Week 2 breathing 'tips'

Hi, I've just done week 2 run 2, and in this podcast Laura gives you hints on your breathing. But I just can't do it. Either I'm running way too slow (four steps to a breath?!) or breathing way too fast (quite likely!) but it really puts me off.

I'm quite happy breathing the way I am - it's got me through 38 years :-) and I don't feel as if I'm very out of control with my breathing. It's faster but not raggedy - but is this something I need to be working on? If I count my steps too much, I start stumbling!

I wish there was a version without Laura, so you just got 'run', and 'walk', I really dislike the 'you're doing great' which is blatantly rubbish as she's not here!

18 Replies

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  • I think that is a tad cynical and unfair. The you are doing great is encouragement which a lot of people need and appreciate hearing. It makes them feel they are doing something worthwhile and that they are achieving something. I admit, I cant get the 4 step breathing thing either but it may just be a case of finding what you are comfortable with. Try 3 steps breathing or even 2 steps. Once you find a rhythm you are comfortable with, stick to that.

  • I wish she'd have just said breath to a constant rhythm then. Something I was doing anyway.

  • I'm with you on this. Laura's tips don't help at all. They put me off. I found the breathing tip to be extremely unclear. I just couldn't understand how to breath for 4 steps, or even if that's what she meant. It was confusing. I was desperately just trying to run. Focusing on nothing more complicated than putting one foot in front of the other without dying. The last thing I needed was a brain teaser.

    "You're doing great!" (no... I'm... not.) "Whats 12 x 19? And while you're working that out, why not try spinning two plates"

    Week three's tip she tells you to run but to somehow make it look like you're walking. Wait... what? Some kind of forward jogging moonwalk? No thanks, I could look like a flailing octopus for all I care, I'm just going to move my feet best I can.

  • I found the tip about running more smoothly quite helpful - it didn't come naturally to start with but it did make me sound less like a stompy herd of elephants !

  • It's not unusual for exercise to require us to do things rather differently from the way we do things ordinarily- after all, when you go swimming, you breathe in through the mouth and out through the nose, contrary to the way you breathe when you walk or run, so don't worry about having to do things differently during your c25k! Four steps per breath is faster running than I can do so I find it's best to get into a ryhthm and then fit the breathing to that. The method is important, though. Breath in by pushing out your stomach so your diaphragm drops to increase your lung capacity and breathtout by pulling in your stomach to squeeze the lungs. Most people, when asked to breathe in, pull in the somach and raise the shoulders which won't help when you are running. Practise the correct method while walking and you will soon get the hang of it. Also, make sure your walk sessions are brisk (just short of breaking into a trot) and then your run doesn't have to be much faster. The walk parts are not so much recovery, more part of the effort you are making to improve stamina and, to futher that effort, it's a good idea to adopt that faster walking pace in your daily walking. It's also better to try fast, short steps rather than to try to increase your stride. Choose a flat course to run on and away you go! Don't be too sure Laura can't see you- I'm too scared of her to ignore her in any way :)

  • I've never really got the breathing sussed but I made a big effort with the belly breathing for my 10k last week and it made a huge amount of difference. I did get confused a couple of times and had to get back into the rhythm but it was so helpful that I'm going to make a point of practising until it comes naturally. I tried counting to 4 steps while breathing but ended up finding 1-2-3 more comfortable.

  • sorry to sound silly but I have trouble breathing when running so what is belly breathing. I have just started week 3

  • happierswimming describes it very well above - I still have to concentrate to do it but it helps a lot. Let us know how you get on.

  • Hi, just wanted to thank you for this. I did run 3 of week 2 this morning - I'm not all that far along - but I was really trying to pay attention to this. I do have to admit that at times I couldn't work out if I was breathing in or out so got a bit lost! But even so, during the walking I really tried to keep this up - thank you for the tip!

  • I'm so pleased :) And thank you so much for your feedback. What lovely manners you have :) Breathing like this will help avoid stitch which is caused by the diaphram going into spasm and the liver straining against it, and stitch is something to avoid! It will also give you strong abs! :)

  • You'd have laughed if you'd heard what was going through my head though, I'd be running along then suddenly think 'oh god, am I breathing out or in, I can't work it out, I'VE FORGOTTEN HOW TO BREATHE!'. All of course while maintaining a calm demeanour so as not to scare the passers by :-)

  • I'm scared now, is Laura watching me?!

    Thanks for the answers, I think my problem with Laura's motivating bits is I always disagree with people saying positive things to me, it puts me in a foul mood :-/

    I'm glad I'm not alone on the trouble breathing in time thing though, I do feel inept. I think I'm going to stick with trying to breath in a good rhythm of my own, rather than panting 'oh god I'M DYING' breathing (which I'll save for next week!). Will read your breathing tips before my next run - sadly not until next Thursday eve now due to having no childcare - so thank you for that.

    Who'd have thought I'd ever feel sad about not being able to run for 5 days!

  • I felt exactly the same as you when Laura says this in week 2 and took advice from this forum and in effect decided to ignore Laura, but in Week 3 the advice helped as I was bouncing a bit so I now lean back a bit and jog better I think. So I now decide what to listen too. Just Finished week4 and wished Laura didn't tell me how long I had left as i wasn't bothered until she says I'm only alf way, but without her I woudn't be running and this programmes helping, so cheers Laura. ;-)

  • Lol, Laura telling me I'm halfway always has this effect on me too! I think I got too used to her voice meaning it was time to stop running, and now she pops up in the middle of runs, my brain can't cope. Wouldn't like to try doing c25k without her though.

  • I can't do the four step breathing but it did make me consider my breathing and once I focus on breathing in deeply through my noses d out through my mouth - pushing my stomach out, I realised it was my breathing that affected my ability to run. The focus on breathing also stopped me thinking how long I had to run for!!! There are other podcasts out there that tell you when to run/walk - I like the Laura ones but a google search should bring up others and there's also an iPhone app. Happy running.

  • Although most of what Laura said to me I took on board, the breathing one wasn't one of them..... I breath differently anyways thanks to having a lung disease so you just have to adapt it the best you can for yourself. I just breath to what I feel comfortable with. You need to remember that although you may not like these hints and tips, it's helped thousands of people therefore the programme has to cater for the masses and not just the individual..... If you don't like this version of the C25K there are plenty of other podcasts out there, you just need to google search and up they'll pop..... Good luck, and happy running!!

  • im glad i read this now i understand the Belly breathing...I will give it ago totally ifferent to how you breathe in and out normally...its like opposite???

  • I can't do the belly breathing, at least not when I'm running. I have to concentrate hard to push my belly out when breathing in, then I don't seem to be able to fill my lungs as full as usual, which is contradictory to the intended effect. :-s I can do it when standing still, if I try really hard.

    I did some yoga a couple of days ago, for the first time in about 3-4 years (i'd stopped when my knees got really bad). I was amazed at how poor my breathing was now. I used to be able to take deep, rhythmical breaths, but my breathing is rubbish now. I definitely need some breathing exercises or something to help me improve this aspect, as I can see it stopping my progression in c25k if I don't get it right.