breathe, which I'm sure you'll agree is a problem.

Like I said, it gets better every time I go out, and I'm going to start going out twice a day, but I'm wondering what type of running I should be doing to improve - is it my cardio thats goosed? Well, to improve my lung capacity i suppose. Im planning on incorporating fartlek running into my training after what i've read here, but any other info would be appreciated.
Are you controlling your breathing or is it controlling you?! When running start slowly - first 5 mins jog VERY gently and breathe positively - ie in time with paces; 2 breaths in and then exhale on the third step. Sounds as though you might be going hard at it from the start, running into "oxygen debt" and then starting to gasp to try and claw some air back.

Variety is the key - alternate longer steady distances with shorter more intense speed work (intervals, fartlek, running up flights of steps etc); swimming is also very helpful, especially re breathing control. Personally, I think too much weight training can be counterproductive - fast circuits/ lots of low weight reps are good but the heavy "iron pumping" is not helpful. Better IMHO to get used to carrying loads, climbing ropes etc - and do lots of sets of press-ups, abdominal crunches, burpees etc. Go for some long, brisk walks - preferably involving plenty of hills - carrying a load. Take care not to run too much on hard surfaces - keep off-road as much as possible. Do plenty of pull-ups. Don't overheat (if you're running in heavy sweatshirt that could be part of your problem) & drink plenty of water - throughout the day, not only when training. Always have a rest day once a week - no hard training!

Diet: plenty of carbs and adequate protein - too much meat etc, in my experience, tends to sit heavily in the stomach when training. ALWAYS EAT BREAKFAST - you can get away with skipping lunch now and then but breakfast is a must and plenty of it. Try to eat asap after training, esp carbs to replenish glycogen stores. Alcohol dehydrates - beware! Get enough sleep - 8 hours but no more: research indicates that too much sleep degrades basic fitness!

Of course, what works for one person may not do so well for another, but I am 45 and following these guidelines has kept me fairly in-trim for years - can still do 3 miles in 20 mins, and I had open heart surgery some years ago. We've achieved a substantial improvement in our school's rugby 1st XV 's physical performance by applying same.

Hope this is useful - good luck!
Thanks for the advice.

When you say 2 breaths in and exhale on the third step, do you mean half 'fill' on the first, then the other half on the second step?
There is some very good advicethere . For my little bit i suggest you get an mp3 player . Go slow for one tune bit faster for the next then fast as you can for the next ensuring youmaintain a pace you can sustain for the duration of the last tune , then do the whole thing again . It worked for me . I quit smoking and honest mate for the first few weeks you feel even worse than when you wre smoking . Keep at it , you will slowly notice the difference . Best of luck and stick at it .
The only way I managed to get running fit was to start slowly. When you feel yourself getting out of breath, slow down some more until you are not struggling, keep it at that pace until you are comfortable. It takes me about 10 minutes into a run to be able to "push it " a bit more. My lungs seem to need more time to catch up with my legs! I have managed to get lots of people running with me who hate running normally by doing that. Starting so slowly takes the panic feeling away. After a while it wont be a problem.
I agree that running with an MP3 player is wonderful, has transformd my running......but.......I suspect you wont be allowed to use one for your RSC. It might be better to get used to running without first, then, when you need to maintain your running fitness later, try one then.
Another thing that can help running is a running partner, do you know anyone who can do some runs with you?
Good luck. You will be wanting to do marathons in no time!
moominbob said:
Thanks for the advice.

When you say 2 breaths in and exhale on the third step, do you mean half 'fill' on the first, then the other half on the second step?
Exactly - you've got it. All the best.

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