Couch to 5K
54,862 members87,368 posts

Brisk walk to cool down? Who does she think she's kidding?!!

Huhhhhh. Ahhhhhh. Huhhhhh. Ahhhhhh. Oooohhhhhhh.

Yes. I've just come in from W2R2 60 seconds ago, am on my 3rd pint (water, sadly), and looking forward to a nice shower as soon as this post is posted.

I have come to enjoy Laura's voice. Today she taught me how to breathe. Suddenly I remembered a drill sergeant's characterisation of my natural breathing when running, nearly 30 years ago. Hyperventilation. I also remembered his explanations about why this was bad and seriously obstructed the flow of oxygen to the lungs, hence making the run even harder. Oh yes. He explained, but it was Laura who made me follow the advice. Although, I think she either takes loads of very small steps, or else has enormous lungs. The advice of 4 steps for each breath seems impossible for me. 2. Maybe nearly 3 at a push. But still, it's loads better than the 4 breaths per step that was the norm up until now. Sgt Jensen would have been proud of me!

So I made it through the 6 x 90 seconds, and there was even one of the runs that I actually enjoyed. A brief moment where it felt effortless and pleasant. Quickly followed by the normal heavy legs and lungs that felt like exploding. Particularly as I tried to not hyperventilate.

But the final bit? After all the huffing and puffing, after the final 90 seconds, after the "yes, I've DONE it!", she tells me to walk BRISKLY to cool down? Briskly? Sure, it was more brisk than snail trying to keep up with me. Just. But I'm afraid it wasn't very brisk, and certainly shorter than the 5 minutes brisk walk I had started with 20 minutes earlier.

But all in all, a good workout, and I'm beginning to believe in my ability to carry on with this!

7 Replies

Thanks for making me smile, I too thought exactly the same when I started couch 2 5k 11 weeks ago. You are doing great; remember the first day, how far have you come since then. Keep up the good work and keep believing in yourself :)


'fraid Laura is right to insist on the brisk 5 minute walk since it's part of the attempt to build stamina, rather than just for recovery. Make it brisk enough to be just short of a trot so your run just has to be a little quicker and go for fast, short steps rather than strides. Adopt it as a walking style on your day-to-day walking too and you'll soon develop heart and lungs. (Of course, if you've got dogs like I have it's going to come as a shock to them!) I can't run at 4 steps per breath either: that seems very fast to me, but do try to breathe with your whole lungs. Push out the stomach to breathe in so the diaphragm drops to expand the lungs, then squeeze the stomach in to breathe out, raising the diaphragm and squeezing the lungs. Do this as you walk too and things will feel easier. Look forward to hearing how you get on. In less than 2 months you'll be running 5k and then you can forget all about that drill sergeant! :)


Thanks for the kind comments, and for the brisk-and-breathing advice, happierswimming. It's a good point, and I know I'll be thanking Laura and you when I manage to get used to that kind of breathing. I'm going for it. I am! :-)


I have to confess as the weeks went on i never quite managed a brisk walk at the end of the session....the success was being able to walk for a further 5 mins lol


With you all the way on that!!


Thanks for making me laugh. I completed W2R2 this afternoon and I can relate to everything you said. My breathing has only just returned to normal! I've enough to worry about trying to keep going without having to try to regulate my breathing1


I finished W2R1 yesterday and got completely confused about the breathing thing!!! Its as much as I can do to run for 90 seconds, tho I did as I was told by Laura and did run all the time I should have been!! I will need to concentrate on my breathing patterns tomorrow when I do W2R2 and on Saturday (W2R3) - please tell me that it will become easier to co-ordinate legs, feet and lungs!!! :)


You may also like...