Breathing (again!!): So I got the hang of... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Breathing (again!!)


So I got the hang of running slowly for the 90 second run and could chat as I run.

My question is, is it right to get more out of breath if you run more, or should it stay steady regardless of distance? That’s probably a silly question?! Lol

I did my first 5 minute run yesterday, I can’t believe I managed it, but I was pretty out of breath and don’t know if I just went too fast??

Be grateful for any advice! Thank you 🏃🏼‍♀️

10 Replies

You might have been going too fast.. are you on week 4? I find my breathing takes a while to get into a rhythm (I dont pay much attention to it beyond this though to be honest) and it takes about 15 minutes of exercise for it to sync up. So were you out of breath for just the first 5 minute, or the second one too? If it was both, I'd say yes you are probably going (needlessly) too fast. You're still building your running legs. So am I nearly 2 months post-grad! Speed will come later.

SeasidepandaGraduate in reply to VictoriaRuns

Yes I was out of breath for all the runs. It’s the breathing that makes me need to stop, not my legs. I did manage all of them though...

So when you run further, you can do it without getting too out of puff??

Thanks for your response 😊

VictoriaRunsGraduate in reply to Seasidepanda

Ah yes, I'm sure one of the mentors will be along shortly to explain all of the virtues of slower running, but it does sound like you would benefit from slowing for a bit.

And yes, I think most people struggle in the first 10-15 of running (it's called the toxic ten) and then get into a groove of sorts. I don't run until I am so puffed out I have to stop, I run, push myself in parts I feel able, but generally do it all at a comfortable pace. You shouldn't be panting for all of your run though.

How are you finding it so far, breathing aside? Seems like you are doing very well.

SeasidepandaGraduate in reply to VictoriaRuns

Totally loving it, can’t wait to be getting out doing it! I’ve also started a little local group of mums going out together doing it which is fantastic! Much easier running with others and I think that keeps me slower!

Still pretty self conscious but that’s getting better...

Must must must keep it slow- that’s so hard!!

VictoriaRunsGraduate in reply to Seasidepanda

Oh wonderful! Getting the whole town fit 🤣

You are not alone in feeling self-conscious if that's any consolation, but I also promise that it will pass. As you said, it's already getting better


I would say you would benefit from slowing up. See how that feels, try and relax, your shoulders etc and dont panic!


Actually it IS your legs that are causing you to huff and puff . Leg muscles are some of the largest muscles we have and when we use them vigorously by running, they demand LOTS of blood and oxygen. The only way your brain knows how to do this is then to demand your heart and lungs to pump harder!!!! Strong well trained legs develop blood channels that provide more blood/oxygen to the leg muscles and hence less need for the heart/lungs to pump so hard. You problem is that you have nailed how to run for 90 seconds but it is a long leap to 5 minutes. Your legs are nowhere near trained enough yet and only time on your feet running can do that. Patience :)


Ah yes, that makes perfect sense!! I will persist and have faith that it will get easier!


The majority of professional runners use a 20%/80% hard easy split to their running. The easy running is defined by being able to hold a conversation as you run. If it is good enough for the pros, it should be good enough for us recreational runners.

Have you read the guide to the plan ?

It will answer many questions.

Toxic ten! That sounds like what I am experiencing too

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