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Couch to 5K
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damn so disappointing sigh sigh sigh

Just been out for a run and am on 3rd run week 8, I only managed 15 mins then went home, it is the first time since first starting this prog that I have had to stop, the running seems to be getting harder and harder and I dont know why.

My breathing is horendous (however you spell that), sounds like im hyperventilating, I try all the slow running down, breath easy and slowly etc but it dont help. Almost straight away my throat stings and I have no slaiva, I have water with me but if I take some of that it makes me feel sick, none of this makes any sense. If my breathing doesnt come naturally soon I can see im going to give up but I dont want to.

I may try again tomorrow.

I am soooooo disappointing that I stopped, I did try to run again but couldnt. It is so hard.

12 Replies

Don't give up. Even if you manage 15 - 20 minutes over the next few sessions, you will be training your body and it will adapt, so you can go back to running longer. Who cares if it takes longer as long as you get there in the end!!


Thank you I know what your saying but how the hell can I sort my breathing out, I have the problem with it all the way through but thought by now I would be getting used to breathing properly, im breathing really fast grrrr.


Are you asthmatic? I have mild asthma, doesn't bother me in everyday life but when doing exercise it's terrible without my inhaler. I use my inhaler before i run and it's generally ok, a couple of times I've had to use it again when I'm out running. When I've been building up for the longer runs I've suffered for what I describe as whooping breathing but only at the very end of the runs and probably because I'm pushing it a bit.


Don't be too hard on yourself, you are still going out running! Running 15 mins is brilliant, don't you remember only a few short weeks ago you didn't think you could run for 3? :-)

Are you 100% sure you are not running too fast ? The only way I knew I wasn't running too fast was by doing it on a treadmill to start with so I knew what a challenging pace was for me, and then once I started running outdoors in Week 8 my sister lent me her Garmin running watch.

Its a big adjustment for our minds and bodies when we start pushing ourselves beyone our comfort zone and this is what the programme does!

I hadn't realised how loud my breathing was till I stopped running with my ipod in after I graduated. And on the parkrun I do, which is 2.5 laps of a lake, I can hear other runners approaching me from behind (as they lap me!) from quite far away as they huff and puff, it is a sign you are putting in the effort!

As for having a dry mouth, that is also pretty normal for this time of year when it is (a bit) warmer. Just make sure you drink plenty of water ever day, whether its a run day or not so you know your body is nicely hydrated at all times. I don't usually take a drink with me if I am running for 30 mins or less unless it is very warm out but have a drink once I am finished. When I do take a drink, I take small sips to make sure I dont feel bloated or sicky.

There is nothing wrong with repeating a week too if you feel its best for you. And I know too well how hard it is to resume running once you are walking. Plan for this. Say to yourself that you will run to the next lamp post or tree or whatever, then pick another landmark and if you really do need to stop running tell yourself you can walk to the next but one lamp post or tree and run again. Another tip I use to force myself to carry on running when I really really feel I cant is to count to 50 before I stop and then see if I can do it again!

But anyway, running/walking intervals is brilliant way to build up stamina and avoid injury, lots of people do it, try looking up Jeff Galloway on Google!



Thank you for your replies, I have inhalers but dont use them anymore, I had a cough years back that I had continually for 3 months and then they gave me the inhaler which helped me then, I was told at that time that I had mild astma but dont think about it anymore, as I dont get any symptoms until now that Ellerunner mentioned so maybe I should think about using it again.

Thanks I will try counting as I did a few times just to take my mind of the length of time I was running,

I have a blue one and a brown one but have no idea which one I would use..


I have the blue inhaler and take two puffs about 10 minutes before I go out, that works for me, I'm slightly concerned that come the cold weather it will be worse. I have an appointment with the asthma nurse in a couple of weeks and she'll review it then. Maybe it would be a good idea for you to check with your GP surgery.


I'm asthmatic and have to use both inhalers before a run and never leave the house without the blue one (just in case). What I would suggest is put aside the run number and go out for a gentle jog, very relaxed with slow steady jogging. Get your breathing sorted out first and foremost because then you will be able to cope with the longer time.If you need to have a couple of runs doing this thats fine, it will pay off in the long run. I suspect you are going too fast too soon and then getting uptight which goes straight for the beathing and causes major problems. A couple of easy jogging sessions of about 15-20 minutes each time will let you get back into your programme I'm sure. Good luck


I think this is good advice - try a couple of easy jogs without listening to the podcast.

Jeff Galloway is mentioned in an earlier reply - his plans are basically about getting you moving for longer, however slow that might be. He says "no huffing or puffing" !

Slow right down, and practice the belly breathing technique. I couldn't manage to count 1-2-3-4 and had to work on 1-2-3 so just try and find the rhythm that suits you. If you lose that rhythm, walk for a bit and concentrate on your breathing again, get back in rhythm and build up to a jog again. You'll probably find it easier to get your breathing right if you not distracted by the podcast or by how much longer you've got to run - and if you can hear yourself breathing. I was shocked the first time I ran without headphones in !

Don't be disheartened, you've done really well.


I'm struggling too, but I'm putting it down to the high humidity. The great thing is that you ran, and you did 15 minutes. Yes, a little disappointing that you didn't do the 28, but you were still out there running. That's a win in my book!


Are you breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth? If, not that is probably contributing to your dry mouth. I'm naturally a mouth breather but I try to practise the correct 'in nose / out mouth' technique when I'm walking, Do you use 'belly breathing'? Other's have written about it here on this site - do a search, if you don't know. This is not natural to me and again I try to practise it on the warm-up walking section.


To all that replied to me on this blog, I went for my run tonight, did some yoga first, had a go at using my inhaler that is prob well out of date, managed to do the run and to control my breathing abit better and actually for the first time I actually enjoyed the run, so thank you for all your help everyone.


Congratulations on today.

I would still try and get an appointment with an asthma nurse. There's usually one at each gp surgery. You can't be too careful.


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