Breathing challenge : I'm on week 2 and due to... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Breathing challenge

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I'm on week 2 and due to do run number 3 on Friday. I'm finding it difficult as I am a complete newbie to running, but I think it would be easier if I could control my breathing. Counting my breaths to 4 of my strides only works for the first 30 seconds or so, then my breath gets out of control, I end up panting and running gets a lot harder. Does anyone have any advice? I'm already going as slow as I can and still be running πŸ™

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There seems to be various advice regards breathing but to be honest when I first started I was just glad to suck it in and blow it out and quite quickly it improved to a point where I stopped thinking about it and it just happened

Gosh Carolyn do not think about it , please.πŸ™ˆπŸ€” Just do it. Mouth , nose both, relax, enjoyπŸ€” and just do it.πŸ‘

Stuff can come later.πŸ€”

Run as slow as you need to get the extra oxygen you need to run.

Just think about kissing the ground with your feet. Slow & steady particularly until you find your comfort in both your running and the initial breathing sticky period.πŸŒŸπŸ‘πŸ‘

Do not forget you have got a handbrake, use it , without completely stopping.As long as your two feet are leaving the ground.πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸŒŸ

If you are more comfortable with the counting perhaps 4 too many try 2.πŸ€”πŸ‘πŸ‘at present.

Also give a couple of blows out as you feel like it , to expel the CO2 for your lungs.πŸ€”πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸŒŸ

Carolyn_77 in reply to Tbae

Thank you. I'm hoping it gets easier. I did run in the rain today, but it was tough going! My breathing is an issue because despite losing 3 and a half stone I am still extremely unfit and get out of breath so easily. It makes my chest hurt like I'm having an asthma attack. I'm going to attempt going as slow as possible Friday and see if that helps. I really want to do this!

Tbae in reply to Carolyn_77

Your a Wonder Woman with what you are doing.🌟

Be kind to yourself.You are demanding huge changes from your body and your brain is way ahead of it.

Extra repair days are important to you, good hydration will help both your interests, absolutely essential, your sleep and nuitrution also.If you do not feel tired when running you will crack the breathing by not thinking about the breathing, do not overstride and do not increase your footsteps per minute either.

I know you have said you are going as slow as you can and still run.πŸŒŸπŸ‘πŸ‘

It will get easier so do not pressurise yourself. You will get there, it’s your journey.

Your amazing.πŸŒŸπŸ‘πŸ‘


I always find that if I concentrate on my breathing it’s horrendous and I struggle more. Personally, I turn my music up loud, so I can’t hear my breathing, I sing the songs in my head and my breathing comes more naturally! Xxx

Thank you. I will try that

Lisalou1402Graduate in reply to Carolyn_77

I also bought a buff (advice from other members) I found that helps a lot when there is a cold wind! Xx


I’m really struggling with this too, only I’m on week 9 and it just seems to have got worse!! I’m so disheartened 😒 hoping someone has some handy tips that work!!

Good luck x

Wow! You have got to week 9! That's amazing! 😁

Tbae in reply to Seasidepanda

I have not read all your story. But I am going to. Just noticed you run with other people and I think when you then tried on your own it was worse.πŸ€”

But I noticed you posted on breathing and you are still not comfortable.πŸ€”

Go back to what you did when you started πŸ€”. Do not overthink it and just do it and ignore it. Run slowly on your own and take on board the extra oxygen you need.

Have you increased your cadence and lengthened your stride in this running groupπŸ€”

Sounds like your legs maybe left your lungs a little bit behind.πŸ€”πŸ€”

I am going to read through your story.πŸ€”

You should be enjoying this πŸŒŸπŸ‘πŸ‘

Tbae in reply to Seasidepanda

I noticed that breathing has been an issue for you throughout this programme.πŸ€”

You are young and a very fit and fast walker.πŸ€”πŸ‘

The respiratory system can be complex to understand, I am not a medic , but you might benefit from reading the Merck Manuals on the respiratory system for lay people.

There are three phases, to getting the oxygen into your blood stream and muscles.πŸ€”πŸ™ˆ

There is also many complexities about our ability to discharge CO2.efficiently.

There are many breathing techniques and medical benefits and efficient ways.

There are also many standard simple tests to reassure from your GP.

I think at this moment you should simply be enjoying your running and not having to think at all about breathing.πŸ€”

I think you said you were overthinking this πŸ€”, you maybe being very tough on yourselfπŸ€”

this is an issue for you and many, many replies have not presented a solution to your concern or problem.πŸ€”

I hope this is of some help.

Your near to your graduation and you need to be reaching a comfortable place to continue.πŸ€”πŸŒŸπŸ‘πŸ‘


Please read the guide to the plan which explains the breathing issue and also gives lots of other basic advice.

Just breathe normally and if you are having trouble doing that, just slow down until you can. This is a sustainable pace...........without a good oxygen supply you will tire quickly.

Listening to music prevents you from hearing your breathing and this helped me , and go at snails pace. It sounds like you are doing well 😊


I struggled with this as well and thought I was running as slowly as I possibly could. I then watched the niko niko slow jogging video on youtube and this has helped slow me down further and with a slightly different technique. If I start to get overwhelmed I do a bit of niko niko until I get back in control and then either speed up slightly or stay at that pace. Not for everyone I'm sure but it got me over a hump.

Carolyn_77 in reply to HeatherEm

Thank you. I'll give that a try

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