Breathing : Hi, I just completed my W4R1 and... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Hi, I just completed my W4R1 and nearly did not make due to extreme breathing difficultly during the last run. All was good up till the half way point but after the second 3 min run I never fully recovered in the 90 sec, the 1 minute warning came just at the right time and I was able to get to the end. How can I regulate my breathing during that last 90sec walk, anyone got any tips?

8 Replies

You just go very slowly. The slower you can go the less ragged your breathing will be. Also,try and relax. Anxiety won't help your breathing. Chill a bit and enjoy yourself, breathing normally

Going nice and slowly buys time. Time that allows you to finish each session


slow slow and slow... and try to relax..... I know thats easier said than done but it does work.... visualise calm waters and a fresh forest ( thats what I do when my asthma is bad and it always works)....

Oldfloss has this brilliant saying - kissing the ground. And she means run lightly as your feet should merely kiss the ground. So maybe the problem only manifests in the last 90 seconds because you've been too hard on the ground previously. Go slower and glide, it helps really. From a card carrying member of the elephant feet club, it's surprising how it can tire you out....

I have been thinking about this all day, so I just used some on line sites where you can plan running routes to work out how far I went and a rough pace.

Now when I set off I was sure I was going at a slow steady pace but this would suggest I'm going too fast, so including the warm up walk to the end of the 1st 5min run I was approx. 6.6min/km and then including the 2.5walk to the end I was approx. 7.7min/km.

So I need to go slower, is there any simple way of knowing what pace you are running at say 8min/km etc?

BluebirdrunnerGraduate in reply to mrmick

You are supposed to be able to be able to make brief conversation whilst running.. two or three actual words..not a grunt..😉

and finding a slow steady pace that you can maintain will really help as the runs get slightly longer. I used to blow a couple of long breaths out if I was getting really puffed out and relax your shoulders to open your chest.

As you get further in to the program, you will find the breathing becomes easier, just bear in mind that at the start of your run section your body has to take on extra oxygen to cope with the exertion and this takes a few mins, going slower will make sure you can run further.


Slow and the others say, try to relax into the run.... enjoy what is going on around you and simply breathe.

Once we overthink things it may all go pear shaped... just go and enjoy:)

thanks for your replies, I read a number of other posts on breathing and other peoples W4 experiences and there were a number of things I could relate to.

The W4R1 was my first evening run and that possibly also played a part, so this morning I was again out at 5am and made a real effort to go slower and I think it worked, I got to the end in a fairly comfortable condition and remained in control of my breathing throughout. Hopefully i'll be able to repeat that on Friday for R3

After my struggles of R1Wk4, today I completed week 5 the 20minutes was not easy but I got to the end and still had some running in me. Pace is clearly the key and I have not mastered it yet.

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