How can I regulate breathing? : Week 2 done and... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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How can I regulate breathing?

Fundraiserfi profile image

Week 2 done and still panting uncontrollably- breathing in and out on every fourth step not manageable. I’m a 57 year old female who is overweight and not fit......yet😉

15 Replies
RainbowC profile image
RainbowCGraduate

I’ve tried all sorts of breathing patterns since I first started this programme. Now I use ‘in for 4, out for 3’ most of the time, and switch to ‘in for 3, out for 3’ when I’m struggling more. I’ve sometimes used 3:2 in the past when working hard to run up a hill. Experiment with it, and see what works for you. :)

Just slow down. Don’t try and regulate your breathing or do any weird technique, just regulate your pace.

MickGJ profile image
MickGJGraduate

I was a bit bemused by that "every fourth step" instruction. I think I was more "every other step" at that stage. I wouldn't worry about that side of things at all, but maybe you could try running a bit more slowly so you don't get out of breath. It's amazing how slowly you can run if you put your mind to it.

I stopped worrying about breathing and just slowed down. Once I stopped trying it all fell into place. I'm a similar age as you. Well done for starting 👏

MrsFooks profile image
MrsFooksGraduate

I use to worry about this all the time but once I stopped thinking about it and my fitness increased it all just started to happen naturally. Now I can’t imagine how I ever ran differently to how I do now. Good luck xx

Irish-John profile image
Irish-JohnGraduate

I don't at all. I pant and gasp my way around. I'm currently doing the whole programme again, but my Asthma did not stop me going all the way to 10K graduation and a bit beyond before the injury that sidelined me for the last three months :)

Right now, just take it slow and steady and build up your stamina, it takes a while and for over ninety percent of us graduates in a poll last year it took a bit more than nine weeks to graduate/hit 5K anyway - there will be plenty of time for you later to adjust and experiment with techniques and find what is a good fit for you, but right now you are making a lot of adjustments to your body as it is simply by doing the 'bare bones' programme :)

Wishing you all the many happy miles that await in your future :)

I just try to breath in through my nose and out through my mouth. That’s about as coordinated as I can manage!

Bazza1234 profile image
Bazza1234Graduate

I am very much a rhythmic breather and thoroughly recommend it. However, I would only ever use a 4/4 pattern when running reasonably slowly. Now my "reasonable" pace is going to be different from someone else's - and it is also different to my "easy" pace. My easy pace does not get my breathing raised at all - it is basically the same as when I do a brisk walk and my breathing can be anything it likes - I can even hold my breath for a short while :) But when running a parkrun, I quickly get up to a 3/3 pattern and a 2/2 pattern over the last couple of hundred metres. We run because we can - not because we know how to. There is a lot to learn about running - it does come naturally to children but we have forgotten all that long ago and we have to relearn the skill.

Bazza1234 profile image
Bazza1234Graduate

To be brutally honest about this - it is quite difficult to regulate breathing for those first few weeks of C25k . The running segments are so short that it is almost impossible to develop any kind of rhythmic pattern. This comes later once the running segments lengthen and you can settle into a rhythmn , both running and breathing.

I asked the exact same question in week two, I’ve just finished week three and the advice I got on here really worked, slow it down take smaller running steps, I run like a snail 🐌 but I don’t care as long as I can do i, my aim is to run the 30 mins non stop, hopefully I’ll get a bit faster/fitter with practice

Whatsapp profile image
WhatsappGraduate

My advice is don't! You have enough to focus on.

During the first 10 minutes or so of any run your breathing (and heart rate) will be heavier as your body attempts to increase the oxygen levels in your blood, to compensate for the heightend effort levels required from running. Attempting to 'regulate' your breathing during this time will be counter-productive.

As you will soon find in the later weeks, after aorund ten minutes your breathing will improve and settle itself naturally.

There is a lot of talk of breathing techniques, but no consensus of opinion. Ignore it in these early runs. Your body is doing what it needs to. Part of the whole training on these run/walks is to keep shocking your body into increaseing its cardio rate to get it used to doing so, and then increasing the duration of this weekly.

123soph456 profile image
123soph456Graduate

I struggled the same!! I’m very over weight as well it’s going to sound bonkers but I turn my music really loud so I can’t hear me breathing!! If I focus on my breathing I panic and then start panting! Your body will make you breath try not to worry, I doubt you ever think of breathing until you start jogging. It’s hard to not focus on it but your body will be fine, just try to not think about it. Get some music on really loud and try maybe singing along in your head. I do that and after the 1st 5mins your body will find a nice rhythm. Don’t give up and try not to worry.

1slowcoach profile image
1slowcoachGraduate

I used to struggle with my breathing like that. I used to practice breathe when sitting watching TV ....doing a slow count to 4 to breathe in an then out. When walking to the shops I would try taking 4 steps whilst I breathed in an 4 steps breathing out an built up that way. Now it just comes automatically without having to think about it.

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeAdministrator

Please read the guide to the plan healthunlocked.com/couchto5... which gives advice on breathing and many other areas.

Slow down so you can talk clearly, without gasping, even if you can walk faster. Speed will come as you get fitter.

RELAX... i know, easier said than done ---- but there are a few things I try to concentrate on:

Let your arms hang loose and try to keep your neck & shoulders relaxed

Think about breathing slower and deeper from your diaphragm

Concentrate more on your form and worry less about your pace

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