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Can't run more than a mile :(

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Hi All

I am looking for people that either live with this issue or know a way to overcome it.

I have jogged in the past and now decided to start to jog again. Basically, I like the results from jogging (weight loss wise) and think that it is a fun thing to do. Unfortunately, I can only run about one mile. After one mile, I have to stop, then I walk, jog, walk, jog ... I am unable to find that "zone" where one keeps jogging and going and going and going. Does anyone else have this issue? do you know what to do to fix it?

I am about to sign up to train to run a half marathon and if there is not a cure for this, then I don't think I will sign up for the event ... I am very frustrated.

Hope you are able to help. Thank you!
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Do you listen to awesome, pumped up, inspiring music?  that TOTALLY helps.  If i have my ipod, i find i go way longer on the elliptical just because i'm so focused on the song.  It's also just a stamina thing.  You have to be in pretty good shape to get to where you can get in the "zone" and keep going.  It sounds like you'll be there in no time though!  
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Hi. I have only been a member for a day, and only made my first bit of exercise in 15 years this afternoon, so basically....... I am trying to learn also.

The reason I reply is that in my school days we would have to complete a 5 mile run once a month.

The best I ever managed was 3rd last of 50. I was not unfit, nor unfocused. Turned out I could not run very well at anything over 200m.

I would be pleased with a 13 minute mile (when I was at my peak).

However once Summer came and the athletics season. There was no stopping me at 100m and 200m.

No athlete here, but my best times were -

100m 13.2s

200m 34s (I believe, but maybe wrong)

400m 90s

mile 12m 47s

I will keep checking back to this post as I had always thought I was just one those people that could sprint, but not run.

All the best, and thank you for asking a question that I only today realised I look an answer too.

Hey chiby.. so.. you can run a mile NOW! That's grrrrrreat! :D

Do you know, when I first started jogging, I couldn't jog more than half a mile. Just half a mile. Nothing spectacular :p

But.. I kept at it and I kept at it and then I could run a mile.. and then two.

it takes time to build up that endurance. people who have that "Zone" are far more fit than I, at least, am.

But.. if you keep at it, you can build the endurance too. If I can do it, anyone can do it. :)
I had the exact same problem - I'd be able to go a mile (about 11 or 11.5 mins for me) and then hit a wall. I found that by adding a little time or distance, that I was able to get over the "hump". I'm now able to jog for 2 miles and I'm working on 3. What I do is tell myself to add just 1 more minute once I've hit the mile mark. I run the extra minute for 3 to 4 days...sometimes more, before my body counts it as part of the mile. Once it doesn't feel like I'm going to puke, I add another 1 to 2 minutes. It took me about 6 weeks to be able to run 1.5 miles, and another 3 weeks to get to the full 2 miles. I plan to stick to the 2 mile distance for a month or so - to let my body get used to the longer distance and time....and then I'll start up the routing of adding bit by bit to get to 3 miles...
From what I read, marathon runners do the walk, jog, run thing.  I jog around my neighborhood park which happens to be 4 long blocks.  I do 4 laps to get a total of 2 miles.  I walk one block after each lap.  Without that one block of walking in between, I couldn't do it. 
A guy who was coaching some of the people I work with for a duathlon suggested this method for finding your running "pace".  It works best if you run outdoors, as opposed to on a treadmill.

Head out on a run for five minutes.  Pay attention to your pace.  Focus the whole time on how it feels.  It might help to listen to some music that matches or feels right with your running tempo. 

At exactly five minutes, turn around and run back home.  If you are running at 'pace', then it should take very close to five minutes to arrive back at your starting point.  If it takes longer, then you are going too fast.  Try it again the next day.  Focus on going just a little slower.  If you used music, try listening to something with a slightly slower tempo or feel. 

Let me know if it works! 
I'd like to add a couple of things to what has already been said.  :)

First - slow down!  If you are just starting to run, you should be pretty slow.  If you have trouble holding a conversation while you run you are running too fast.

Second - don't be afraid to walk, as the above posters have mentioned.  It really is ok!

Third - are you running the same route and know exactly where one mile is?  Or are you running on a treadmill and watch as the hundreths of miles click off?  If so - stop!  Stop paying so much attention to your distance and pay more attention to time.  Can you run for 10 minutes straight today?  Great!  Try for 10:30 tomorrow.  Increase it slowly until you are up to 20 minutes, then if you want you can check your distance. 

Finally - and this really ties in with #3 - acknowledge that running is 10% physical and 90% mental.  Do you really have a physical block with running?  (If so just keep plugging away, it will get easier!!)  Or do you have a mental block?  Sounds to me like a mental block, that you know when you hit a mile and you shut down mentally.  If that's the case, do try to stop tracking your distance for a while. 

Good luck!! 
Did you know that everyone has different type of muscles.  Some people have slow twitch muscles (ie people who seem to run forever) and people with fast twitch muschles (those that can run really short distance but really fast).  You can condition your body to be able to withstand the running/jogging but if you have never been a long distance runner its really not your fault but the fault of your muscles.  You can never change the twitch of your muscles.  Sorry if this was long but found that really interesting in my AP class a few years ago!!
I sharted out with very short runs and now I can run 3-4 miles. This is
an awesome program for the beginner: html
It is called the couch to 5k. It has helped many of us here at CC.
Aww you posted what I was going to say rluker! : P

Yes- I have the same problem; I have absolutely no endurance whatsoever. Let me know if you need a motivation buddy ; )
I don't think I could run around the block (LOL).

However I can walk for two hours, so that is just as good as a run, for me. The important thing is - get out there - walking or jogging, it's all good. I am kinda angry with myself because I have let family obligations get in the way of my walking for three days in a row.

Tomorrow I am not gonna answer the phone all day. It's gonna be great to go "missing in action". My loved ones know that when they cannot reach me is because I am fed up with family obligations.

NuBiker (The more people I meet, the more I like my dog.)
Hey there,

there's nothing wrong with doing the run/walk thing when you get tired, the important thing is that you are moving your body. I run 3 times a week, I was working on my distances, now I'm trying to improve my times. I agree that you should get some hot tunes going, they will really help you. Alot of running is about whats going on in your head - rather than stopping or walking because you are tired, slow down. But try to keep going for as long as you can. There are lots of great tips for beginners and seasoned runners at this site check it out and keep going........

HB 8)
Try this:

‚?¶breathe on cadence.
The best way to maintain a proper breathing cadence is to breathe in or out every time your dominant foot contacts the ground. Your initial breathing cadence starts with your dominant foot (for many runners this would be when the right foot strikes the ground). Simply put, each time your dominant foot touches the ground you will either be breathing in or breathing out.

and this:

‚?¶land first on your toes when you run.
At this stage in your running you should be landing on your heels. If you get to a certain faster pace (about seven minutes per mile) there is a technique you can learn where you land on the ball of your foot and quickly shift to your heel. Running on your toes will quickly lead to shin splints and other injuries.

I have been having the same problem trying to get past that mental block while running. I am going into my 7th week of the couch to 10k  routine. and last week was the run 10 minutes walk 1 week 4 x. and I couldn't make the 4th. which is very frustating because at times running 30 minutes seemed easy. this week is a big week in the routine. and I am not sure what I can do to try and overcome the block. I run on a treadmill. I use my zune and listen to the tv or music to try and pass the time. I try and cover the clock on the machine so I don't focus on it. but then I find myself looking at the one on the wall.

I think it's probably a mental block more than anything else.  But still, slow down.  And start a walk break before you feel like you HAVE to.  Maybe at 3/4 mile.  Walk a few minutes, then run again, slower, and stop for the walk break before you HAVE to.  Work on extending the run intervals and shortening the walk intervals.  You'll get to the point that you don't need them.

Do something easier for now.

When I first started working out the only exercises I could do for more than a few minutes were the exercise bike and walking. So I went with the bike and kept extending out how long I was using it and making sure I was pushing myself hard, but not too hard.

A few weeks later and I'm able to effectively use the elliptical trainer and get into that second-wind zone on it. Still can't run or do the treadmill, but getting a little closer to it every day.


I started after a year of plantar fascitis (?Spelling).  The whole bottom of my foot tendon ripped.  After I heeled it, I started walking/running on a treadmill.  I'd go for 1 mile, then have to do the walk/run thing.  Now, I'm at two miles solid.  It takes time.  Each day it will get easier.  

My best advice is buying a gym membership that has REALLY GOOD treadmills.  If you keep injury free, you'll run more consistently.  I'll post tomorrow the name of the treadmills at my gym.  They are like running on perfect sand, not on hard pavement or the cheap steel ball rollers type feel.

My second best advice is to get an IPod.  The right tune at the right time, and you'll go a quarter of a mile more.

Take it slow. Run a mile, then run maybe 2 minutes past that. Then the next week after a few days of that increase the time. I had the same problem, so I trained myself up to running longer. It really works.

I could barely walk a mile when I started exercising. Now I do much more!  I didn't completely run my first 5K (3.1 miles) until almost a year after I started running.  I did the run/walk thing.  You can build running endurance without killing yourself and lose weight.  Just keep pushing yourself a little further and a littler harder every day.  I think following a plan is the best way to do this.

Hi chivy,

I agree with wesmckean on this one, following a pre-planned schedule is probably the best first step to take. There are many on the internet. The great thing about a program is that it makes you confident that you can run the amounts it asks for. You don't have to think about whether the program is working or not because it is probably created by professionals.

If you decide not to go with a schedule, remember to only increase your weekly mileage by 10%. If you increase it too fast, overuse injuries will creep up on you and leave you with horribly achey knees and so forth. So, if you can only run 1 mile, 4 days a week (4 miles total). The next week you run a total of 4.4 miles. As this total number increases, you'll be able to add more miles per week. The 10% rule is well known. If you want evidence to back it, just google it.

Good luck! It's awesome that you enjoy running! Whenever I find someone who says that they run but hate it, I always think--then why are you running? Find something you love!

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