Couch to 5K
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The Big Challenge

Hi all.

I am a novice runner. I have a very unstable knee due to too many skiing accidents and didn't go for surgery due to having two young children that needed looking after.

I have started using the couch to 5k app as I wanted to participate in the Run For Life this year. This is my challenge for 2016 and hope to lose weight and get healthier along the way.

Today is week 1, run 2 and it is tough as I cannot for the life of me breathe through my nose so I get a very sore throat very quickly and that is a major barrier whilst running. Any ideas out there on how to train myself to breathe through my nose instead? I have never been so glad to get through 60 secs of running in my whole life !

6 Replies

Hi Janet. I completed c25k last October and am now running up to 8k. The breathing advice given by lovely Laura had been discussed on several occasions. I think the general consensus is to do what feels right for you. I am a mouth breather and just find this suits me best. I think a lot of people are. My sister runs half marathons and is a mouth breather too! What I would say might help is just to run slower at this stage and I am sure your breathing will improve. Speed is not important at this stage - pace will improve with fitness. Also, it will reduce stress on your knees while you build up strength. Good luck!☺


Slow and steady does it.. and get a Buff...!

Ullyrunner, (a really lovely, helpful lady on this site) advised me to get one when I started...they are brilliant.. you can pull it up over your mouth, but they are not too thick or constricting; it keeps all the cold out and may help with your throat, as you could still breathe through your mouth if necessary? May help:)


Where did you get your buff from?


I bought mine from Amazon... and lovely husband bought me another for Christmas.. not overly cheap, but I think well worth it. I get sinus problems and so in the cold and wet, I have had mine pulled right up and tucked round my lower face.

When wearing it, I make sure I do not go into the Post Office or any shops like that, in case they think I am a robber:)


They tend to be available from any outdoor pursuits shop. The originals were called buffs, but the knock offs go by a variety of names (but the assistant will know exactly what you are talking about if you ask for a "buff"). They are a tube of thin stretchy material which you pull down over your neck (or wear as a hat, bandanna whatever - they have multiple uses). One of my old ones is currently doubling up as a bag to keep the tent pegs in. Look at for an idea of what you are looking for.

Don't go for a thick fleece one - thin and breathable is best.


Janet, I'm a keen skier too and my right knee has been popped twice, wow that's horrific pain, worse than giving birth I'm told, haha I bet I get some stick for that.

My right knee is still a lot larger than the left and the only thing I found that stabilised it was cycling, it just niggles now and looks funny. When I ski these days I use a band of micropore tape just under the patella, a trick I learned from a pro skier, that stops it aching too much and stops it popping out again.

OMG have you seen the powder in the alps this week! Where's my ski's....

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