Advice on Breathing Technique: I Have just... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Advice on Breathing Technique


I Have just finished week 6 run 3. I am managing ok I think but still finding that I can’t get into a good breathing pattern. I am trying to get a rhythm and to take deep breaths but slip back to snatching short quick breaths. Any thoughts. Thanks!

13 Replies

I’m no expert but I have graduated and I find if I slow down I can control the 4x4 breathing better. Good luck

Ruby69Graduate in reply to Skonnet

What is 4x4 breathing pls?

cmeh1 in reply to Skonnet

Thanks I’ll give that a go.


Are you breathing deep into the bottom of your lungs, into your belly, or are you breathing mostly into your chest?

When you breathe, do you completely empty the lungs before filling them again? Are you snatching quick breaths rather than having an even in-two-three-four-out-two-three-four?

I think "4x4" means breathing in for four steps and out for four steps. It's a good guideline to follow until a breathing pattern kicks in naturally.

cmeh1 in reply to nowster

When I focus on breathing I try to slow it down and take in as much air as I can into my lungs. Then it goes a bit haywire when I start to think about something else. I guess it’s practice. I’ll keep at it. Thanks a lot .


Just breathe. It’ll itself ourself out soon. Slow down too.

cmeh1 in reply to Tasha99

Yes, I’ll try slowing down to settle back into a good pattern. Thanks!


Do what comes naturally. For most this is predominantly in and out through the mouth. If you can belly breath ( diaphragmatic breathing) great but I wouldn't overthink it at this stage. Sometimes we overthink it and then find we lose our natural rhythm. Good luck🙂

cmeh1 in reply to Sandraj39

I agree about the rhythm. When I relax into it the breathing doesn’t seem a problem. Guess it’s part of the learning curve. Thanks


I try not to worry about it. Your body will tell you what to do. If you are struggling, slow down. We don't have to remember to breathe when we are asleep so I think overthinking is worse. Just keep a slow pace and breathe normally.

cmeh1 in reply to Maz1103

Thanks. I guess i will improve as I keep going. I find it’s much easier when I relax into the rhythm. I’ll keep practicing!


Welcome to the forum and well done on your progress.

Just breath in a natural may not make the Olympic squad but you will still be able to run.

This guide to the plan is essential reading

and includes advice on minimising impact, stretching after every run, hydration and strengthening exercises and breathing, all of which will help.

Enjoy your journey.

cmeh1 in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thank you. The guide is really helpful. I am enjoying this so much despite the hard work

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