Breathing tips : Week 3 run 2 breathing tips... - Couch to 5K

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Breathing tips

Week 3 run 2 breathing tips advice needed please, did wk 3 run 1 yesterday and run 2 today as have 14 hour shift tomorrow

No leg/calf ankle ache at all thankfully but breathing all wrong

I just feel out of breath , on walking breathing comes back relatively quick but after doing 3 minutes I feel out of puff

I don't think I'm going too quick as pace feels steady ... What should I be doing to improve breathing etc

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I'm sure you will get better advice than from me.

First it could just be normal, the first few weeks I found my cardio wasn't keeping up with my legs strength, meaning I got out of breath before my legs felt tired.

Second it could be your running posture. Sometimes I find myself hunching over as I am running, its better to keep an upright posture whilst leaning forwards slightly < or just read this page its better than I can say it and from the NHS c25k program itself

For me I ended up using the crosstrainer at the gym on rest days and it got my cardio up to speed with my leg strength, now I can run till my legs fail me but that isn't advised.

You will probably find that your cardio catches up during the normal c25k training so I wouldnt add any extra excercises.

I am someone who can not do the breathe through the nose and out through the mouth thing (if that is a thing still).

Also if it is none of the above it could be asthma, I used to get heyfever asthma in the summer, in which case go to your GP

Well done on doing the program! Realy be careful about pains you get, its hard for new runners to know what is a pain that leads to injury and what is normal.

Theres more information here for general things c25k


Hi Kallyfudge,

I'm on W4R2 which I haven't done yet yesterday I completed W4R1, I was out of breath because of my asthma hay fever mainly it's my blocked nose giving me the problem. My chest feels fine and I feel I can run more but the blocked nose give me problem and of course breathing in more pollen doesn't help at all.

I'm looking forward for when the hay fever seasons settles down a bit to be able to run freely.


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Hey Josepha,

Well done on W4R1! Especially with the asthma! I used to get it bad a few years ago but fortunately the last few years haven't been as bothered by hayfever, no idea why! I have needed to develop a quick nose unblocking technique (for running without-tissues only) though that works well when nobody is looking!! Sorry everybody..

I did find the medication helped quite a bit for hayfever but know what you mean about the constant blocked nose. Definitely keep going! Its a bit like altitude training so when it settles down you will feel super fit :)


Sorry to hear life has been tough for you, things will get better. This is a good place to come for some support!

I would also advise you to take some rest days between your runs, I know it is really hard to do that when you are so focussed on the c25k but it is important. There is also a strength and flex course done in a similar fashion from the NHS and it is supposed to complement the running very well so you might find that useful, or try something low impact like the crosstrainer or cycling or walking.

Remember to try and contact supportive people when you get down, also the samaritans etc! Do the c25k program it will really help and remember you are doing it for yourself! Well done & keep going!!

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Hi heledw, very good reply from kallyfudge.

Just wanted to add that being out of puff is completely normal at this stage of the plan and not to worry about it. As long as you are recovering during the walk interval, you should expect to find it quite tough at the moment.

I found it helped to blow out a couple of deep breaths to calm everything down and run tall with your shoulders down. Run at a slow steady pace as this will help you to increase your distances as the plan progresses.You are building stamina and will find your breathing settles into a more normal pattern in about week 5.

Well done so far, you can do this and are doing brilliantly. One run at a time and feel your confidence grow. Its a great program and really works...๐Ÿ˜Š

Good luck with run 3.

Also rest days are very important. Better to take longer to do a 'week' than to run on consequetive days.


Late and long ....

We are all so differant heledw but it is recommended that if there is any hesitation or questions you have regarding your health ...please always seek gp or professional advice before starting out on any new physical programme.

All chat here is given as personal experience but saying that we find we have mostly experienced the same or very similar experiences in following the C25k programme.

You obviously have long working days and I'm picking up you're running on your days off? I'm guessing your job involves being on your feet tHroughout the day because you're not Experiencing discomfort after running in your legs/ calfs/shins. Perhaps that is also because you are doing appropriate stretching after running which is generally recommended; so well done for doing that๐Ÿ˜Š

Perhaps you are physically (and cardio / respiratory pretty healthy) because as you say your breathing comes back relatively quick).

.....So you feel out of breath ... Is that on and during the running for 3 minutes?

....Assuming You've eaten and hydrated well every day - but not immediately glugged a gallon of H2o before your run

....You've warmed up - following the podcasts and had your 5 minutes walk

You're of ....You're moving from a walk into a run / jog

Shoulders relaxed, short steady steps, not jumping upwards but aiming to move forwards (slow your steps down - also called 'cadence'). Follow Laura's advice of looking ahead and imagine a string raising your head to a comfortable upright position - slight lean forward with feet landing under your hips and be aware of your core muscles. This WILL come together by the end of the programme, keep it slow while your technique develops and always slow down if you feel breathless... This is not a race, it is a learning to run programme which should be a healthy and happy challenge

......nhale steadily aiming to expand the lower ribs and expand your your abdomen up and it feels as though your pushing your 'tummy' out, and fill your body with oxygen to fuel your muscles, heart and lungs ...and exhale steadily- let it happen naturally but don't force or over exaggerate your respiration. This will become more natural as you progress with your running and your breathing will become less conscious .

If you are running solo then For the every run you do throughout this programme do this.....

Sing a little song, or sentences of rhymes, anything that is more than a few words and doesn't leave you out of breath or breathless - YOUR GOAL = to aim to speak easy sentences or hold a n easy conversation without gasping; if this happens stop and walk and recover - start again and SLOW down until you can....

You are trraing your legs but you're heart and lungs are the engine - fuel it well and change gears slowly๐Ÿ˜Š If the revs are high....SLOW down.

Long working days will take it's toll, I don't use a heart rate monitor but plent here do including the administrator of this site and if you are interested in this please do a search and you'll find many posts and responses of good value.

A long response for you - and there are zillions of YouTube vids on all levels of runners and every conceivable question... Hope all goes, and WELL DONE!x

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On my warm up walk, I focus on deep slow breathing to get the oxygen flowing before I start. Nice relaxed running pace should mean you could talk to another runner as you move along, so if not, slow a bit more (speed can come later). Relax your arms and shoulders as tension makes it harder to breathe. Nice slow and deep breathing all the way. Once you get it, you will find later, you could just plod on and on without breathing being a problem (legs are a different matter)!!

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Hi heledw. I used to worry about this but I have found if I don't think about how I'm breathing then it's fine. It definitely improves as you move through the program though! Good luck! ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿƒ


I breath in time with my running . I don't listen to music I just concentrate on the best of my running and breathing .Also I have always repeated a day in every week I have ran . This has helped me build stamina .

And lastly you really do need to have a rest day after a run day .


I won't run today, I will run in Saturday then won't run then as 2 long shifts (12 and 14 hours)

If I have to I will do week 3 4 times as need to do this

I walk loads I'm not sure if I'm stretching properly, but I will look up stretches later

I try to drink plenty of water throughout the day

Thank you all for your tips


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