Couch to 5K
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Newbie - W1R2 - Obese, 40 with asthma-struggling with breath

Hi all!

I am an overweight lady, just turned 40, 30 fags a day, sittin on my ar5e kinda gal and decided to have a go at the c25k. I was very fit 15 years ago but after suffering with anxiety, meds and comfort eating have ballooned (7 extra stone!) and become sedentary. Tonight is the 2nd time I've run in 15 years. I'm not doing too badly but I am struggling with getting my breath. I had to stop twice tonight for a few minutes to get my breath back (I can't even catch it with the slow walking). Because of this I feel I should repeat week 1 until I can properly run it without having to stop. Does anyone have any advice on techniques for breathing properly or wise words on repeating week 1. I don't actually mind how many weeks it takes. I'm going to do it x (obviously I realise stopping smoking would be great but hey, little steps!)

14 Replies


I genuinely laughed out loud when I read your username. That's priceless and the best one one here since Usain_Balti.

Why not repeat W1, but walk every other running section (so you only run 4 times).??That will help you to build up the stamina. Once you can do that OK, revert to W1 with the 8 runs. Take it nice and steady. We'll have you running 30 minutes before you know it. Honestly.


Sounds good! I'm surprised I'm not aching body wise but not a twinge yet *touches wood...just struggling with the breathing but I have no doubt it will get better :)


Well done on making such a great decision to start C25K

I would repeat wk1 at least again until you complete it; otherwise you may move onto the other weeks and feel demoralised.

I can sympathise with the weight, 6 stone overweight when I started and currently have lost nearly a stone after 6 weeks but i made the decision that if I was going to do this and run then I needed to eat healthily too.

Good Luck with your journey anx keep posting; this forum is great for advice, support and encouragement x


Me too Slinky - I'm joining Slimming World tomorrow night! xx Thanks for the reply and well done on the stone weight loss! Brilliant! x



As a fellow asthmatic I'd recommend using your reliever inhaler before you head out, and also taking it out with you if you need it then.

I felt in the first few weeks that my breathing was really shallow and I felt like I was struggling to get enough oxygen into my lungs. However, something just clicked a few runs ago and my breathing is now much easier. So stick with it is my advice!

Also I'd agree with the others - stick with W1 until you can do it without stopping.

Good luck! :D


Welcome. I used running and a completely new routine to help me give up smoking so maybe this new running lark will help you with that.

It sounds like you've decided to make some pretty big changes so good luck and don't give up.😀


Repeat the runs as many times as you need. Going for a walk or cycle on your off days can help build stamina.

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Good advice given to your already... :) Well done for starting this. :)

Think, as you say, small steps... but.. ( you know it yourself... and you know what i am going to say, don't you )...? Make one of the first steps, the one where you leave the cigarettes behind :) I am not sure the breathing will get better or not otherwise, but, I am no expert on this :)

Slow and steady is the way to go... really, really slowly. repeat, as you feel you need to.

Your journey and your way... the hardest bit was starting.. and you did that! :)

Keep posting.. lots of great support, here and people like me, pushing you gently from behind! :)


I am also an asthma sufferer and as long as I take my meds and take my blue inhaler with me I am ok and I have managed to run 2 marathons. I did C25k with my lovely friend who is 19 stone and she did each week twice and that worked. Take it steady, do the weeks as many times as you need... And when you can book in to see the smoking cessation folks, but only when you are ready ... Good luck :)


I started C25K at a little under 21 stone and also joined Slimming world online. Four months later I'm down to 18st 4lb (still a long way to go but getting there!!!) and run 5k at least three times a week. Good luck with your goals, every step you take is one more than when you were sitting on the couch!!! I've now been off the fags for about eight months and breathing is bank balance has seen an improvement in its health too!!! LOL


Wecome, you've done the hardest part, starting C25K😃. I found going on the cross trainer helped with my breathing. I used to smoke 20\30 a day, the more people said to give up the more I smoked!. About 11 year ago I decided to stop, for myself, I opened a separate bank account and had my cigarette money paid in monthly by DD, 6 years ago I had saved enough to buy my own car, I still save, seeing my money grow keeps me off cigarettes. Ha ha.☺


Goodness your post could well of been about me!!

I'm also carrying around 7 extra stone, am asthmatic & sit on said item at a desk all day at work.

Best advice I can give is take it slow & exercise somewhere you feel comfortable. I'm on Run No 2 of doing Week 1 properly this week. Last week I did Week 1 but ran every other run time instead of every run time & finding that I could actually do it gave me so much confidence & enjoyment it has encouraged me to keep going.

Admittedly, my run pace is actually slower than my walking one but I am doing it.

Good on you for giving it a go, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do :-)


Well done on on your decision to make changes, you really have just jumped the largest hurdle. It is not easy and sometimes it feels like a long long road on the journey.

But stay with it, there is no hurry and there will be hick ups along the way. Just keep repeating any run as many times as you need to their is no shame in going back if you need to what is important is that you put on your trainers and get out there.

You soon will surprise yourself as it really dose become addictive especially along with slimming world, when you see the minutes clock up on the jogging and the numbers on the scales go down .

Good luck


Well done for starting! I’m a few weeks further in and it really really works, so do it at your own pace and keep going ( and keep posting !!). On the ( not) giving up smoking, I was a heavy smoker for decades and tried many many times to give up but always crept back ( sometimes after a year or 2), but don't despair. I aleays thought I could never stop wanting a cigarette but 10 years on, I have, you can, I found changing my routine helped hugely. So when you feel like it, shout out and we will all be on your side !! Good luck with all of it :-)))!


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