Week 8 and struggling with breathing - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Week 8 and struggling with breathing

Deb2208 profile image


I'm new to the forum and new to running. Never been very athletic!

I am really enjoying my running but seem to struggle with my breathing. I try to concentrate on my breathing but can't seem to get a rhymn. I seem to get out of breath quite quickly but as I get fitter I hope this will get better. I am on week 8 and have done quite well up to now but really feel I need to sort my breathing out to improve further. Does anyone have any advice please?

13 Replies

If you're getting out of breath quickly then you probably need to slow down a bit and allow time for the breath to find it's own natural rhythm.

Congratulations on week 8 - graduation beckons soon - a huge achievement!

misswobble profile image
misswobbleGraduate in reply to SlowSlowKwikKwikSlow

Yep,slow things right down ☺ it will sort itself out as you get fitter Just breath normally

Bazza1234 profile image

Sorry to have to disagree with an often quoted "just breath normally" - because it all depends on just what is "normal" . My breathing pattern when I am sitting at my computer is quite different to that when I am out on the road - and again my breathing is quite different when I am walking to when I am running hard!! :)

So - what are we going to do? - just grab a breath when we need to - kind of randomly and spasmodically depending on what we are doing at the time - or are we going to develop a pattern of breathing (a rythmic pattern) which can be used regardless of whether we are sitting, walking, jogging or running?? I vote for this latter one !! :)

Dunder2004 profile image

It is as simple as it is true - if you are out of breath, you are going too fast.

Try to slow down and you will find it easier.

Agree with the others - slowing down will fix it.

Can you run with someone else ? You ought to be able to run and chat at the same time, if you can't you need to go slow enough that you can. I thought it would be impossible to run AND talk but it isn't !

in my experience slowing down resolved this issue for me when it occurred during the 9 weeks, seem to recall it happened a couple of times. By slowing down I was no longer fighting to breath and my natural running breathing pattern kicked in. Which lead to enjoyable productive running.

Oldfloss profile image

Slow it down, and take it really steadily.

Breathe gently and maybe find a counting rhythm that suits... and maybe also, let the rhythm find you, rather than you trying to fit, it, to what you decide.. ( does that make sense?) I found that I was mostly, and still am really running to a 1,2,3,4, beat and that still works for me, the breathing fell in with that...the breathing may speed up, if I do, ( which is rare), but it always follows that beat.

Well done on getting this far,slow it down and maybe just experiment a little at the slower pace. :)

IannodaTruffe profile image

As a mere male, multitasking is beyond me, when I make a conscious attempt, but in time I have discovered that my breathing has settled to pretty much what Laura suggests.

At first breathing and running at the same time seemed impossible, until I slowed enough to be able to maintain both. Don't worry too much about particular patterns of breathing, that will come in time.

davelinks profile image

What pattern or rhythm!? I just run and breathe whatever suits me and sometimes take a nice deep breath!

So, as others have said, slow it down!😊

Deb2208 profile image

Thank you so much everyone for your advice. I will slow it down, although, I don't think I am that fast now. Although I do record my run and like to beat my previous running speed and distance. I will stop doing this and just concentrate on running slower and hopefully things will fall into place. Really enjoying the running, it makes me feel so much better. I can't wait to graduate :-)

Redbillie21 profile image

When I first start running after my 5 minute warm up walk, I have a couple of minutes where I think "I'm never going to be able to do 30 minutes running!" But then I spoke to my PE teacher friend who explained that this is normal because our heart rate at walking pace is between 60-70 bpm but as soon as we start running, it jumps up to about 150bpm (don 't quote me on those actual figures!) which makes us doubt our ability to keep up that pace. But then after a few minutes, our body gets used to it and we fall into a nice steady pace.

I don't know if that helps. It certainly helped me.

AnneDroid profile image

Go for slowing down. But if that doesn't cure it, and if you find it's worse on very cold days, you might have exercise-induced or cold-induced asthma. I do, and it's easily controlled by inhalers. But try the slowing down thing first!

Also, the more you run the more your lungs will adapt anyway. But don't expect to be able to run without breathing more heavily than you do at rest. Even the fastest runners puff and pant a bit!

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