>Running 101>What is happening when...
Did we win?
... I'm running long & slow and decide to make mile nine a minute faster then the first eight but my heart rate climbs a lot and breathing becomes difficult? This has happened twice. Immediately resuming my long/slow pace resolves the distress, but I'm confused about what's happening. I'm not asthmatic, but it feels like an asthma attack looks on TV and deeper breaths don't seem to provide the oxygen I need. The first time I experienced this I thought I might have been hyperventilating, but I don't think I was breathing that much faster.
Less than two weeks ago I ran ten miles with miles 5-9 at the pace I tried tonight. I did it then, so it's not beyond my fitness, but I couldn't do it tonight. What's happening to me?
MTA my name.
I PR'd in my FIRST half-marathon; you can, too. Ask me how!
Heart & Sole Half-Marathon, Goldsboro, NC, Feb. 2, 1:56:40 (PR)
New River Marathon, Todd, NC, May 4, 4:59:32 (PR)
Triple Lakes Trail Race (40 mile), Greensboro, NC, Oct. 5, pending...
A) we're not machines. What may be easy one day, could be much more difficult on another day. Many factors to consider... how fatigued were you, how much sleep have you been getting, diet, weather, course,...
B) Try more gradually speeding up from 9 to 8 mpm. I've found that when I want to pick up the pace doing it gradually, and letting the faster pace come naturally, is less of a shock to my system.
C) What was different? Temperatures, wind, footing (ice, snow), what you did the day before, time of day, same route, ...?
As said many times, it's usually best to train by pace or by intensity. Mixing the two can be confusing.
I also agree about the gradual speedup. I usually can't hit above about 90% HRmax without almost hyperventilating. But under just the right conditions with enough warmup to the effort, I can sometimes get to about 92% (95%+ in races). (I do have an arrhythmia that kicks in there most of the time. That might be something to consider if it's a persistent issue.)
My question pertains to my respiratory distress while running. Is hyperventilation a common issue with inexperienced runners? I ran > 600 miles last year; I'm not brand-new, but I'm not experienced either.
I've had bad runs where I couldn't continue without taking a walk break, but those were different. I started the same ten-mile run two days ago and felt I had to walk a little after 4.5 miles (I took shortcuts home so the total was only 7.5 miles). The feeling that I needed to walk was just weakness/fatigue, not the distress I described in my first post. Yesterday, I was able to run the entire ten miles but had that odd episode toward the end.
For whatever reason (the million things that everyone else listed), your body was tired that day, and so you had to put in more effort to run at that faster pace than you had two weeks ago. More effort = higher heart rate. Higher heart rate = need more oxygen. Since you pushed along at a higher heart rate, your breathing got out of control. You slowed down, heart rate fell back down, breathing resumed as normal.
On Friday, I went through a full day of work after a sleep deprived week, was feeling run down from the cold that I have, and was still recovering from a tough tempo run on Wednesday. I did a 12 mile run that evening at a 10:45 pace, and felt like even that pace was a complete slog. Ended up cutting it a mile short because I was so miserable. Yesterday, I got up fresh in the morning, and ran 20 miles at a 10:02 pace. Different days are different.
My wildly inconsistent PRs:
5k: 24:36 (10/20/12)
10k: 52:01 (4/28/12)
HM: 1:50:09 (10/27/12)
Marathon: 4:19:11 (10/2/2011)
Thanks for answering, folks. I half expected to hear that there was a name for what I described. I'm hearing that it's nothing to get worked up about.
I believe it's called Oxygen Debt. ... happens when you are running too hard for the day/moment. It happens often in short races and at the end of longer races :-)
I would guess its actually your body adjusting. It takes a few minutes for your peripheral vascular system to dilate and allow greater blood flow and oxygen delivery. It also triggers your brain to tell your heart to increase cardiac output and it may over-reach target until you settle into pace. Try pushing through for 1-2 extra minutes or speeding up more gradually and you may find it suddenly gets easier.
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4/20 North Coast 24 Hour
7/27 Burning RIver 100M
8/24 Baker 50M
10/5 Oil Creek (distance to be determined)
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I've figured it out. I believe the proper medical terminology is "sucking wind ". :-)