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Old 06-03-2013, 01:06 AM
 
Location: A place that's too cold
3,626 posts, read 3,486,897 times
Reputation: 8343

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It seems I simply do not have the lung capacity, or something, to be able to run. At one point in the past, I was so determined to build up my stamina, that I tried jogging nearly every day for 9 months. I was never able to even jog a half mile without feeling like my lungs were filled with concrete (that was always the best way I could come up with to describe it).

At another point in time, I worked one on one with a running trainer. He had me do a combination of jogging and walking. I would jog fairly slowly for a certain amount of time, then walk for a minute or so, and repeat. But always, after a few cycles of that, I'd be so out of breath I just couldn't jog any more.

I even went to a doctor to check my pulmonary function. She didn't find anything wrong in the tests she gave me. That was a few years ago, and I'll admit, at that point I was just so frustrated that I haven't tried running or jogging again. It's not the end of the world; lots of people claim that running is too hard on the joints anyway, so I don't mind just being a walker. But it has always perplexed me why I could never run without becoming out of breath, gasping yet feeling like I wasn't even able to get any air in.

Have you ever known anyone like that, or know what causes it?
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:34 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,263 posts, read 32,117,384 times
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I'm not a runner either. I used to smoke, but I quit years ago. My lung function is fine (I had it tested during a complete physical with one of those funky tube things you blow through), and I can hold my breath underwater for well over a minute. But I just can't run. It's the bouncing I think. I can't do jumping jacks either.
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Northern Appalachia
3,989 posts, read 5,113,724 times
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No, I don't think I have ever met someone who tried as hard as you and was unable to run. I have seen people really struggle with running. One guy comes to mind. I would see him on a treadmill at the gym. When I first noticed him running, he was about 55 and overweight. He would look like he was really struggling. He kept up the running and I would see him running around town and then noticed him running a 10K. I think he is around 61 now and has lost considerable weight.

I'm curious about your age and whether you are overweight? It seems women have a more difficult time getting in shape as they age and gain weight as compared to men. It might be that many men were once in shape due to playing sports when they were younger, while many older women have never played sports. It seems that it is easier to get back in shape as compared to someone who has never been in shape in the first place.

Have you tried swimming or biking to increase your aerobic capacity? You may have already tried increasing your walking speed or walking up hills. Another thing you might try is weightlifting where you do circuit type training that keeps your heart rate up.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:15 AM
 
7,376 posts, read 11,910,218 times
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Increase your VO2 max.

What is VO2 max? VO2 max is the maximum rate at which your body can consume oxygen when you’re performing a specific sport. The higher your VO2 max, the more oxygen you can use, and the faster or longer you can run. VO2 max is one of the most accurate indicators of aerobic fitness.

How can you increase it? Through high intensity exercise such as sprinting. Jogging wont increase this, jogging increases overall endurance but not vo2 max. Your overall vo2 max is limited by your genetics so its not completely in your control to improve it. I have heard 50% is in your control and the other half is not. That still means you can increase it through hard work though.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:37 AM
 
Location: A place that's too cold
3,626 posts, read 3,486,897 times
Reputation: 8343
Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post

I'm curious about your age and whether you are overweight? It seems women have a more difficult time getting in shape as they age and gain weight as compared to men. It might be that many men were once in shape due to playing sports when they were younger, while many older women have never played sports. It seems that it is easier to get back in shape as compared to someone who has never been in shape in the first place.

Have you tried swimming or biking to increase your aerobic capacity? You may have already tried increasing your walking speed or walking up hills. Another thing you might try is weightlifting where you do circuit type training that keeps your heart rate up.
I'm 52, and currently a bit overweight at 5'5" and 153 pounds. But back when I was trying to run about 5 years ago I was at a very appropriate 125 pounds. (I subsequently gained 40 pounds after my divorce, which I am finally getting serious about losing). I'm not a swimmer (that's another thing I can't do. I've taken lessons several times, but I think due to the fact that I nearly drowned as a teenager, I have a huge mental obstacle there). I used to bike a lot, but I've gotten out of the habit for no particular reason. I will have to work those leg muscles back up, but biking has never been a problem, breathing-wise.

Actually I've become far too sedentary the past several months, since our most recent move to Louisiana. And right now, (and probably through Sept) the extreme heat and humidity here is so foreign to me that doing much of anything outdoors is a challenge. Oh, and you asked about hills---it's quite flat where we live.

I'm currently debating whether to join a fitness club, or to invest in a couple of pieces for home (probably an elliptical and a strength unit. One way or another, I'm going to lost another 25-30 pounds, and get back in shape.

But I've always been baffled and frustrated about my breathing problems when I try to run.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:38 AM
 
Location: A place that's too cold
3,626 posts, read 3,486,897 times
Reputation: 8343
Quote:
Originally Posted by skel1977 View Post
Increase your VO2 max.

What is VO2 max? VO2 max is the maximum rate at which your body can consume oxygen when you’re performing a specific sport. The higher your VO2 max, the more oxygen you can use, and the faster or longer you can run. VO2 max is one of the most accurate indicators of aerobic fitness.

How can you increase it? Through high intensity exercise such as sprinting. Jogging wont increase this, jogging increases overall endurance but not vo2 max. Your overall vo2 max is limited by your genetics so its not completely in your control to improve it. I have heard 50% is in your control and the other half is not. That still means you can increase it through hard work though.
I'm definitely going to research this! Thanks!
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Middle America
33,017 posts, read 34,702,831 times
Reputation: 42443
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayanne View Post
It seems I simply do not have the lung capacity, or something, to be able to run. At one point in the past, I was so determined to build up my stamina, that I tried jogging nearly every day for 9 months. I was never able to even jog a half mile without feeling like my lungs were filled with concrete (that was always the best way I could come up with to describe it).

At another point in time, I worked one on one with a running trainer. He had me do a combination of jogging and walking. I would jog fairly slowly for a certain amount of time, then walk for a minute or so, and repeat. But always, after a few cycles of that, I'd be so out of breath I just couldn't jog any more.

I even went to a doctor to check my pulmonary function. She didn't find anything wrong in the tests she gave me. That was a few years ago, and I'll admit, at that point I was just so frustrated that I haven't tried running or jogging again. It's not the end of the world; lots of people claim that running is too hard on the joints anyway, so I don't mind just being a walker. But it has always perplexed me why I could never run without becoming out of breath, gasping yet feeling like I wasn't even able to get any air in.

Have you ever known anyone like that, or know what causes it?
It's not just you; I have the same problem. I have so wanted to "be a runner," have been inspired by acquaintaces I know who have gone from more sedentary lifestyles than mine and had success in becoming runners.

I have tried and tried, done so many different approaches, the start slowly, the C25K where you increase your duration at your own pace, etc. so many times. I don't have cardiopulmonary issues, no asthma, nothing that should physiologically lead to me simply not being able to appreciably build up my stamina in any meaningful way, yet, there it is. I do have pretty significant iron deficiency anemia that is resistant to iron therapy, but no doctor has ever conceded that this could be an impediment to my stamina...since being very anemic does affect energy levels, it seems to me like this could be a cuplrit, but nobody I've talked to in the medical field seems to think so, for whatever reason.

I keep trying, pretty doggedly, but it's probably just much more realistic for me to get my cardio through walking, swimming, and biking. My stamina for walking and swimming is pretty excellent...biking, less so, but it doesn't zap my energy like running does. I keep trying, in the vain hope that I will at some point get over that hill and hit my stride with running, but running for me just continues to be what feels like an exercise in fitting a square peg in a round hole. My endurance continues to be crap, and I do my best rather than give up, but I really just struggle. It's frustrating.
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:14 PM
 
Location: A place that's too cold
3,626 posts, read 3,486,897 times
Reputation: 8343
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
It's not just you; I have the same problem. I have so wanted to "be a runner," have been inspired by acquaintaces I know who have gone from more sedentary lifestyles than mine and had success in becoming runners.

I have tried and tried, done so many different approaches, the start slowly, the C25K where you increase your duration at your own pace, etc. so many times. I don't have cardiopulmonary issues, no asthma, nothing that should physiologically lead to me simply not being able to appreciably build up my stamina in any meaningful way, yet, there it is. I do have pretty significant iron deficiency anemia that is resistant to iron therapy, but no doctor has ever conceded that this could be an impediment to my stamina...since being very anemic does affect energy levels, it seems to me like this could be a cuplrit, but nobody I've talked to in the medical field seems to think so, for whatever reason.

I keep trying, pretty doggedly, but it's probably just much more realistic for me to get my cardio through walking, swimming, and biking. My stamina for walking and swimming is pretty excellent...biking, less so, but it doesn't zap my energy like running does. I keep trying, in the vain hope that I will at some point get over that hill and hit my stride with running, but running for me just continues to be what feels like an exercise in fitting a square peg in a round hole. My endurance continues to be crap, and I do my best rather than give up, but I really just struggle. It's frustrating.
Thanks for sharing Tabula! Somehow it helps to know I'm not the only one....that someone else "gets it." People who can run, or the creator of C25K, think all you have to do is just work up to it, and I guess they can't relate or comprehend that it REALLY is that difficult for me. I looked at the C25K site yesterday, which implies anyone can do this. But I looked at the schedule, and knew that there was no way I was going to be able to keep up by week 5. I never have been able to work up to a half mile.

I'm shocked that no doctor thinks your anemia could be related to your stamina. That makes ZERO sense. Lack of stamina is a SYMPTOM of anemia! Low iron ---> body doesn't produce enough hemoglobin ---> inadequate red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body ---> easily short of breath. This is so basic that I'm convinced there was some miscommunication somewhere.
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Texas Progressive
2,199 posts, read 2,367,452 times
Reputation: 4530
I've done regular cardio and weight training for over 25 years but could never run or jog. Tried many times and never got beyond extreme shortness of breath, shin pain and abdominal pain. The most I ever ran regularly was about 3 miles and I wanted to die, even after 6 months at it. I can do an hour of moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise on just about any machine at the gym and feel just fine but running never worked for me. Actually kind of glad as I don't know a serious runner over 40 without chronic knee pain.
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Ridley Park, PA
695 posts, read 1,093,130 times
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I have little to no sense of balance, so I can't run on a treadmill without holding on to the handles. Technically, I think my lungs could handle the running, but my feet also turn out and I'm double jointed so running puts some pretty tough strain on all the joints from my ankles to my hips. I stick to stationary bikes instead.
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