Couch to 5K
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Shallow breathing

Hi I've been  hypothyroid for 12 years

In the last  7 years I've started doing 100m sprinting again and not noticed any breathing problems, just get my breath back  when I stop but had to stop about 9 months ago due to high cortisol. 

I thought I should be able to do couch to 5k  but I'm just managing to do the 90 second jog (lightly jogging) then my upper chest really hurts, it's like I can't regulate my breath to last the time.

Any tips would be appreciated to try and get through this


5 Replies

I've noticed that if I breathe deeply during the 5 minute warm up it gives me a more comfortable run! I suspect it's because I have more oxygen in my lungs. People who hold their breath for a long time also use this trick. Also, my biggest tip is to find a breathing pattern that you like, and stick with it through the whole run, even the walking. Mine is like this: deep breath in (2 seconds) two small breaths out (2 seconds. One on each count) normal breath in, normal breath out. (2 second). It's a bit hard to explain!

I find that it keeps my lungs from hurting and makes for a much more comfortable run. 


I don't have a thyroid so I vary between being hypo and hyper and I really struggled with my breathing in the first few weeks (thought my chest wasn't going to explode!)and then again around weeks 8-9 (and post graduation). However, now it's become automatic (as long as I don't think about it) as I've become fitter. Hope this helps.

1 like

I breathe deeply and slowly even on the warm up walk to relax my lungs and start the air moving. While running, I continue breathing in and out slowly.  I relax my shoulders as I have been told this opens up the lungs so I run for a few paces with my arms by my side

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I only have 1/2 thyroid and am on thyroxine.  I had problems at the beginning but it was due to starting out to fast.  If your natural persuasion is to be a sprinter it's possible you are reverting back to that sort of pace and when starting the program it's best to start really slowly and build up as your body adjusts. There are so many systems that need to get up to speed, so to speak,  muscles, joints, heart and lungs.   If you have had cortisol problems then I would expect it's even more important not to stress your body too much as you learn.  I would imagine things will settle down as time goes on but if you are at all concerned go and have a little chat with your doctor that way your not adding more stress with worry unnecessarily.   I found running with thyroid replacement as a middle aged woman I need to make a few adjustments as I have progressed but I'm running my second HM a week on Sunday and I wouldn't give up running for anything it has complimented my thyroid replacement therapy so well, together I feel like the old me again.  


This issue is for a doctor.


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