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Couch to 5K
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Week 4 and I am TERRIFIED!

Hi everyone I am about to start week 4 and the thought of having to run for 5 whole minutes scares the pants off me! I'm ok until Sarah Millican talks to me about breathing then it all goes wrong and I can't breathe at all! I am really proud of myself for even starting this as I need to up my fitness and shift some timber but any advice will be gratefully received! ☺

12 Replies

I couldn't get on with the breathing thing either - I'm really not sure it's helpful at this early stage of learning to run. I tried doing what Sanjeev suggested, but it got more more stressed and out of breath to I abadoned it. Just breath however you need to!

Very well done getting through wk3. I remember well the terror of 5 min runs in wk 4, but somehow the programme had got me ready for them. The anticipation was worse than the reality!


You can do this, just relax and take it slow and steady, you will be amazed, let us know how it went. 😁


A lot of us just breathe whatever way we can and it works out fine :)

I was petrified of EVERY week and increase in timr - but just kept at it, slowly, steadily and at my own pace.

You got this far, you certainly can go a the way in your own time never doubt :)


You made a wise and brave decision to start C25K, a progressive training plan to get you running for thirty minutes. Why should you fear a run? If you don't complete it, simply repeat it, getting stronger each time, until you can. Simple actually and not in any way something to fear. You can only fail this plan if you slump back on the couch.

Forget the breathing advice, relax and breathe as normal. If you can't breathe, you are running too fast. Slow down.

Chill. You are in control.


Ignore the breathing nonsense altogther. It is utterly spurious advice and i am astonished that HU have not taken notice of the continual feedback to this end.

As regards being terrified of runs... there is enough in this world to be terrified of at the moment: nuclear war, nazis, hurricanes... running for 5 minutes is not something to be terrified of.


Have faith in the programme wks 1-4 have been preparing you for week 5. How did you feel before wk4? Yet you got through that one!

As for breathing, yes you need to breath, how you do it is up to you, but please keep breathing.

Good Luck with wk5 let us know how you get on!


For me the breathing will sort itself out in time, in these early stages just managing to keep running is an achievement as for breathing well my lungs are screaming out for oxygen and are trying to suck it in through every orifice in my body

Breath the best you can and just concentrate on getting through the runs, run nice and steady (you can't be to slow) and you'll get there, everything you've done so far is preparing you for the next run

You've got this!

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As everyone says ignore the breathing thing, you've been doing it all your life and breathing to a template doesn't work for many of us. Loads of us had close to stress attacks mid-run, I wasn't bothered until it was suggested by Mr Smooth that I might like to try the 4 count tip. Next time he suggested it, I told him to shut up and since then had no problems breathing!

Seriously though, do your own thing, you know your body and its rhythms. Also your breathing will settle as you progress through and get fitter.

You're ready for W4, believe it once your head says yes, your legs do too.

Happy running


Just run... that is all... slow, steady and relaxed! You can so do this..trust the programme and have faith in yourself!!


PS... The breathing??? Just do what you do, every second of the day.. do not overthink it at all..just do it:)


I did week 4 run 1 on Sunday and was thinking how on earth am I going to do five minutes when I'm dying by the end of a three minute run!!! The advice on here about slowing down and keeping it steady is absolutely bang on.

Week 4 I have definitely learnt about pace. I've slowed right down and remarkably did the 5 mins, it was a challenge but the bigger challenge was in my head.

Interestingly whilst slowing down, my average pace has gone up as I'm not burning myself out early and flagging at the end of the run.

Slow, steady and you'll nail it.

Good luck, w4 run2 is tomorrow for me and I'm almost looking forward to it 😄


I did it!!!! Thanks so much for all your advice and support..you have no idea how much it helped. I ignored the breathing, slowed down and concentrated on the music I was listening to this way I found I hit a natural rhythm - gotta love a bit of Biffy. I think I might be looking forward to the next run, I just need to negotiate walking tomorrow first!. Thanks again you guys are ace.😀


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