Running is supposed to increase how far you can go before losing your breath. However, beginners may find that they've hit a wall where they get winded before running far enough to start getting into better shape. There's no one simple solution to this problem, because different causes can lead to this symptom. You can get good, if expensive, results from a session with a personal trainer -- or you can try each of several suggestions in turn until you've found a solution to your problem.
Video of the Day
Ease off on your pace. Many beginning runners' leg strength and willpower are stronger than cardiovascular capacity. In other words, you're running faster than your body can handle.
Run instead at a pace that makes you break a sweat, without panting so hard you couldn't carry on a normal conversation. Work your way up from there.
Remember to breathe. A surprising number of people forget to breathe during the first dozen or so steps of a run. If you do this, you start panting as soon as you do remember -- getting yourself off on the wrong foot.
Control your breathing, maintaining a pace that speeds up your breath, but doesn't prevent you from speaking. Breathing too fast or too slow will put you in a state of hypoxia, which means you get winded too early in your workout.
Run with longer strides. This moves you along for longer distances with less effort -- and less corresponding demands placed on your cardiovascular system. Further, your breath is likely to unconsciously match the rhythm of your running. Longer strides mean longer breaths, which can delay the time it takes for you to become winded.
Inhale through your mouth. Many breathing practices recommend breathing through the nose to help control air flow. However, as your run progresses, your body will demand larger loads of oxygen than your nose can deliver in a timely manner. Don't gasp your air through your mouth, but do take in as much air as you can in long, steady inhales.
- "The Four-Hour Body"; Tim Ferriss; 2011
- Good Form Running: Home Page