Problems breathing on first day! Tips? - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Problems breathing on first day! Tips?


Tried my first day of the program week ago started off great! After 2 sets of intervals I struggled breathing properly while jogging Couldn't get my breath back during the walking and had chest ache and the.most agonising stitch known to man! I wasn't even jogging fast! De motivated me and went home halfway through and took ages for my heart rate to go down I'm terribly unfit and wanted to use this programmr to kick start my weight loss. I'm going to try again on monday and wondered if anybody had any tips? Does jogging very slowly work and breathing properly while jogging?

Or maybe a doctors appointment first? As far as i know im not asthmatic

I'm hoping I can do it this time

7 Replies

If you have health concerns, its better to visit a doctor and have them sign off on activity. C25K is brilliantly designed for all fitness levels. If need be, some people do the program first by walking/brisk walking compared to walking/running. Anything above a brisk walk is considered a run, so try to slow down and relax your breathing. As far as the stitch, drink plenty of water so your hydrated for your run. You can do this, just go slow and take baby steps, you will be amazed at what you can achieve! Gayle


A check up at the docs would Probably be a good idea, then when you get the all clear it's worth looking at previous blogs which really helped me, I concentrate on controlled breathing out fully to the count of 4 steps then a deep breath in is inevitable (to the count of 4 if i can manage it)as the weeks have gone on I still do this for the first 1-2 minutes then I seem to settle into a routine and have even been known to be able to say a word or two while running! Good luck, ally x


Don't be afraid to slow down and concentrate on the breathing. It can take a long time to get used to - it still sometimes takes me ages to get my breathing right when I go for a run. Don't go so fast that you can't talk !

See the doc just to be sure, most will encourage you to try. Then take it slow, maybe only do half then a rest then half to start with, I repeated some weeks, if you go slow you'll stick with it, push yourself too fast and you'll more likely give up. It's a marathon, not a sprint at this stage (even if it is "only" 1 minute ) :)


Definitely take it slowly - the aim is to be able to get through the running intervals, and learning to pace yourself is important through the whole plan. There's no such speed as 'too slow' as long as you're not on the couch ;)


Slow and steady wins the day! Slow often being slower than the brisk walking for many of us - but it works to get us going. And it goes on working for weeks - I was still going slower than many people walk in week 9, but I graduated, and I have since run 5k and then 10k - still very very slowly. But I am so much fitter. :)

Some people find working on the breathing helps, but it didn't help me at all, to be honest, just got me confused. i gave up thinking about it (beyond making sure I hadn't actually stopped breathing!) and I just breathe when I need to - through mouth or nose, whichever happens to feel right.

Slow and steady! :)


a visit to the doctors sounds like good advice. at least you will be re-assured if nothing else. as others have said slow is the way to go. it was about week 4 that the breathing finally clicked for me. its like having to learn to breathe all over again :) youll master breathing & running & then youll have to master running & drinking :) it does get easier but perhaps the walking/brisk walking may be the way to go first off & it doesnt matter if you want to do more of the same week podcast until you feel ready to move on. my 11 year old is adding an extra week 3 run as he doesnt feel ready to tackle the 5 mins yet. good luck. shelley x

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