“I used to be able to run five miles without breaking a sweat. Now I get winded after the first five minutes.”

English Lesson: I used to be able to run five miles without breaking a sweat. Now I get winded after the first five minutes.

When you were younger, you were in good shape. Now you don't exercise much, so you're out of shape. You're talking to a friend about how hard it is for you to exercise now.

I used to be able to run five miles without breaking a sweat. Now I get winded after the first five minutes.

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(someone) used to be able to (do something)

To describe an ability that someone had in the past, use the phrase "___ used to be able to ___".

Didn't you use to be able to do a back handspring?

In native-sounding English, it's much more common to use "used to be able to" than "could". We use "could" mostly to talk about something that a person was able to do one time in the past, like this:

I could see them, but I couldn't hear what they were saying.

miles

A mile is a measurement of distance that's used in the United States. It's equal to about 1.61 kilometers.

(do something) without breaking a sweat

Doing something "without breaking a sweat" means doing it easily. 

You can use this phrase to talk about physical activities like running, moving heaving boxes, etc.

You can also say that someone cooked a meal, hosted a wedding party, etc. "without breaking a sweat".

"Without breaking a sweat" is colloquial and casual-sounding.

(someone) gets winded

"Getting winded" means not having enough air because you've exercised too hard. You might get winded after running faster than usual.

People can also get winded when something big hits them in the chest or back.