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Couch to 5K
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Breathing

Hi, I have just completed run two week one but and really struggling to control my breathing, i seem to end up puffing rather than breathing, I don't think I can run much slower and have tried a few techniques I've read about but am really worried about moving to week two after my last wk one run tomorrow.

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The first week was the hardest for me all down to bad breathing and ending up gasping. The secret is to relax I found, to breath in for a count of 4 and out for the same. I can't do the nose breathing so its mouth in and out. I also found that if I got into the 4 in 4 out while power walking just before going into a run it was easier. Keep at it, it will happen, by the 2nd week I had sussed it and things got better. Good luck

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Thanks for your support, I will try that tomorrow. I guess it's always going to be difficult as its learning a whole heap of new skills but really want to complete this course and think I may be on this forum quite a lot!

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Forget about breathing through your nose, it is physically impossible when you are running hard, and when you first start, that is all the time. I remember thinking that I would never be able to run properly because I couldn't breathe the way that Laura recommended. Slowly, you will get it under control and within just a few weeks you will be aware of a huge difference in your breathing and recovery times. I now know that if I am breathing too short and shallow, that I have to slow down and breathe more deeply. This still happens to me after twelve weeks, but now it is while I am running 5 miles not five minutes.

Stick with this course, it really does work. keep us posted with your progress. Good Luck.

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I've only just recently been able to run without having problems with my breathing and I graduated beginning of last month. It just happened on it's on really. I found if I don't think about it or try controlling it, it just falls into it's natural rhythm. I've never been able to breath through my nose either, always through the mouth.

Remember you are still in the very early weeks of the program, your body will get used to it soon. It's such a learning curve this running malarkey!

Good luck with your journey, keep us updated.

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I only thought about my breathing when Laura mentioned it, then immediately I was conscious of it and uncomfortable. I think if you just do what comes naturally at a pace that suits you, you'll soon find a natural rhythm. I think I often breathe through my mouth too, not the nose. Just finished Wk 8 despite this - very slowly, I might add, and only about 3 38k so far, so the extra couple of minutes in Wk 9 I'll have to be moving along a bit!

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I am on week 4 R3 tomorrow and I can't do the 4 steps between breaths that Laura suggests. I am just trying to breathe in a way that best keeps me running! If I find myself gasping for breathe I just run even more slowly (and that's pretty slow). It's surely quite a personal thing. Hope you enjoy your running. I am pleasantly surprised I've got this far. :)

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And remember to breath from your diaphragm, try to feel your diaphragm pushing out when you breath. If your breaths are too shallow, you will not enough quality oxygenated air deep into your lungs x

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I just try to take deep regular breaths and sometimes try to slow my exhale, but like a couple of people have already said, if you think too much about it then it all goes a bit wrong! I also can't do the nose breathing. Good luck, you'll find it will sort itself out :)

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Great thanks for all the replies and support! I think as I am new to running I am trying to concentrate too much on too many things, breathing, stride length etc...maybe I should just try and run and let it come naturally. I feel much better today than I did the day after my first run so will take positivity out of that and just go for it tomorrow and try not to over think it and see if The breathing gets better :)

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I found I'm most successful at trying to think of other things anyway! Not breathing or stride length (as short as possible in my case, so I can totter round without stopping) and just concentrate on getting to the end any possible way. I'm sure that helps. Every extra minute that you achieve is a help in telling your inner voice next time (the one that wants you to give up) "I've done this before so i CAN run for 8 minutes" or 10, or 20. Just enjoy the sun, or breeze, or drizzle, (or whatever the weather), and feel a virtuous glow that you are out there achieving something.

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When I first started my breathing was like that but like others say you have to relax and slow your breathing down take in long deep breaths. When you start a run and your muscles are warming up they demand more oxygen so you will find your breathing is a bit faster to get the oxygen in. I completed the programme a few weeks ago and for the first 5-10 minutes my breathing is a bit faster it then slows down to a steady deep breaths in and out. Once you've cracked the breathing you build your stamina.

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Don't try to slow your run, slow your breathing. I'm asthmatic so often have to use breathing techniques to relax. Remember that your breathing shouldn't match the speed of the activity you're doing. Just slow your breathing down by taking a big intake of breath (as much air as you can) and then slowly exhaling it. I do all of this through my mouth and find it helps to pace my running too :) Good luck!

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Well, just done my last run if week one, my breathing at times seems natural but then I realised it was alright, started thing about it and started getting out of puff again! My body feels fine just a dull ache in my calfs. My three runs have been each after one days rest so have done wk one in six days - can I ask you guys for advice if I should start the week two run one on weds after one days rest? Or should I rest for two days?

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