Breathing whilst running - how to do it? - Couch to 5K

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Breathing whilst running - how to do it?

Redbillie21 profile image

I'm haven't been using the NHS C25K app because for some reason it wouldn't work. So I used another very similar app. But, it doesn't talk about how to breathe properly when running. So, I looked it up on the internet and discovered the 2-2, 3-3 etc method of breathing, explaining to breathe into your stomach and not your chest. It said that if you'd been breathing into your chest, you have probably been getting a stitch. So, since then, I have been trying very hard to use my stomach and guess what? I've been getting a stitch!

Has anyone got any advice on why? Am I doing it wrong? I find I'm spending a lot of time trying to concentrate on my breathing!

13 Replies
Oldfloss profile image

So many of us have posted on this..:) So advice is,just do it how it suits you best :)

Many folk cannot breathe in thro' the nose and out thro the mouth. as is recmmeded on the C25K podcast, many folk breathe in and out thro mouth.. I do both :) I wear a buff this weather anyway, to stop the cold air brrr..:)

I remember the concentration well, and I like many used to hold my breath when running, until the runs got longer.. (didn't we poppypug ?)

Main thing is.. just do it your way. slow and steady does it :) and..just keep breathing :)

poppypug profile image
poppypugGraduate in reply to Oldfloss

Tee Hee ! Yes , we most certainly did Oldfloss ! There was far too much going on to remember to keep breathing as well :-)

You will find your own way that is comfortable for you Redbillie21 xxx

tortoisegirl profile image

I found breathing a real struggle to start with, obsessing over counting, nose v mouth etc. In the end I decided that it was in my body's best interests to keep me going and it was unlikely to let me run out of oxygen. I stopped thinking about it while I was running, and it all became a lot easier.

glendam52 profile image

I couldnt get the breathing either as I was concentrating on the breathing I realised I was almost walking. So I just try and keep calm and breath normally.

Just breathe as best you can. I found puffing out a couple of long breaths helpful when things got a bit tight..but just try and get through the runs and recover during the walks.

As you get further into the plan your breathing sorts itself out...honestly 😊xx

Redbillie21 profile image

Thanks everyone for your sound advice. I can't do the nose breathing bit at all so rely on my mouth. In future I'm just going to do what I did before, listen to my music and enjoy my run! 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

Millsie-J profile image

The only thing I've read that has been helpful, because none seemed to fit my breathing needs is this:

Three strides breathing in, two strides breathing out. Apparently it better balances the impact on the body. When always breathing in the same side-stride (every even stride) there is impact through the same side of the body which may cause misalignment pain.........or something like that!

For me the three in two out works. Everyone is different so you need to find what works for you 😃

Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator in reply to Millsie-J

As long as can just I breathe I am happy :)

Redbillie21 profile image
Redbillie21Graduate in reply to Oldfloss


Redbillie21 profile image
Redbillie21Graduate in reply to Millsie-J

Sound advice. Do you breathe into your stomach though Jacs-w?

Millsie-J profile image
Millsie-JGraduate in reply to Redbillie21

I breathe so I am 😆😆😆😆.

I do my best to observe technique but it depends what else is going on. Im like Floss, im breathing so Im happy, but that might be an age thing 😉

Sandraj39 profile image

I breathe in and out through my mouth and always have done. The breathing technique you describe sounds like diaphragmatic breathing (which I also do!) which pulls air right down in to the bottom of your lungs rather than just in to the top, meaning you take in more oxygen which is supposed to be more effective. I did quite a bit of yoga (many years ago) which is when I was taught to breathe like this and I do it quite naturally now, I think. If I ever find I am strugglung on a run I always check that I'm not breathing just in to my chest. It will take a bit of practice to get it right. I never count however - just do what feels comfortable.☺

Redbillie21 profile image
Redbillie21Graduate in reply to Sandraj39

Yes, I understand what you mean. I used to do yoga too and have been trying to replicate that method of breathing.

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