Couch to 5K
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w5r2 -- having trouble catching breath

So....I had a set-up after week 4 and took a 2 week hiatus; came back at week 2 and all has been fine until this run. Normally I feel aches and pains; on this one, I just couldn't catch my breath and I'm shocked by this because it hasn't been a problem. I am super slow. Should I do this run over again before going to run 3? Anyone else have this problem? I'm 52 and overweight but other than that...

7 Replies

W5R2? So that's the eight minute runs and you're starting to run a little longer now. Most of us had trouble with breathing and it's something you have to practice. People have different techniques but I finally settled on something that goes with the rhythm of my feet hitting the floor. Best way I can describe it is in-in-in-OUT. I did it very deliberately at first but it is quite natural now. Like the running, it's something to experiment with.

Did you complete the run? If so, I'd be inclined to push on to run 3 next time. It might just have been a bit of a bad run. These things happen... You're not a machine and the body does do some funny stuff now and again.


Hi, sometimes it's just like that. As Rob says you have to develop a technique and find your own rhythm. Some very deliberate deep breaths are sometimes helpful. It does get better - your lungs, like your other muscles, need to learn new tricks!

It is extremely hot and airless at present and most of us are gasping and struggling a bit.

No need to repeat if you completed the run unless you want to reassure yourself that it is just a blip. As always slow and steady is the way. Why not give run 3 a give I'm sure you will be fine.

Good luck!


I agree, if you completed the run, you are good to go ahead, but it is fine to repeat if you want. Breathing efficiently when running was something I definitely had to learn - and it wasn't until quite a while after I graduated that I could do it comfortably! I remember going for a run with my sister (a keen runner) who had to run ahead as she found the sound of my laboured gasps so off-putting (she was worried I was going to collapse!). You do have to learn to pace your breathing in time with your steps - there are lots of u-tube clips demonstrating this. Again, as has been said, the blooming hot weather , lovely for doing nothing , really does not help! Well done for getting this far - you're half way there! Keep it up!!


It was about week 5 that I really got on to breath control. I took Laura's advice of inhaling through my nose and exhaling through my mouth. After I got that down, I've had no problem.


To answer your question..any one else have this problem ? Yes yes and YES!

I'm on hold at the end of week 6 due to a none running ankle injury ( clumsy clod!), and really struggled to breath until week 4 / 5 , I actually found ditching listening to music / pod casts helped a great deal. My breathing is by no means sorted but is much better , but the real key for me was to slow it right down to a real slow jog. Good luck and remember you are doing amazing :)


Yes - I sound like a steam train! I think many of us are struggling just at the moment with the heat and the humidity (if you're in the UK, that is) so don't worry too much about it. I find it helps me if I deliberately push out an extra breath and then breathe in deeply every so often. There are lots of tips for how to breathe but I found that I had so many other things to worry about, I reckoned my body had been breathing on its own just fine for 50 years and it could do that without me interfering :D

You are doing great - if you feel you need to repeat a run, then do so. Otherwise, have a go at the next one. If it doesn't go as well as you hoped, don't worry about it - it's still better than not getting out there. Try it again and you will be fine. All the very best, and happy running :)


Thank you all; I am going to go for it after watching a couple of you tube videos on breathing while running. Thank you also for the support :) Look forward to sharing an update on the big 20 minutes (As stated, I'm not going to collapse -- a little positive visualization could help :)).


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