Major setback today: I woke up feeling great and... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Major setback today


I woke up feeling great and was first in office. Had a spring in my step and managed the thre flights of stairs with no breathing problems. Worked my morning as normal then headed out to our regular Thai restaraunt for lunch.

I was sitting waiting for lunch to arrive and I had sudden breathlessness, then palpitations and extreme nausea and the shakes with warm sensations rising from my chest to my head. My colleagues moved me indoors and the staff cleared me a space to lie down. I kept feeling like I was going to pass out. I’ve had panick attacks in the past but these feelings were way more intense and sudden. It was two fold the experience I had in 2017 when I was thought to have had a TIA. Anyway, I rode the wave and started to feel better after two hours. I’m now having to rest as I feel completely drained from the Adrenalin surges.

Anyone had something similar due to past anxiety issues that were intensified by the physical and emotional changes of starting the program? Was it a panick attack?

I’m feeling really unsure about running just in case it’s something physiological. Why when things seem to be going great, negative things happen? It’s just reset my fears of putting strain on my body that might result in even more negative outcomes.

13 Replies

I’d be getting that checked out by a medical professional mate. Can’t be too careful, this will still be here after.

Will get it checked out tomorrow from my gp 👍

UnfitNoMoreGraduate in reply to NotSoFlyingScotsman

Here’s hoping it’s something and nothing. Good luck.


We are right behind you but cannot give specific advice online, (even those members who are medically qualified are unlikely to do so).

Please see your GP, explain your situation, including the positives that you have already gained from running and follow their advice. I doubt very much that they will tell you to stop running, but an increase in physical exercise does throw up many underlying conditions, as seen in posts on this forum.

Take care and get checked out.

Yes, apologies if I came across looking for medical advice, which is not the case. I just read a lot about strong emotional reactions on starting this journey and thought possibly a link. I will go have a talk with my gp. See what he thinks.


Could you go and see your gp, explain what happened and just see if they can give you a check up to set your mind at ease? When you have the ok, then I think it's about going out SLOWLY and steadily building up that fitness. C25k is great for this. Also, have you had support for your health related anxiety - CBT or mindfulness? There are various apps out there - Headpsace is a great app for learning the basics of Mindfulness.

I used to suffer some pretty horrible panic attacks at night when I was younger, where I physically shook and trembled and had a racing pulse. I would feel unwell for at least 24 hours afterwards. My GP told me this was due to a surge of all the adrenaline in my body, too.😮 I have not had one for years, so please believe that you can move through this and get to a better place. I think it's great that you are trying to make a positive change.🙂

Thanks Sandraj39 for sharing your earlier experiences.

It had all the hallmarks of a PA and yes, I’ve practiced many times using mindfulness and been in therapy for two years now, which has helped push me to overcome my health/exercise fears to in turn become a big part of my recovery — sometimes it’s like being stuck between a rock and a hard place 😜

Gp tomorrow just to be sure. I’ll most likely get sent away with the offer of Benzos which I refuse 100% 🤪


..exercise has helped me massively. Running is my 'medication'🙂

That’s great and encouraging to hear 👍

I’ve had similar symptoms along with chest pain whilst running on a treadmill at a group session of interval training. I had been doing this kind of training for nearly a year and felt I was at my healthiest ever. As soon as I stopped running the pain stopped, but because I had had this chest pain before six months earlier I went to A&E where after two sets of blood tests and two ecg tests I was told I’d had a heart attack. After an angiogram I was diagnosed with SCAD - spontaneous coronary artery dissection - a tear in my coronary artery which caused a blockage of blood flow to my heart. This happens to men and women who are otherwise fit and healthy with no specific cardiac risk factors, 80% occurs in women, 20% in men . I don’t want to scare you but it might be worth discussing this with your doctor, or having a look at for more information. Fortunately my artery appears to have healed now and I’m lucky enough to be under the care of a Research Team studying thus condition, so I have the backing of my cardiologist to resume running again now. It was a real shock to me that I had suffered from SCAD, but I was lucky enough to be asked to take part in the research study. I’ve always had a tendency to get anxious and have had palpitations too. Your description of feeling so well rthen suddenly experiencing all those symptoms just made me wonder if it could’ve been SCAD. I hope I haven’t caused too much alarm but I would rather enable you to rule this out if you should ever experience those events again - by getting yourself straight to A&E and asking for two sets of blood tests and two ecg tests at least two hours apart - they need to do a troponin test of your blood as a significant rise in this indicates heart attack.

Oh scary stuff. Sounds like your on the mend and I wish you all the best. I did end up in A&E yesterday. Update coming below.

As an update. Had a similar but more scary episode again yesterday. This time I also had chest and jaw discomfort with what I can only describe a warm upwards sensation.

I took myself to A&E and was even straight away. First EKG was fine. Then they sprayed under my tongue with nitroglycerin and all symptoms calmed down within a few minutes. They took bloods (2 sets over a time period) and did a second EKG then proceeded with an X-ray and heart ultrasound. Have to admit I was a bit frightened. Good news is that all tests came back normal. The only thing they are concerned with is the fact I reacted to the nitroglycerin and suspect unstable angina... something my grandmother had from the age of 35. I’m booked in to go for more tests — stress tests etc.

I’ve decided to continue C25K looping week 1 and only walking it until I’m given the go ahead to start running. A real bummer, but the outcome I guess could’ve been worse.

Glad to hear you’re ok, well done on getting yourself fully checked over, and good idea to moderate your c25k 😉👍🏻😉👍🏻

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