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Couch to 5K
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W4...done! Yay! Today I have mostly...

...concentrated on my breathing, so attempting not to resemble a gasping fish out of water!!

This week was quite hard work and I'd felt like I should feel more comfortable by the end of the week, but not when I set off today - soooo nervous (why?!...that'd be those brain gremlins I hear talk of). Then, just before the 2nd 3 minute run, Laura goes on about breathing and stuff and I thought, okay, so I'll try to concentrate on that...then, hey presto, breathing in through my nose forced me to gasp less and take much needed control of something that has felt like a consequence of running, rather than something I should be giving attention to. It also took my thoughts away from the one foot in front of the other thing going on below the lungs! Needless to say, I felt I'd made progress, if only in the breathing department, and my posture improved :D

So, onwards to the dreaded week five...aaaargh! :s

Thanks to everyone for sharing your ups and downs...you help so much when I'm trying to get my head in gear! :-)

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I never got Laura's breathing thing - at the time I was far busier trying to just get enough oxygen one way or the other than to bother with trying to figure out how to get it. But it's great to hear that it worked for you; I'm sure that will stand you in good stead going forward.

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To be honest, I struggled to do what Laura was suggesting too; she was going on about stitch...for the third time in the week! But it made me think that the way I was breathing, and the effort of trying to get enough oxygen in, may not be doing me any favours, so I just decided that in through the nose might relieve the burning sensation of the puffing/gasping in-breath I was taking. I certainly haven't cracked it, but it helped to change my focus and relieved the burn...I'm not sure if it's the right way - remains to be seen.

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I still don't have a hang of my breathing resembling a whale out of water so good for you to get a grip of that. Something for me to aim for. Plenty of ups and downs. Keep posting x

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:D

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Like Tomas I never got the hang of the breathing. I think I may come a cropper when it's icy air, but then I could employ a buff ... only time will tell!

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Not looking forward to icy air or roads...love buffs, but can see my glasses steaming more than they do already. Bah! :)

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I haven't mastered it yet either.... I do it when I'm struggling but after a few in through the nose out through the mouth It makes my breathing worse, I then have to take a deep breath through my mouth to get back into it. I find just breathing out using my abs and tummy muscles helps no end. That's as far as I've got.

Well done on your run, onwards and upwards ;-)

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I am exactly the same with my breathing. My nose always runs when I do any exercise so I assume that it has become too stuffed up for me to get any meaningful amounts of breath in!

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Thanks...abs & tummy muscles technique...I'll try that one too. I must admit, I don't find the breathing in through the nose great, but realise that it made me feel less gaspy (if that's a word).

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The thing That I am hearing with all the above posts - is that you must all be running too fast for your current level of fitness!!! Breathing rythmically ( whether it is breathing through the nose or mouth) is simple and easy - provided that it is giving you sufficient air for what you are doing. As soon as you are no longer able to maintain a breathing "rhythm" , it tells me that you are exceeding your current limits and "huffing and puffing"

Try this -- don't run tomorrow -- just walk for 30 minutes. Walking at a steady pace for a while , breath in for 4 steps, and out for 4 steps. Try 3-3 and 2-2. Notice that breathing in and out rapidly is actually more tiring that the longer slower 4-4 rhythm. Then speed up your walk - walk fast and do this exercise over again -- after a while walk as fast as is possible for you and do it over again. Once you get the hang of the breathing rhythm -- walk continuously and concentrate on keeping that rhythm. Maybe try a short bit of running and once again maintain the in-out rhythm.

After a while, it becomes automatic - you don't have to count anything . It becomes like listening to a piece of old -time rhythmic dance music ( eg a walz ) , once you have LEARNED how to do it ( and you will probably will be counting steps for a while) it becomes completely automatic and all you do is subconsciously keep in time to the beat of the music. Your feet land on the dance floor at the same time as the beat of the music. The same goes for running.

I CANNOT run while listening to music. This is because my breathing and running is happening around a cadence of around 180BPM -- if I listen to a song that has a beat of say 150 BPM, it competely destroys my running/breathing rhythm. I do wonder if the thing today where many/most run while listening to music is part of their problem??

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Hi Bazza. I can see where my change in the way I was breathing today naturally forced my breathing to slow down. I was counting breaths for a change and found I was hitting about the 4 4 mark when through my nose & mouth, rather than the more irratic, as-and-when-required breathing, I'd been doing....I found I couldn't follow the advice from Laura from the week before, as too busy trying to concentrate on not stopping to walk, then just dismissed it because I couldn't make it work...thought it would come in time!!

Thanks for your advice...I'll give that a go and maybe also stay on week 4 or w5r1 for longer to help build up my fitness level and breathing rhythm before moving on.

Re. Music...I'll give it a try without too.

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:) Yes -- ah-hoc breathing as and when required (otherwise known as "puffing and puffing" is NOT the way to go :)

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Well done! I've just completed wk4 yesterday too, and I was equally apprehensive as, like you, I know wk's 4 and 5 are the transistion weeks into more serious running. But so far, so good.......

The sense of achievement ticking off each week is enormous. I don't know about you, but I'm actually starting to feel I might be able to do this running lark properly. ;)

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Good luck for week 5. I'm on week 8 and the 20 min and first 25 minute runs were the hardest but you'll get through and you really start to feel like a proper runner. I nearly stopped when I got to the 20 min mark of the 25 min run but don't keep in running and trust the programme. Isn't it awesome.

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