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so my cardio sucks

SamSam Registered User regular
edited April 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I can't jog or run for more than 4-5 minutes on a treadmill, oftentimes only lasting 2 before I have to go back to walking. Overall I can't last more than 25 minutes on there, with about half of it being running and half walking which means I may as well not bother. I can't seem to improve this, and it's painful and embarrassing. I can't afford to give up because I'm 22 and if I don't get over this now, I probably never will.

Please help.

Sam on

Posts

  • iowaiowa Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    well, endurance is something that needs to be built up. how long have you been doing this for? Don't get discouraged if you just started

    If you're going to a gym you could try a different machine like an ellipiptical. I can't run on treadmills yet because I get shin splits too easily and a higher setting on an elliptical will have me sweating after 10 minutes.

    you man the island and the cocaine and the elegant cars
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  • MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    How fast are you going on the treadmill? Have you ever tried just doing incline walking if it offers something like that? I mean the point of cardio is to get your heartrate up. I've been told that HIIT is the way to do that. Go fast for a minute or two, then go really slow and repeat.

    If you're going for distance you need to work up to it. How long have you been doing your cardio for?

    Monster Hunter Tri US: MoSiAc - U46FJF - Katrice | RipTen - Gaming News | Los Comics
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    2 weeks. I loved the feeling I get when the blood flows at the end of exercising but the actual exercise is fucking painful. I'm finding it hard to stay consistent and consistently enjoy the process. There are bits and stretches when it does feel great, but these seem to be punctuation in a stream of breathless frustration.

    My gym's treadmill doesn't have an mph readout, but I think treadmills generally have a similar scale. I start walking on 4, up it to 5, then run at 8.
    I feel awkward if I'm going faster than 5 but slower than 8. Weird pace, if I run, I run. trying to jog slower makes me feel like I'm going to fall off.

    Also, this article keeps fucking haunting me, threatening to make me give up. http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1914857,00.html

  • DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Sam wrote: »
    I can't jog or run for more than 4-5 minutes on a treadmill, oftentimes only lasting 2 before I have to go back to walking. Overall I can't last more than 25 minutes on there, with about half of it being running and half walking which means I may as well not bother. I can't seem to improve this, and it's painful and embarrassing. I can't afford to give up because I'm 22 and if I don't get over this now, I probably never will.

    Please help.

    Im in a similar boat as you. If i really, really force myself, I could probably maintain a moderate jog for like 10 minutes, but its literally a war against myself to keep myself going, and afterwards I almost throw up.

    Though, last time I was working out regularly, I did seem to make signifigant progress. A few years ago I even managed to get to a state where I felt i could jog endlessly. So, I would suggest, keep going and your cardio will get better.

    Then you will likely quit for a year or so, and then be back at square one :(

    How long have you been running for?

    Also, not to hijack the thread, but how do people get themselves in a mindset to spend 30-40 minutes running. If im going for more then 20 minutes I just start thinking of all the other stuff I could be doing with my time, and how horribly uncomfortable the jog is making me, then I quit.

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  • Drake ChambersDrake Chambers Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I had a hell of a time with running until a buddy of mine in college gave me breathing tips he learned running cross-country in high school.

    What you do is spend as much time as you can doing a slow, controlled inhale and then blow it all out in a hard exhale. The better your ratio of inhale-to-exhale, the longer you're going to last. Count in rhythm with your stride. As you start to tire and get winded you can dial back the ratio, but once you get to the point where the best you can do is 1:1 you're probably not going to last much longer.

    I can try and explain better if that doesn't make sense but it did wonders for me. Not only does it extend my endurance, it gives me something abstract I can focus on (keeping count) to distract me from the fact that I'm doing something unpleasant (running).

  • MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    You haven't been doing cardio for very long. It might feel odd but try to go for a while at like 6 or 7 as opposed to 8. I've always been told that 30 to 45 minutes at a slow pace is way better than 10 minutes at a really fast pace because you're body is doing something for longer.

    When I first started I would get a decent jog pace for my stride at around 5.5 and I could do that for around 25 minutes before I just couldn't go any longer, but after a couple of months I could ramp up speed and pace.

    Breathing is also a very very big part because if the oxygen isn't getting to your blood, you're gonna burn out real quick.

    When I wanna stay in a running mindset I usually have my phone / ipod with me to keep me listening to music, or talking to people over txt's and im, its a little unsafe but I'm also not up at a fast pace anymore.

    Monster Hunter Tri US: MoSiAc - U46FJF - Katrice | RipTen - Gaming News | Los Comics
  • iowaiowa Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    well, is this a thread about losing weight or a thread about cardio?

    because yeah it's true you'll need to make changes to your diet if you're trying to lose weight.

    It seems like you're too easily discouraged. I started exercising a couple months ago and it was awful and boring at first. After a while there would be times where I'd feel like I could run forever and it felt amazing. Once you find your natural pace you will get that feeling too. something to look forward to, it will get better.

    you man the island and the cocaine and the elegant cars
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/iowa
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  • DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Sam wrote: »
    2 weeks. I loved the feeling I get when the blood flows at the end of exercising but the actual exercise is fucking painful. I'm finding it hard to stay consistent and consistently enjoy the process. There are bits and stretches when it does feel great, but these seem to be punctuation in a stream of breathless frustration.

    My gym's treadmill doesn't have an mph readout, but I think treadmills generally have a similar scale. I start walking on 4, up it to 5, then run at 8.
    I feel awkward if I'm going faster than 5 but slower than 8. Weird pace, if I run, I run. trying to jog slower makes me feel like I'm going to fall off.

    Also, this article keeps fucking haunting me, threatening to make me give up. http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1914857,00.html

    Scratch this, I am in a much worse boat then you, I cant even maintain 5-6 mph for more then a mile before I almost puke :)

    But the poster above me is correct about breathing, back when I could actually successfully run, it was all about breathing and making sure I wasnt doing short, rapid breaths.

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  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    There's nothing wrong with walking. It's a lot better than doing nothing. Just keep walking, then jog for two minutes or even 1 minute. Or maybe switch to a bike or elliptical for a few weeks, then come back.

    What kind of pain are we talking about?

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  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Malkor wrote: »
    There's nothing wrong with walking. It's a lot better than doing nothing. Just keep walking, then jog for two minutes or even 1 minute. Or maybe switch to a bike or elliptical for a few weeks, then come back.

    What kind of pain are we talking about?

    well 1 part chest/lungs but 3 parts emotional/psychological pain because I reach that equilibrium where I want to keep going as much as I want to slow down immediately and end up hating myself for it.

    There is also the issue about how it's boring and makes time pass really really slowly if you're not in the zone. I am in the zone for say, 5 to 7 minutes out of a 25 minute workout.

  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Oh, another problem is that when I have a song that works for me, I run briskly to its beat. But not all songs work equally well, so whenever I'm on a song that doesn't pump me or if there's a gap in the music, I don't have a rythym to run to and pretty much can't run at all.

  • King NadaKing Nada Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Join a recreational soccer league. I've played indoor for about a year and went from 0 cardio to running a 5k with my friend for shits and giggles in under 30 minutes.

  • stahstah Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I've always had trouble with cardio. I just don't have endurance.

    I found this (http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml) article and it helped me a lot. Instead of teaching you to go all out, the idea is to have you run what you can but keep it going longer.

    Aside from that, I'd say work on your eating and hydration, as well. Not sure how you are with those, but I notice that when I eat close to my workout I can't go nearly as far or as fast. Same with if I'm not hydrated.

  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo wawing a note with the cinema code Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Sam wrote: »
    2 weeks. I loved the feeling I get when the blood flows at the end of exercising but the actual exercise is fucking painful. I'm finding it hard to stay consistent and consistently enjoy the process. There are bits and stretches when it does feel great, but these seem to be punctuation in a stream of breathless frustration.

    My gym's treadmill doesn't have an mph readout, but I think treadmills generally have a similar scale. I start walking on 4, up it to 5, then run at 8.
    I feel awkward if I'm going faster than 5 but slower than 8. Weird pace, if I run, I run. trying to jog slower makes me feel like I'm going to fall off.

    No disrespect, but you're doing it wrong. Jumping on at a 7:30 pace cold is a bad idea. You're going to have to work up to that while you build your endurance. Try jogging at a lower maintainable speed. I know that you said it feels awkward, but its a skill you have to work on. When you can go 20 minutes without sweating buckets, up the tempo.

    Also, stretch a lot beforehand.

  • 3drage3drage Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I've lost much weight by walking, and I feel great doing it. Some people just aren't built to run for miles on end, listen to your body, push it a little but not too much, and perhaps go see a doctor for a physical just in case there is something treatable or serious going on.

  • wmelonwmelon Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I followed this article several years ago when I started running. http://runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-380-381--9397-2-1X5-3,00.html#. I also find that running outside is a lot easier to do than running on a treadmill, even though I do more actual work.

  • Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Deebaser wrote: »
    Sam wrote: »
    2 weeks. I loved the feeling I get when the blood flows at the end of exercising but the actual exercise is fucking painful. I'm finding it hard to stay consistent and consistently enjoy the process. There are bits and stretches when it does feel great, but these seem to be punctuation in a stream of breathless frustration.

    My gym's treadmill doesn't have an mph readout, but I think treadmills generally have a similar scale. I start walking on 4, up it to 5, then run at 8.
    I feel awkward if I'm going faster than 5 but slower than 8. Weird pace, if I run, I run. trying to jog slower makes me feel like I'm going to fall off.

    No disrespect, but you're doing it wrong. Jumping on at a 7:30 pace cold is a bad idea. You're going to have to work up to that while you build your endurance. Try jogging at a lower maintainable speed. I know that you said it feels awkward, but its a skill you have to work on. When you can go 20 minutes without sweating buckets, up the tempo.

    Also, stretch a lot beforehand.

    Like said above, simply put you're going to fast. You just are. You need to slow it down, you need to find a rhythm that is comfortable and you need to stay in that rhythm. Once you either drop speed suddenly i.e. walk or bump up speed you are going to exhaust yourself much quicker than if you were running slowly at a steady pace.

    It sounds like it wouldn't have as much of an affect on you, but it really does, which is why if I have to take a poo in the middle of a 10 mile workout then the last 5 miles after I get out are just awful. Running is a rhythm thing.

    In order to maintain the pace that you're going for say a 5K you need to be able to actually run that 5K. Once you can do that then you can look at upping your speed. Typically this is done for me in interval training, where I will jog at a 10 minute or so pace for about five minutes and then go to a 7 minute pace for about 1 minute then back down for 3 minutes and 1 minute respectively until I finish the 5K. This gets your body accustomed to the pace and is a great training exercise.

    But what's your ultimate goal? If you're straight training for a marathon then you're really going to want to focus on rhythm and pacing. If you're going to focus on racing at 5K then you need to learn that pacing and rhythm but you will also have more speedwork to do, as speed is important in shorter races, and if you're already getting bored a few minutes into your workout, this might be the thing for you.

    Once you get moving and keep at it for awhile the breathing part is simply not going to be a factor anymore, or at least not the same factor that your legs limitations are going to be.

    And, until you get your pacing down to a consistent speed you should really be concentrating on moving slower and completing your workout.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    6 is a 10 minute mile. That's my baseline. I can go short distances for faster, but even at the peak of my marathon training my default, comfortable speed is between 9 and 10 minutes. So being able to do more cardio doesn't translate into doing fast cardio - they're two different skills.

    The couch to 5k coolrunning link is a good idea.

    Time somehow spent five pages to convey that if you eat like crap you won't lose weight even if you exercise. That's 100% correct. You have to change your diet and be conscious about how much food you're consuming. You will have more energy, look better and feel better if you exercise independently from the weight loss. They're both worth pursuing for their own ends.

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  • NatsusNatsus Registered User
    edited April 2010
    To echo everyone here, You're running too fast. 8mph pace is very fast to start out. Start slower. 6mph or even 5.5mph and ramp up as the weeks progress. If you feel like you're falling off, that's something you need to get used to. Maybe run outside instead of on a treadmill if you can't get used to it.

  • HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    To throw in something similar to what stah said, there's this awesome Learn to Run program laid out that really works. You can take it at your own speed and as long as you're keeping in mind that you should be able to carry on a conversation during the running parts, you'll be running for 30-40 minutes straight guaranteed! The speed part comes after you're running the distance/time, as your body adapts you'll start speeding up automatically and then you can start with the interval training to improve.

    I was in the same boat as you last February and started in on that program. I took it slower than it says so it took longer (plus I got sick in the middle), but by September I could run for 30 minutes and now I run 30-40 minutes 5 days a week! :D (I still dislike running, but it's the best bang for the buck when it comes to cardio and losing weight given the time limits I've got!)

  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Do you have asthma?

    Are you dead set on using a treadmill or is there some other kind of exercise you could do?

    You can get cardio in a lot of different ways. Running is my least favorite. I love swimming, though.

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  • masc.boxmasc.box Registered User
    edited April 2010
    To reiterate everyone else, you're running to fast, to increase endurance you need to run for longer, run slower.

    From my beginner running I found the same as you - that it was quite difficult to run slower and felt awkward, what worked for me was increasing my core strength and trying not to overstride - a common beginner mistake - count the number of times you step every minute (i calculate by the number of times my left leg hits the ground in 30 seconds and multiply by 4) if you're running efficiently it should be around 180 irregardless of your speed.

    If you aren't already, get your arse outside, treadmills are horrible. For me they're harder to run on.

    Also, the first 10 minutes of every run you do is generally horrible, something to do with your body not adjusting yet to the oxygen or energy need or something...anyway be aware that after 10 minutes it gets easier.

    This is just my experience, ymmv.

  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    HIIT? HIIT.

    It takes 10 minutes for your CP system to adjust to a greater load - you heart starts pumping more, your lungs expand, your blood vessels dilate. So do a 10 minute moderate warmup before you try and push yourself.

  • kedinikkedinik Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Don't be embarrassed about switching between running and walking at intervals. Back in high school cross country, most new runners did this for a while until their body built up its endurance. It's nothing to be ashamed of.

    When it comes to the mental aspect of consistently exercising and justifying the use of your time, try not to think about it. Rush out and get your daily run in before you can talk yourself out of it.

    Also, it's good to have motivation, but don't push yourself too hard and burn out! Far better to take it easy and ramp up your workout over time.

  • DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Interval training is awesome for you anyway, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    When I was training for football, my coach used to drill me with

    "IN-HALE-FOUR-STEPS, EX-HALE-FOUR-STEPS."

    I weigh a hair over three bills, and if it wasn't for the shooting pain in my shins and the horrible cramping in my calves whenever I try to run, I could go for miles.

    Wait. Actually, are you having trouble with breathing or do you also experience unbearable discomfort while running?

  • RaekreuRaekreu Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    If running isn't your thing or you find yourself having to force yourself into it, try a different cardio exercise. When I got to a point where I was approaching the fatass mark and accelerating, I started kickboxing (in addition to making some diet changes, naturally). The thing about kickboxing is that it is all interval training. No one in their right mind would think about hitting a heavy bag at full intensity for 40 minutes straight. So you do a warm up and then work for 3-5 minutes at a time, rest for a minute or so, and then repeat the process. For those first few months, I was dropping 3 or 4 pounds per week. Once the insane-o totally not healthy fast weight loss had tapered off, I noticed my endurance had picked up immensely - not because I could punch for a longer time, but because I was able to punch and kick with full force for more of each interval. To really check myself, I started riding my bike up a huge hill in my neighborhood and making a note of how hard it was. Each week, it got a little easier. Just be patient - progress is slow but that doesn't mean it isn't progress.

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2010
    Interval training is awesome for you anyway, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    When I was training for football, my coach used to drill me with

    "IN-HALE-FOUR-STEPS, EX-HALE-FOUR-STEPS."

    I weigh a hair over three bills, and if it wasn't for the shooting pain in my shins and the horrible cramping in my calves whenever I try to run, I could go for miles.

    Wait. Actually, are you having trouble with breathing or do you also experience unbearable discomfort while running?

    I have breathing trouble that leads to discomfort (hyperactive sinuses of doom); there's no way I could manage that 4-steps rule. That said, I think I'll have another crack at the couch to 5k plan once I've hit my current goals, since I'm a lot fitter than I was the last time I had a go. Just not sure what to do about the breathing. The zyrtec, it does nothing...

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  • cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Businessman!Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Oh right, allergies. I haven't run in months due to the weather, and now I need to start up again. Totally forgot about the little buggers.

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  • GrennGrenn Registered User
    edited April 2010
    To reiterate what others are saying: 8mph works out at 7.5 minute miles and is waaay too fast for someone just starting out.

    Make sure you warm up by doing some stretches beforehand and then set the treadmill to a 3 or 4 and simply walk briskly for 5 minutes or so before starting your run proper.

    I would also suggest trying to run a certain distance rather than for a certain amount of time. For instance, start out with 1 mile or 1km and control the pace as you feel you need to, just make sure you cover that distance. You'll feel good knowing you hit your tartget and you'll have a point of reference for next time.

    The other thing worth mentioning is that frequent, shorter sessions are far more valuable than less-frequent longer ones, at least when you're new to running. Think of it in terms of: you are training your body to use oxygen more efficiently and for your lungs and heart to be stronger. Doing it once a week is good but nowehere near as effective as if you are able to do short sessions 3 times a week (with a rest day inbetween).

    My other suggestion is to record your progress and set goals. This can be a MASSIVE confidence boost as once you reach a certain level, you really start to improve in leaps and bounds and it can be hugely encouraging. Keep at it and you WILL notice the improvement. Running outside can seem harder than on the treadmill initially but don't be discouraged, it's also a lot more interesting.

    I started running in Feb and have run regularly each week since then.

    Even though I felt I was at a good level of fitness already, I really struggled initially - a 2 mile run absolutely killed me (mainly to do with being unable to pace myself properly). Now I'm running 7 miles easily and have already run my first competitve 10k race!

    The health benefits have been hugely noticable and I genuinely find it enjoyable now.

    Keep at it and enjoy!

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