CATCH- up-CORNER... JANUARY WEEK 4.... PLEASE,... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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CATCH- up-CORNER... JANUARY WEEK 4.... PLEASE, Come on in... take a breather. Everyone is Welcome.

Oldfloss profile image
19 Replies

Hello there everyone. Here I am again!

Yes, despite everything that the weather has hurled at me, the Corner is warm and snug, the cushions are plumped up and there is a very warm welcome for every single one of you.

This cold snap has been a real step-stopper for many of us. I have still not got a run in, but I did manage a glorious sunshine and snow walk, with Mr OF on Friday. Bundled up against the cold, an essential part of my gear, is my Buff, (there are other neck warmers too), I find the cold air can be a bit too cold , and I like to know I can tuck my nose in, if need be.

After we got home and I was thinking about the Corner, this whole breathing cold air bit, got me thinking even more.

One thing that crops up in posts from our C25K-ers, is that of , how to breathe, struggling to breathe and what is the, right, way to breathe. Folk do worry that they are only in week one or two and they are out of breath... is that the same for us all or is it just them. Help!

Well the good news is , that as we run and the running evolves, we get fitter and our oxygen efficiency increases too ! But what can we do until that starts to happen? Can we do anything that will help?

This is the complicated science bit!

If we are breathing in the correct way, ( for us) it can improve our performance and maybe more importantly, stop us from running out of breath! Our heart rate naturally elevates during exercise, pumping, in response to breath; when we inhale, the heart slows down, and the body registers an increased level of carbon dioxide. This causes the nervous system to call for a change in breath rate to clear carbon dioxide . So we exhale:)

When you breathe well, you increase your VO2 max. Whoa ! That is the maximum amount of oxygen you can take in at any time. This measures energy efficiency and overall fitness. Our heart rate is affected by the way we breathe, physically and weirdly, emotionally too.

Now there is a heck of a lot that has been written about breathing and running and we do have to make our own choices and do what is right for us. One of the biggest discussion point is nose v mouth ! Oh my goodness, yes!

Well, apparently. If you inhale through the nose, and exhale through the mouth it is a good choice. Depending on speed, ( what's that?) , you might breathe through your mouth, in a quick sprint, but for the most part, it is probably better to try to breathe nose and mouth. Great gulps of air through the mouth none stop may cause a few issues.

Using your belly...( WHAT )! can use your is your friend.... I love my belly breathing. Belly or abdominal breathing has lots of benefits. Think yoga. Belly breathing uses not just the belly, but all of the lung capacity. Getting that air in and right down to the bottom bit of your lungs... lots of oxygen!

But, ( yep, there is always a but with me), belly breathing means a relaxed core.. uh oh, while I am running...? And hang on, shallow chest breathing is not a great idea either.

So the answer it seems is to find a compromise... find the middle ground... somewhere between the two? To get the right amount in for the run! Easy??? Not sure, but I do know it is a great idea for a warm up or a cool down and I have very occasionally, used it too, if I have had stitch!

Feeling the rhythm.

Match the step to the breath...what is called mindful running... can be really, really beneficial! There is a lot of stuff written about this also, all the many kinds of running and breathing rhythms.

The best one? That is the one that feels natural and exactly right for you. We are all different ! As we move on through C25K and beyond, we do begin to feel what is our own sustainable rhythm. As we move on too, it's a good idea to try out a few different breathing rhythms and find the one that feels most comfortable.

So... quite a bit to think about there... and it is, think, not, as I said earlier overthink. We can get into a flap if we think we are not breathing, 'right' ! The only right, is what is, our right.

Listen and trust.

We are always, ( or at least I am), on here, banging on about listening to your body. Well here we have a perfect example. Listen to it and trust it. It is your very best friend! It will do exactly what it needs to keep you moving. Our body and our lungs and our respiratory system, will do, just what is needed, at the right time.

If you get the chance do, please sit back and read this link. Written by our old friend, iannodaTruffe, there is a wealth of information there too.

So, on your next run... just think how amazing you and your body are! Have a think too, about mindful breathing, it may just impact a lot more than your running !

Okay... your turn... what have you been up to. I know that the weather has slowed a few of us down, illness or accident too, has played its part, but I know too, that we have a fair few new Graduates ready to move on. So, slip off your shoes, grab a cushion, move closer to the fire; take time to just relax and let us know how it is going.

Looking forward to seeing you all,

Floss x

Please do remember, that these are thoughts of mine and things I have read and found out. What works for one of us, may not work for all.

The most important message... just do what comes naturally ... breathe :)

19 Replies
nowster profile image

Belly breathing even when not exercising is a good practice.

And if you do any singing it's a benefit as it gives extra lung capacity.

Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator in reply to nowster

Thanks for popping in... you are so right.

Many folk, and not related to running, breathe in a very shallow way, only using the top of the lungs. It does if you are not used to it take a little practice but so worth it.

Singing is great... maybe not whilst running... but the odd line, singing along with a Welsh male voice choir has helped me up a few hills at the coast! :)

David_G profile image

Thanks Oldfloss I'm trying to get into the habit of breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth at the start of a run. Not only does it help give me energy, but concentrating on that distracts my mind from all the other parts of me that are telling my brain that they ache and can't continue!😂 I also try to do it from time to time during a run, just to maintain my focus. It probably wouldn't work for everyone, but I find it a help anyway👍

Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator in reply to David_G

Hello..Good to see you here! It is a good distraction ...and I think you are sensible making it a focus too, for some of the time.We often advise folk to do helps improve parts of our running performance. Thanks for this! X

BarbieW profile image

It is so comforting to sit on cushions in the cosy corner with coffee and croissants.

No running or walking for me this week but will try to breathe as instructed!

Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator in reply to BarbieW

You just sit there and rest, and breathe gently as folks begin to pop in. If we are not able to run or walk then we do what we are able... it is just good to have you here with us xxx

MissUnderstanding profile image

The lady in the village shop must have caught your vibes this morning. I called in on my way back from today’s run for a few bits and a coffee. There was one seriously reduced almond croissant on the counter. Perfect for reading your lovely catch up corner post with!

I’m a bit allergic to nature (hat fever all year round) so breathing through my nose is tricky. I’m always slightly bunged up which causes problems! I’ve given up on anything apart from what feels natural. The main thing that makes my breathing go haywire is running too fast!

Last week was up and down. Literally! I had two hilly, brilliantly fun, off road runs avoiding the ice and breaking in new trail trainers. Yesterday morning I got all dressed up for a run, stepped out on the driveway and nearly fell over on the ice. I turned around and came straight back in. It was a bit of a disappointment to have run less last week than the week before but the bonus was I did some nice cross training (Zumba , hiit and aqua aerobics) and I was very well rested for today’s hill intervals. Hideous but so much fun. The best thing was I remembered doing a similar work out a few months ago and I was able to look back in my run diary and see how things had changed. Really pleased to see some great progress, which has mainly come from just keeping running as consistently as possible and at a comfortable pace over time.

Have a lovely week! ❤️

Almond croissant and coffee
Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator in reply to MissUnderstanding

That looks so good... I have had a small runner in training, day today. She has just been picked up by Dada! I think I may need to go on an almond croissant hunt tomorrow ?

I feel many of us have all sorts of issues with how we breathe for one reason or another. I am still a tad congested nasally right now.. I am not running... ( YET), but even walking I like to tuck my nose in my Buff. I think you have expressed it wonderfully... you do whatever feels natural and that sums it up. Really there is no other way is there.

We may try to adjust and change but ultimately, our body tells us exactly what to do?

You had those good runs.. just super, and even though you missed out yesterday, what you did do, will have set you up for those hill intervals.

Great that your running diary is reinforcing that hard work too... well done... do pop in anytime, your cushion is here x

Tbae profile image

Brillant post Floss.

I found a rowing machine was an excellent way to practice/learn belly breathing.Just saying.

I do not know what I do now Floss.

Certainly I no longer think too much.

Boringly I have never stopped counting 1/2/3/4.etc.

To settle my breathing initially my first km/mile is always my quickest and I take a few deep inhales and exhales.

I think of my form and caressing the road as distractions.

My slow pace (5-6 km/hour) means that to achieve all meaningful distances will be additional hours.

My training programmes are only about building up hours in the legs.

It keeps me happy.Everything very basic, no need for any bells and whistles for this old dinosaur.

It’s a pleasure for senior runners.I read somewhere that senior runners get called master ? runners.?It made me chuckle.

All good wishes Floss.Lovely post.


Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator in reply to Tbae

Hello... how lovly to have you here in the corner with us!

Well, I know form experience where over thinking gets you.. and I am still a Laura ( 1,2,3,4,) runner... that is why ABBA songs suite my music runs!

You have been running a while, and as our new runners will, have found your own pace, your own strategies and the things that are right for you. I belly breathe a lot... mainly when relaxing and settling my mind...

Basic sounds just fine to me... it is why so many of us of a certain age are still here, still running and maybe more importantly, still enjoying! x

WillowandSola profile image

That belly breathing is used a lot, it benefits playing the saxaphone, Lots of helpful and interesting information Floss.

What have we been doing? Hmmm we bought a couch, and haven't got off it yet, although it only arrived today so I'm sure we'll get off it at bedtime lol 🤣🤣🤣

I am definitely better though so hoping to get out Wednesday.

Might have to change my name to Couch potato

Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator in reply to WillowandSola

That looks beautiful and if you need to be on a couch... that is a comfy one! It really looks good... I could curl up on there wonderfully!

I should imagine saxophone playing does need a heck of a lot of puff! It is interesting finding out things about the running. I do have time to look around and spend time reading, but I will be glad to get out there and try some of the things out!

Hope you continue to feel stronger... I am aiming for Wednesday too...but, I feel my outing is going to be very, very, short...

Couch Potato ? You ? Not with your job! Lovely to have you here xxx


I love that painting !!! The one at the top here, is a very early attempt I had when I started water-colour painting again !

It looks like snow, or the dunes on a beach?

WillowandSola profile image
WillowandSolaGraduate in reply to Oldfloss

The dunes on a beach onelike our favourite beaches

MrsLydiaWickham profile image
MrsLydiaWickhamGraduate in reply to WillowandSola

Nice couch! 🤩

LiisaM profile image

I had a bout of depression one day so my run that day lacked joy 🥲 Otherwise, I’m keeping up with running three days/ week and muscle exercises, too. I need to do some yoga w/ Adrienne; I think it would help my nerves but I never seem to get time to do it. I had a good exercise day today since I hauled four five gallon jugs of water and three 40-lb bags of salt into the house from the car. I wish I was in your cozy corner since Hubby is lying on TWO fleece blankets AND his coat and I feel chilly….

Can spring be so far away? Sigh!

Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator in reply to LiisaM

Hello... here you are in the corner with us. Your cushion is here.

You are doing so well, you are getting the runs in and regular exercise. Any physical exercise which impact strength and stamina on some of our rest days, is always encouraged for our runners; you get that daily, even on running days!

The yoga with Adriene, is useful on so many levels, but time does have to be found for that. The relaxation factor alone, certainly for me has been a real bonus. Many of her exercise sessions are quite short. It may be worth scrolling through some past ones, and trying to find a short period of time where you could fit them in. E.g.

I use the belly breathing often, when sitting or when I am in bed. If I wake in the night, I use the steady deep breaths to calm and anxious mind and slow down my body,

I am sorry your run lacked joy, some times life weighs too heavy. x Take joy in your constant strength and determination to keep up with your runs and exercise . You do what you are able... that is something many of us are still struggling with.

Take heart my friends... the warmer runs are waiting. xxx

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”

Hal Borland

Oldfloss profile image

Hello again... I am just putting a shout out to a few friends who we have not, for a while, shared the Corner with.

Life gets so busy, work and family taking precedence over other things and illness seeming to be hitting so many of us! Just hoping all is well with them:) x

So... Mum22boys Elfe5 Delly-dot M0use Lola-bear Liz-is-trying Running_at50

Swimming24 RainbowC WhaleSongC Flaraflarkin Greenthorn Fabulous450

Annieapple profile image

Fallen asleep at your cosy fireside Oldfloss, & will need to be gently pushed out for a run one of these days….It’s so comfy here that I think it can wait until tomorrow!

A very interesting discussion… every time I have read or listened to stuff about breathing & try it out …. I get out of breath & battle to find my normal rhythm… so I was so very encouraged to read your post! For me the only breathing that works, is not to focus on it while I am running…like MissUnderstanding the only time I really struggle is when I run too fast. Excuse me now while I snuggle in a bit longer or perhaps I may move on to the new couch in WillowandSola’s home!

Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator in reply to Annieapple

Me too my friend... me too!

Lovely to see you here, it is cosy and so good to hear what everyone is up to. I do know exactly what you mean. So much written about and advice about breathing and as has been said, we just have to go with what is right for us.

Breathing is, I always feel like blinking, we do it without thinking, when we think about it it becomes a real thing !! You stay cuddeled up... I am hoping to head out for my first... errr run? tomorrow... first in nearly two months. I may need WillowandSola 's couch for a while later !!

Enjoy your run too !

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