Is it just my lungs???

by Gaby
(USA)

When i run my 800 meter dash or what ever it is around the first half lap it gets really hard for me to breath, no i dont have azma. i dont slow down because of it, it just really bothers me.....and i think it annoys the other runners cuz im so loud trying to breath.


Hello Gabby

It's hard to tell what it really is without me being there to see you as you run. Sometimes, if you are new to running, it is just hard to get used to that feeling of being out of breath because you are running harder than you ever have in your life.

I wouldn't worry about the other runners. You might be being just a little too self conscious. Perhaps on your next race, don't try to lead. You should go out and tuck behind some of the runners and then maybe try to pass them later in the race.

It's hard for me to tell what is causing this, but if you are trying to breathe different during the race, you shouldn't. Just relax a little at the start of your next race, and maybe try running the second lap harder than the first. This could help you with your breathing.

Happy Trails - Coach Tief

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Weazing While Running?

by Ashlyn
(Kansas)

For the past two days at track practice, I have been weazing quite a bit. Before this gets ruled off as just being "out of shape" I would like to mention that I am the fasted female distance runner on my track team. I have trained in the offseason and usually run with the high-end j.v. boys and low end varsity guys on regular runs. Except for yesterday. We had a one mile warm up, and that went okay, and then a 4 mile run. The first 1 1/2 miles were fine, but it got harder and at around three miles I could barely breathe. Eventually I was passed by two girls on the team that I usually finish about a half mile before on 4 milers. After finishing, I had about 7 or 8 minutes to wait before doing 8x150m strides (50m walk in between each). The first 2 were okay, but after that I finished each one weazing, and on the last 3 almost crying. After practice, I was quite lightheaded, but I drank lots water. Today, we had morning practice (3 1/2 miles) and I felt just fine. I also drank lots of water throughout the day. The workout after school is where things started to get bad. The workout was 1 mile warmup, 2x1mile with 3 minutes rest, 2x800m with 3 minutes rest, and then 1/2 mile cooldown. The warmup was okay, and the first mile was okay until the last 200m, but even then it wasn't unbearable (6:30). On the next mile though, I started weazing after the first lap and felt completely awful after finishing. I ran a lot slower also. (7:o2) The first 800 felt fine one the first lap, but then was very difficult to finish, and was quite slow for that short of a distance (3:12). I was weazing (and by then, crying a little) so i had to wait longer than the other girls to start. I ran the second one by myself, and it was awful (3:23). After a few minutes of recovering, I jogged the cool down, which was okay until the last 300m, and the weazing came back. I talked to my coaches and they thought it could be the heat (its been around 80 degrees these past two days). I was wondering if anybody had any idea if it really just the heat or dehydration, or if I should go see a doctor. Thanks for the help!

As a bit more backround, I do have asthma, but I have not had any problems with it for the past year and a half. I take medicine for it and an inhaler before i run. Also, about a month ago i did 3x1mile repeats with 4 minutes rest inbetween, and all of my times were between 6:25-6:30
Also PRs-5:53 1600
2:32 800
12:44 3200
15:58 4k

Hello Ashlyn,

I'm not a doctor. I will never be a doctor. The stuff I am telling you is only anecdotal evidence, so if you continue to struggle with your breathing, SEE A DOCTOR.

This is my experience with asthma. Asthma can flare up even if you do have medication. One medication might work for a certain period of time, and then it might not for a while. My mother developed problems with asthma when she was 60 right out of the blue.

Another thing that might be triggering your symptoms would be environmental issues. Did plants and such start growing and turning green. I have allergies, not asthma, but they start kicking in when the spring rolls around.

I hope your wheezing clears up. One more thing that it could be is the onset of a chest cold. The best possible thing that you can do is what you are doing. Keep track of how you are feeling, and please call you doctor or physician to hear what he/she has to say. Nothing is more important than your breathing when you run.

Happy Trails - Coach Tief,

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This article was written by David Tiefenthaler, the founder and main contributor for Tips4Running.com. In addition to running, he's also an author, and a full time teacher.

You can follow David on Twitter @Tiefsa or visit his blog
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