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Couch to 5K
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Week 6 - worried about a couple of things - is this normal?

Hi - I'm now on week 6 of the couch to 5km. I've found the gradual build up very good and am pleased at the way my stamina is improving. However, the podcasts say you should breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, but when I start running my body just breathes in and out through my mouth. When I made an effort to breathe in through my nose, I panicked and got very breathless. At first i coped alright, but now at week 6, my legs feel like lead and I'm very tired after the run. I'm 56 and pretty unfit, am I trying to do too much?

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You are doing just fine :)

If the legs are a little leaden at the mo why not take 2 days rest between runs? It will push your graduation day out a little but this is not a race. If it takes more than 9 weeks it's no biggy x

Maybe go for a massage as a treat for getting to wk 6 and it should help the legs too 👍

And don't worry about the breathing, you've been doing it for 56 yrs! Just do what comes naturally.

Happy running x

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Thank you - I have sometimes taken an extra day between runs. I did the 25 minute run this morning, it was really hard, but I'm pleased with myself, but felt like going back to bed when I got home.

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I can empathise with this! Have literally just got back in having done the wk6r3 and wasn’t sure I’d be able to get up the stairs when I got home! Also finding the same thing with the breathing. The only thing that kept me going today was the thought that if I’d got mostly through the 25 minutes but stopped early, I’d only have to repeat it next time. Anyway, we can both feel pleased that we made it through the 25 minutes even if it’s with less grace than others 😂

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Welcome to the forum and well done on your progress.

This guide to the plan is essential reading healthunlocked.com/couchto5... and includes advice on breathing...........forget about breathing through the nose.

You are doing great.

Enjoy your journey.

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Thanks, that's reassuring - I was worried - as soon as I start running it all happens through my mouth! Running uphill is really hard too!

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Hi, here is something I learned in my running group. For running uphill, try shortening your strides and land on the ball of your foot. Also use your arms to propel you a bit. If you get the hang of this you will be able to do the hills without slowing down too much and it's less exhausting overall.

Also, running uphill is great for your toning the muscles in the back of your legs and your bottom 🙂

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Great job... you’re running 20+ minutes... hate to break this to you, but you’re no longer that unfit.

Breathing... just do it how it feels best. I didn’t get in with the recommended breathing and I ended up having to distract me from thinking and panicking about breathing with a good podcast... now I just run. Several other sources say the same thing about breathing... your subconscious can do it all by itself.

Heavy legs can be a sign that hydration isn’t 100% if you can improve that it will come easier.

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Thank you - good point, I'll try to drink more water.

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I am 55 and just completed the programme for the second time. I have never been particularly fit or athletic and even at school I spiced off sport largely due to body image a d underlying bullying. But here I am now. I also breathe mostly through my mouth and probably have done most of my life particularly when doing energetic stuff.

I completed c25k pretty much on schedule the first time round. I found several days when it was both physically and mentally challenging. It is part of the process. I find music helps a lot especially something a bit lively. I have a real eclectic mix on my run tracks at the moment. ACDC, earth wind and fire, sister sledge, altered images and I have been given some strange looks on Lapta walkway when I burst into Under Pressure! In the gym I have long songs that I just get absorbed in and sometimes podcasts.

After completing first time round I was plagued with a series of injuries so I restarted at week 5 and from then on I did each run 3 times. It has built my stamina and also my mental stamina. I did 4k+ in 30 mins yesterday morning and by the evening there was no residual stiffness in my legs.

Repeating and taking a bit extra time is a pain I know. We are all impatient for the achievement but st the end of the day we are doing this for ourselves. I am now so totally chuffed with myself thst I can actually say I can run 5k or 30 mins, i actually feel confident I can do it, it is no longer a case of start and hope i get to the end.

Percivere, slow your pace, 're run if you have to it does not matter if it takes a bit longer, and try to find something to listen too that takes you away. I have taken several extra months but I now say with masses of confidence I am a runner, even if I breathe through my mouth!

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I'm not very sporty at all, in fact a real couch potato. Thanks so much for your advice, I think repeating some runs is a good idea, I think there's quite a big jump in length of run in weeks 5 and 6.

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Think we are in the same mould! Some of the increases are psychological but if you feel you need to repeat. When I came back from injury I did the split 20mins a few times before I went on to the 20mins, basically to the point where I felt it was easy. The key is to get there and not worry about the time.

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You're over thinking. As my meditation podcast says "You know how to breath, you've been doing it all your life."

We all ache on occasion, your running for longer now you could try slowing down.

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Thanks, but I don't think I could go much slower!

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Also remember it takes 10 min for breathing to run out, don't worry about slower

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I'm sure some people like it but running on grass sucks the life out of me, I just can't do it, never have, not even five years ago when I ran regularly. You're doing great! Well done :)

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Try drinking extra water after your runs to help flush out stuff from running 🏃 😁

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As soon as Sanjeev started telling me how to breathe I lost control of my feet. Gave that day’s dog walkers something fresh to think about ! Slow down a little. Make sure you’re well hydrated - dehydration can make your legs feel heavy. Once you find your own pace and rhythm you’ll stop thinking about your breathing at all, honest 😀

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I’m 59, just ran week 6 run 2, and you could be describing my legs at the end of the run! Hang on in there - we are probably developing our runners legs st a slower pace than the twenty year olds ☺️

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I’ve never been able to breath through my nose when running. I’m sure there are benefits but I wouldn’t get too hung up on it. Just enjoy running x

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Don't worry about any instructions, just breathe. The only important thing is to make sure you're getting enough air into your lungs. I've managed to run for nearly 40 years without following any method. We're all different. (just back after a year of injury so using this wonderful app to get started again without doing anything stupid in case you're wondering!).

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Couple of things - are you hydrated enough - plenty of fluids on run days and rest days.

I also struggled with this breathing - until I found the Japanese slow jogging movement video on youtube and that changed everything for me. I no longer have to think about the breathing because I’m running so slowly it takes care of itself!! I can now run for 45 mins in this way - and if you’d told me that at the beginning of November - well I’d think you were barmy! Some kind soul posted this video here just at the stage you are at and it really really helped me. I graduated on my 53rd birthday and am carrying some excess baggage. Hope this helps x

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Hi Rhoda56 First of all well done for doing C25K. I don't think you should get too stressed about how you are breathing at the moment. I mean it's a reflex action. As you get short of oxygen due to demands from exercise your breathing rate will increase. Do what comes naturally at the moment. As long as you run with your head up, looking ahead so that your lungs can expand properly you will be ok. Don't try to run too quickly. Slow down. Take your time. Perhaps you are going too quickly. When you are doing your warm up, take really deep breaths to get plenty of oxygen in your lungs.

Keep up the good work. You are doing well.

By the way I am almost 63 so have some idea how you feel.

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