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Unable to run longer than one minute

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Hi there, I have just joined a running club to get fit and loose weight but I am struggling to keep up after week 2!
They are progressing and running for longer but I still can only run for 1 min before I feel like I am having a heart attack. I can not breathe after one minute, my legs are packing up too. The instructed said to see my doctor as my breathing does not seem to be going in and reaching my muscles I.e legs! My breathing is going in at nose or mouth and straight back out again. I can't get it down!
I need help the other are running for two to three mins now and I feel like I can never excersize!

Category: Internal Medicine Specialist

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Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian is online now

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 4 Days.


Thank you for asking your query at DoctorSpring.

I would require some additional information from you so that I can provide my best and learned opinion. You can repy as a followup

1. What is your current body weight and height ?
2. What kind of lifestyle do you have now ? Active / Sedentary ?
3. Do you engage in any kind of Physical activity ?
4. Is there any history of breathing difficulty while climbing stairs or while doing mild-moderate heavy work ?
5. Have you ever had a history of asthma or asthmatic attack ?
6. Do you have cough /swelling of legs ?

Thank you

Patient replied :

Hi there
I am 5ft 6 tall and weigh 13stone 11llb
I am not active do not work just take my little boy to pre school and cleaning around the house.
Even walking if fast I can get out of breath yes especially if slight hill. but I
like walking.
My dad has asthma and my little boy 3 1/3 yr old has blue and brown inhaler and takes tablets at night for asthma. Me never.
I always seem to have a cough and my breathing is noisy at night when I lay in bed, I can hear it in the back of my throat.
My legs swell from knee to ankle but this is only after I had my little boy, and last stages of when I was carrying him before that never swelled. I had pre-eclampsia with him too.
Hope this all helps.
Sorry meant to say yes my legs knee down to ankle look puffy especially at front.

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 3 Days.


Thank you for providing the additional information :

There are 3 possibilities here :

1. There is a possibility of airway obstruction (like asthma or exercise induced asthma), as inferred from your symptoms. This can give rise to shortness of breath as you have mentioned.

2. A Cardiac cause (very less likely)

3. Lack of Acclimatization - Your body just needs time to adjust and cope up with running.


You will require a baseline evaluation which should include a Physical examination, an airflow study (PFT or pulmonary function tests), a Thyroid function test, Blood pressure measurement and if needed an ECHO. This will rule any respiratory or cardiac problem. If all these are normal then the 3rd possibility is most likely. This can be tackled by slowing increasing the severity of exercise (refer couch to 5K running programme or similar).

Hope this helps
Please feel free to ask followup questions
Thank you

Patient replied :

Thank you so much
I am on the 5 k training programme, we started out with the 30 sec jog, 1min walk etc but I can not increase The jig times without being unable to breathe.
I will pop and see my Gp to see what they decide to do.
Kind regards

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 2 Days.

Hello Mandy,

Seems like you have some amount of exercise induced airway hyperresponsiveness (something like asthma). Do get in touch with your GP and get some tests done. However this should not deter you from your weight loss and healthy lifestyle plans. There are more than one way to do it!. Please feel free to get in touch (using the followup query option) after your GP review.


Patient replied :

Thank you so much
I am on the 5 k training programme, we started out with the 30 sec jog, 1min walk etc but I can not increase The jig times without being unable to breathe.
I will pop and see my Gp to see what they decide to do.
Kind regards

Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian
Category: Select Speciality
MD, Internal Medicine - Stanley Medical School
Medical School - MBBS - Govt. Medical College, Kottyaam

Diagnostic Prediction - Stanford School of Medicine
Received Specialty training in Critical Care, Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology from Stanley Medical College and in Endocrinology, Rheumatology.

Hematology and Geriatrics from Madras Medical College.
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