Is it wrong to breath through one's mouth? - Couch to 5K

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Is it wrong to breath through one's mouth?

In weeks 4 and 5 (today I did the famous 20' run, and love it!) Laura reminds me to breath in through the nose and to breath out through the mouth. Is it wrong to breath only through the mouth?

6 Replies

Well done on the week 5 - it is such a fantastic feeling isn't it? The point where you realise you are running further than most people you meet on the street could manage (without c25k).

I had the same problems with the breathing advice - so my advice - ignore it. See how you go. It hasn't held me back. I tend to get exercise rhinitis so maybe that's something to do with it.

I do try to make sure that I breath regularly - almost always this is not something to worry about but if I have a big hill to climb or I've been going fast then I find that forcing the air out of my lungs on the exhale makes the breath in deeper and that helps me through the challenge ahead. I find the same works for pumping up a hill on my bike - trying to breath out deeper allows me to go further before my legs give up.

Good luck!


Well done on the 20mins!

I almost always breath through my mouth when running, only when I go veeeery slow do I feel comfortable breathing through me nose.

There's no set rule, your brain will tell your body how much oxygen to taken in, just go with what feel natural and try not to over think it :)


Hi Everso,

I decided to ignore the nose breathing advice very early in, I just couldn't do it!! I breathe through my mouth.

The other thing I read about early on in my running is "belly breathing", (which sounds a little like Random is talking about with forcing the air out of his lungs) which is where you breathe by forcing your stomach out quite hard on the in breath, this gives your diaphragm more room for the oxygen coming in. I practise it as I approach a hill and carry on with it to help me get enough air for the effort of the slope. It seems to work for me, but it does take a bit of thinking about and preparation. I tried it early on, then gave up on it as to hard to concentrate on while still learning the basic running form, then I took it up again later as I got more automatic with the running. I think some people use it all the time.



I read about this recently. I dont think there is any proper rule. laura makes a recommendation but I had read "breathe through your mouth, breathe through your nose, suck it in through your ears if you can". in short dont worry about your breathing. from a fantastic beginner book that explains everything "smart running" by hal higdon.


I too find it virtually impossible to breathe through my nose! I huff and puff like a snort monster and almost pass out if I do so have binned that idea and now breathe through my mouth:)


Thank your for your answers! I feel more "normal" now, knowing that it's not only me that cannot run and breathe as Laura suggests. I'm so pleased to be able to run at all, and I want to continue with it. Hope I'll manage!



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