Breathing techniques

In Week 2 of the Couch to 5K programme there's a tip about breathing in for four strikes with the left foot, followed by four more for the breath out. There's no way I can manage this as my breathing is much quicker. Does this mean that I'm not fit enough to run? I'm guessing that it's OK to breathe more quickly and that this gets better with practice, but was worried to hear this instruction at such an early stage in the programme.


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10 Replies

  • Don't worry about your breathing. Just try to breathe as calm as possible and your body will get the oxygen it needs. I started to use the podcasts in Week 3 so didn't even know about this 4-Step-Technique and nevertheless managed to graduate 4 weeks ago.

    I don't know if I could cope with this technique now but, to be honest, I try not to think too much about my breathing because every time I tried to breathe in a certain pattern everything went completely wrong.

  • Agree - I try to ignore my breathing as much as possible which seems to work best for me, otherwise I get a bit panicky trying to breathe 'right' and everything goes a bit wrong. I can't breathe in enough through my nose so I don't do that either.

    I try to breathe steadily but otherwise I only think about it if I'm really gasping for breath, at which point I slow down a bit. The rest of the time I let it take care of itself.

  • I'd suggest just taking it as a suggestion. If it doesn't seem to work for you, don't bother. What it may do is give you something else to focus on rather than the running and thus keeps you going.

  • I found that when I tried to make myself breathe to a pattern, I couldn't get it right and started to panic slightly and things went to pot. Then I rationalised that my body manages to breathe quite nicely without any interference from me and stopped worrying about it - and things are fine :D

  • It was too slow for me as well! I just let my lungs do their own thing- they've breathed for 23 years so they're the experts. Your breathing will definitely improve as you move through the programme- I find I'm panting less which is very welcome indeed. Was getting some odd looks. Good luck!

  • A lot of us found that timing of breathing difficult. Just do calm deep breathing that suits you. After all you've been breathing satisfactorily for your whole life so do what suits you. The main thing is to keep it relaxed!

  • I too could not follow the breathing suggested and got all gaspy when I tried. I think the more you think about it the harder it is! To be honest I only started feeling natural with breathing after graduation- but I didn't let that stop me completing the program!

  • Thanks very much for all your answers. That's really helpful and very reassuring. Will keep going - onwards! Once again thanks.

  • In order to acquire proper breathing you should cool and calm. It totally depends upon you how much you can breath. Don't force yourself to breathe more and more.

  • What its trying to do is keep you at a certain pace. If your running faster then you might find its 5 on the inhale and 5 on the exhale. Just take deep slow breaths a you run and you will be fine.

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