Running and breathing

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by stick, Sep 4, 2007.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Hi all,

    I am beginning to get rather disheartened with running. I'm not putting in an application to the army until early next year, and have been working on running. I got so far, then ended up with a sprained ankle which seemed to give me pain in my shins whenever I started to run, so that set me back a bit, although lots of stretching exercises later we are good as new. Anyway, to be a little positive I have gone from finding it difficult to maintain a run for 2 minutes to now being able to run 5 minutes with relative ease. I can make it up to around 9 minutes if I kill myself in the process :oops:

    Mainly, I find it difficult to breathe. I really am determined to do this. I have just started at a gym, which has a swimming pool and I have been going every day. I am due to start up aerobic and strength-building classes this week too. The thing is, people say about swimming helping you with your breathing. Is this dependent on how fast you swim? I'm not a strong swimmer, so not exceptionally fast at all, but have managed to do 20 lengths breast stroke in a session. Is this going to help me to build up my lung capacity, combined with the aerobics classes and continued running?

    I know that I am getting somewhere, albeit slowly, as when I look back to the spring and how out of breath I would feel doing the 2 minute run - 2 minute walk sets, I know its a step in the right direction.

    I am not a smoker and never have been, I don't have and have never been diagnosed with Asthma. I am 29 years old and a female. I believe the runtime allowance is 14 minutes for the 2.4km. I am interested in applying for mental health nursing after I have completed my psychology degree. Currently my aim is to increase the length of my runtime, and then work on speed. The 5 minutes run on a treadmill at the gym comes under 1km (about 0.75km average), and then decreases from there on.

    Any advice would be gratefully received. Like I said, I am just feeling a little disheartened and am concerned that I will never be able to do the 1.5 I feel about as useless as a chocolate fireguard at present :cry:

  2. I'm by no means a pti but i'll let you in on secret. No matter how much advice you get on here, some of which will be brilliant the only thing that will work is keeping at it, not giving up and training hard.
    The hardest thing to do in my opinion is get yourself in the right frame of mind to get fit. If you are an a rest day fine but DO NOT PUT THAT RUN OFF TO TOMORROW. Consistancy is the key, that and fcuking hard work. It doesn't matter how fit you are training should hurt & I don't mean strains and injuries. If you find it easy you're not working hard enough.
    A little thing that helped me was I put up a note up on the kitchen door in massive font it said:
    Simple really no excuses go for it .

    good luck
  3. Good advice that. How hard are you running? If it's a full on sprint then you're going to be smashed after 2 minutes! Take each day as it comes, simple as that. Plenty of stretching before and after exercise and keep it varied.

    The swimming will help with your breathing.

    Good luck and keep at it.
  4. How hard am I running? Not too fast that I think I am going to go zip! off the treadmill lol. I do quite enjoy doing the beep test up and down my garden path (God knows what the neighbours think, but I prefer that to running around the streets).

    And I don't quit and do keep at it. 5 years ago Rosemary Conley videos was about all I could manage. I had liver and kidney function problems during pregnancy and ended up with alot! of water retention, looked like a beached whale. Steadily I have regained core muscle strength (I had nightmares that post-pregnancy I was going to be lumbered with one of those tummy's that reach your knees!), the Rosemary Conley vids for the elderly helped with that 8O That took me about 2 years or so, progressing to more difficult and energetic videos. So trust me, one thing I don't do is quit, it is just that I am looking for what kinds of things I can do to help me with my breathing for running in longer durations? If swimming is going to help even if it isn't very fast, then that's good. I'm doing that every day.

    I do find the 'giving it your all' a little tricky, tending not to keep going but to stop when it feels too hard, maybe I should push a little further? I did a gym session once with this huge guy who had just got out the army. Quite funny actually, the gym instructor called us little and large, and had us running up and down the gym hall on a beep test, I dropped out way way before him and he dropped out when he literally dropped. And then when pushing and pulling weights he said he could give me a little motivation. Not really sure what he meant, I sat down, got hold of the weights and he then proceeded to holler in my ear :roll: Never forget when he got on...never mind pulling the weights, he moved the machine across the floor! (thankfully I didn't have to holler in his ear) Was an interesting morning nonetheless.

  5. What! Good advice telling someone that every training session they do should hurt and be balls to the wall? Have you never heard of hard/easy days? All she'll achieve with that is a good dose of overtraining symptoms which will lead her to jack in the end.

    Best place to go for decent advice is to a site who specialises in running such as the one below:
  6. Hi Stick, I'm almost 27 and female. I got to over 25 years old and had never done any exercise in my life (bar the odd relay race at school!). I started training to join up about 6 months ago with only a basic fitness that I had acheived in the 6 months prior. Like you, I had an ankle injury that really knocked my running back a good few months. I found to increase my fitness the best thing was a cross trainer at the gym, (given that I had an injury and couldn't run at that point) and it worked wonders. Although the same advice applies - it hurts and keep pushing. I now do regular sessions on it lasting a good length of time and with my heart rate above 80%. However I still struggle to run for any length of time, so I now really need to build that up, and the only way to do it is to run. Also so many on this site have recommended not to use treadmills - they are right! I get sooooo bored on treadmills and end up thinking I'm knackered when really I'm not, and I just get off. Get yourself out and when you think you're ready to stop, just ask yourself, are you really in pain or just bored? I found that question made me keep going!

    Best of luck
  7. Starting training myself. I am used to walking fair distances across the country side (8 miles plus) but I wasn't prepared for running. Take it a bit at a time, I am currently considering it a victory if I feel slightly less pain during every run, I don't think I'll be even remotely competent for a few months yet.

    As far as breathing make sure your breathing isn't shallow, your muscles won't be getting enough oxygen. Breath deep, in through the nose, out through the mouth. It'll take a bit of learning to control it, but it helps.

    Don't eat for 2 hours before you run, that'll ease the stitches in your stomach/abdomen.

    Stetch your sides as well, I read a thread on here, I can't recall which, that recommends that a bad stitch/pain has something to do with the stress and pull on your internal organs/muscles during running. By stretching your side muscles for say thirty seconds, it eases that.

    Warm up and down, I do the usual stetches before and after, that helps prepare your body and eases the stiffness and pain after.

    Keep yourself hydrated as well, I find it helps keep me going.

    The usual about a healthy diet. The fitter your general health the better your body will respond to excerise and carrying any fat with have obvious side effects on your poor organs and muscles as they are being strained.

    The mental side is of importance too, try to push yourself as far as you can - and from what I can tell, at least 50% of what the army are looking for is the mental ability to push beyond your limits, not just raw fitness! But saying that as your fitness isn't quite there yet your body will be demanding a rest, go as far as you can, but you'll be able to push further the more able you become (at least that's my reasoning thus far!)

    Read through the old threads on here, they're full of helpful advice, and just take it a bit a time, small victories and all that. You've got plenty of time before you're thinking of applying so there is no point rushing, or jacking it in too soon, you have to play the long game. Don't forget to have rest days as well, your body needs time to repair itself and the new muscle will form as it rests, doing too much is only going to cause injury which'll set you back. (I am doing three day routine, strength one day, running another, then a rest)

    Good luck!
  8. Feck me, Soozi, I had no idea you were that old, I though you were a 17 year old lass heading for the Army! Just goes to show... ;)
  9. It's not pain, it's just the feeling like you can't breathe what gets to me. I know what you are saying about running outside. Unfortunately, I don't live near anywhere relatively quiet to go. Its all roads and people where I am, and I feel self-conscious. However, my sports motivation person whatever he is called, has advised me a week ago that I need to re-route because I have hit a psychological wall, and can't run further than the building I have been running to, because as I get closer to it I am thinking to myself that I am nearly there. Which makes sense I suppose.

  10. keep at it stick.

    Do you have a training programme? If you are a member of a local gym, your instrustor there should be able to help you put a plan together with reasonable interim goals so that you can see how you are progressing.

    If you're just getting back into training, I would suggest that you concentrate on aerobic fitness rather than speed to start with. The guidelines used to say that to achieve best results on an aerobic workout, you should train for a minimum of 20 minutes in one go. This guideline is a few years old and may have changed. As to pace, as a rule of thumb, you should be slightly out of breath, but still able to hold a conversation as you run.

    Listen to the good advice above.
    - Vary what you do.
    - Don't overtrain.
    - Warm up and warm down.
    - Stay hydrated
    - Set yourself achievable goals and meet them
    - Make sure that you've got a decent pair of shoes (surprised that no-one's mentioned that yet ;) )
  11. Yes, I am a walker too. Normally whilst looking like a bag-woman, as usually it involves alot of supermarket carrier bags.

    For some reason, when I did start exercising I did it without breathing. And now I am trying to breathe as obviously, one can't run and not breathe. I lift weights at home and over-exaggerate on the breathing whilst I do that, to get used to not holding my breath.

    I don't think I am carrying a significant amount of weight (am in the higher end of the 'ok' range on the height-weight charts).

    Ok, I am not great at taking rest days, I must admit. Its not really structured. I take every opportunity to go do something, so could be 4 or 5 days in a row followed by 2 or 3 days of nothing, dependent on what my body tells me really. Sometimes it says 'stay home and write essay'.

    Diet wise - I probably need to drink more than I do. In terms of food, I don't eat stupidly, as I can't tolerate fatty foods, or excessive amounts of wheat.

  12. Feck me. Mate, an exercise for breathing. Strip naked, put a plastic bag over your head, and run with a barrel of beer under each arm. To Bristol. Then throw yourself off the Clifton Suspension Bridge. :lol:

    Seriously mate, my tip would be to run for time, not distance. A few minutes more each day, and soon the miles will be under your belt. Then your confidence will grow, and you'll feel the wind at your heels in no time and be like Pippy Longstocking about the place. Persistence is omnipotent my friend. If you've got that all else will follow. Dig out. :wink:
  13. [quote="Heartbreaklane]
    Feck me. Mate, an exercise for breathing. Strip naked, put a plastic bag over your head, and run with a barrel of beer under each arm. To Bristol. Then throw yourself off the Clifton Suspension Bridge. :lol:


    Lol, thanks but no thanks. No doubt you would be at the bridge cheering me on with 'jump, jump, jump!' :) After you have acquired the barrels of beer of course, must be some reason I would need to run to Bristol with 2 kegs 8O

  14. Thanks people for all of your advice. When I first wrote I was feeling quite disheartened. Now it doesn't feel so much as though I am attempting to do the impossible. I have taken what you have said on board. I do intend to be swimming regularly anyway, and am starting various fitness classes in the gym from tomorrow. Will try to shift the mental block of not running around the streets and look for a different route.

    How does one know they are wearing the right trainers for running by the way?

    Be rest assured I won't give up. I can't either, I have a dad who would call me a defeatist if I quit. He was in medical corps during his National Service, although he says to me 'I don't remember having to do any of that'...was it that traumatic he has forgotten? (his recollection is 'laying about smoking all day', very traumatic!) or did you not have to do all the fitness stuff for the medical corps back then? (of course, this question is assuming that there are some internet whizzy 70+ gents on here isn't it :? )

  15. stick with it ;)

    You won't see anything change overnight, but in a month's time look back and you'll be amazed!

    My other piece of advice re training is try and make it a part of your regular schedule, rather than something you do lots of now then give up when you get bored of it.

    As to trainers, different trainers suit different people, depending on their style of running etc. Find a local running shop who should be able to give you some good advice on what's the best shoe for you.