Couch to 5K
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How do I breathe?!

I’ve always played sports but always hated running and have never managed to feel comfortable as can’t seem to get a comfortable breathing pattern. When I run I seem to have nothing to distract me from trying to breathe, whereas chasing a ball seems easier. I really want to learn to run and make the most of it.

Has anyone got any tips or advice. I want to just control my breathing so I can get some oxygen and not struggle so much with it. I find I’m either gasping or holding my breathe. I really want to develop a nice method that doesn’t distract me and remind me that I’m suffering!

Thanks!

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I used to constantly pant when I was running. The key is to take long deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth; but like you I always found I was reverting to panting and gasping as soon as I got tired.

I worked on the tip that you should count your breaths with your footfall. If you count how many times your left foot strikes the ground; it should take four strikes to breathe in, and a further four strikes to breathe out.

Personally, that doesn’t quite work for me as I’m still running a bit slow, but I’ve found three strikes in, three strikes out works fine. It also helps you concentrate and focus; and as a result forget how far / long you are running.

Good luck!

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Thanks For replying, I hope I nail it as it really bothers me. I’ll try that next time!

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You do C25k learn to run 9 week programme. You have to go very slowly ! If your breathing is ragged and all over the place then you’re in too big a hurry

You breathe normally for the programme As you get fitter, and start to run further, you will notice that your breathing settles down into a pattern. Actually you might not notice 🙂

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I second this.

I really struggled with my breathing for the first few weeks. Every time I tried a different method I ended up feeling light headed. The long and short of it was when I slowed it down to a snails pace not only did I finally start making good progress and not need to repeat days but I forgot about my breathing entirely... it just happened.

Good luck!

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As Misswobble has said, when you start the program you do feel a bit puffed. Slow down, you are training to run for progessively longer times. Follow the program, it works and you build stamina with every run session.

Listen to music with the app or the podcasts have music on them, just breath as best you can, and as you get further into the program it all settles down.

The secret really is to run at a steady, comfortable pace...

Good luck😊...

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Thanks for both your advice - I might be trying to over do it a little. I’ll try and slow down and see what happens. In the future I’ll try and develop a better technique as I get fitter and better at it.

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Read the guide to the plan which mentions breathing healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

Basically if you can't breathe you are running at an unsustainable pace for your current fitness level..........slow down.

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I think you have the answer there yourself-when you are running after a ball you are thinking about the ball not your breathing!

I tried breathing with footfall and just could not do it at all. The best advice I had (for me) was to NOT think about breathing, slow down, relax and allow it to look after itself. I had to work quite hard at not thinking about my breathing for a couple of weeks and have never thought about it since! It just came right all by itself ( in about W4 or 5 I think).

If you are out of puff you are going too fast. It doesn't matter how slowly you run, ( running at walking pace is fine), speed can come later. 😃

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Hi Jamie72 ....breathing, yes...I remember when I started the programme & could never seem to get my breath...but, as I progressed through the weeks my breathing gradually got steadier...then, one day, I realised that I wasn’t breathing heavily anymore...and I didn’t know how long it’d been like that!! I must’ve just been concentrating on keeping running to even notice that my breathing had sorted itself out!!! I used to hate it in between tracks when I could actually hear myself, I found it really off putting....now I’m one of those runners that can run & breath, like the ones I used to wonder about!!! It will get easier as you move through the weeks, honestly...just try not to over think it, remember that the first 10 minutes are the hardest while the chemicals in your body try & sort themselves out & catch up with what you’re doing....known as the ‘toxic 10’ ....some days, especially on cold ones, it can be the ‘toxic 15’ for me!!! Keep going, you’re doing just fine...everything will fall into place 😉

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