Couch to 5K
54,989 members87,516 posts

Week 1 completed

I completed week 1 this morning. I can't say that run 3 was any easier than run 1. The idea of being able to run for a sustained period just seems laughable at the moment - despite how many positive things I have read!

Also, I am really struggling to catch my breath after the first running section of each session, although it gets progressively easier as the session goes on, and the later running sections have been the easiest on each of this week's runs. Any tips for getting my breathing under control right from the start? I have the same problem when I do the first couple of lengths when swimming but then seem to settle into a rhythm, but it's far worse when running.

7 Replies

I'm on week 7 and I still can't breathe properly lol

If I'm labouring I try to take a few really deep breaths and stand up taller and it seems to sort me out.

There will be plenty of others on here with good advice for you, well done for finishing week 1! 😀


First tip, make sure your brisk walk is brisk, not just normal walking speed. That'll help get the heart beating a little faster. Second tip, take some really deep breaths as you walk to get as much oxygen into you as possible. Third tip - and probably most important...slow down! You do not have to run quickly, just a very gentle jog, as slow as you like, is all that is required. This is not about speed or distance run, but completing each run and progressing very gently.

Also, think about how you run. If you're slouching, that will restrict your breathing. Pull yourself up from your middle, not too upright though, a slight forward lean is good and take small steps, don't have your arms across your chest which will probably cause you to twist as you run and use up unnecessary energy, but have them bent at your side, and use them to help push you along.

Many of us still find the first 10 mins or so tricky but then things settle down (hopefully!) into a nice rhythm. There are lots of different views about breathing techniques - experiment as you work through the weeks and find what suits you.

Well done for starting and keep posting your progress!

1 like

I also take a while to settle into a nice running rhythm, so maybe it's just one of those things most people have to go through? It would be nice to discover that there's a way of just jumping straight off in good form, mind you. I also struggled to get my breath back in Week 1, but somehow that just gets better all by itself if you more or less stick with the programme (or alternatively stay "progressively stuck", where you do a "better quality repeat").

If you're really struggling with the breathing, maybe you're pushing it a bit hard? (Although as long as the only thing you hurt by doing that is muscle and lung, I don't think it's such a bad thing - but watch out for the least signs of joint pain, tendon pain, back pain, etc.)


You're not alone in this one. I still have to say 'breathe' out loud to remind myself to settle down.


Congratulations on completing week 1! I'm right with you. I also get out of breath - so it's not just you. I know what you mean about running for longer. At this point it feels like I'm pushing to run the full 60 seconds. That said, the program has worked for many others. I think we just need to give our bodies time to toughen up. Maybe it's my imagination, but I think maybe there's a small improvement already. Good luck!!!


Thankyou everyone. It would have been oh so easy to give up and go home on every run this week, but I've stuck at it, even if I did have to extend the walking sections a little on a couple of occasions because I just couldn't get my breathing under control. Fingers are firmly crossed for week 2.


I agree with what everyone else said! I'm currently on Week 6, didn't do any exercise before this for years (besides the odd walk and occasional swim) and in Week 1 I couldn't imagine myself running for prolonged periods of time.

You just have to believe you can do it - if you find yourself breathing quicker, think to yourself "Calm down, I can do this, deep breaths and I'll get more oxygen that way anyway!"

Once you get the first couple of weeks out the way (which you will, don't worry!) you'll start believing that you can do it more and trusting the programme.

Good luck and keep us updated! I find posting often really helps me stay motivated because of all the lovely support here :)


You may also like...