Proper breathing technique

I'm new to running and just completed week 2 of C25K. At some point in last week's run, Laura mentioned a breathing technique that I'm having trouble emulating. She mentioned breathing in and out to a count of 4. I've tried doing that, but have difficulting getting to 4 before requiring another breath. Unfortunately, when running, I huff and puff alot since I'm new to running and out of shape. Does anyone having any further advice for breathing properly while running. Thanks so much for your help.


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20 Replies

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  • I can't breathe as slowly as Laura either, unless she's running a LOT faster than me. I just huff and puff and breathe as hard as I need to.

  • Thanks, Beads. I guess I'll just keep huffing and puffing. I figure as long as I'm still breathing, I'm better off than the alternative. :)

  • Me too, and asked hubbie and in laws who all run marathons what they do and they just breath when they need to so not worrying too much about it.

  • Thanks, Cranberry.

  • I think that being a clarinet player helps me to regulate the breathing.

  • Drats, I knew I should have learned a musical instrument.

  • My mum had a book that said you should breathe in to a count of three and out to a count of two. This means that the in and out breaths aren't always on the same legs.

  • I'll try it, thanks for the suggestion.

  • I would say breathe as you need too!! But seriously, have a look at a post on breathing by C25K member happierswimming as she gives some really good advice on how to get a good technique for belly breathing, which helps prevent stitch too. Don't worry about getting to a count of 4 either (I don't) or breathing in through the nose/out through the mouth if it doesn't feel right. Do what feels right for you, especially in the earlier weeks. It was about week 5 or 6 when in fell into place for me - doing the longer runs gave me something else to focus on so the breathing just happened!!

    Good luck :)

  • Thanks, Doggymum. I appreciate your insight and will look into happierswimming's post on breathing. I'm trying to prepare myself mentally for W3R1 tomorrow. My plan is to keep moving my feet, breath in and breath out, and try not to pass out in front of anyone on the jogging trail.

  • You will be fine, just set off slowly so you can pace yourself properly. If you have anything left in the tank at the end, thats the time to speed up so you don't wear yourself out which then means you can't finish a session. Don't worry about pace or distance at the minute, just aim to complete each session to the best of your ability. You will be fine, the programme is designed to encourage you to push yourself a little bit more every time, but not to the point that its impossible.

    Keep blogging too, especially if you need support, this is a great community :)

  • When you breath in try and make sure you expand your belly so you take a really full breath. Hope that makes sense, good luck!

  • Thank you, miche78, I'll give that a try.

  • Belly breathing is what keeps me running, I am an asthmatic and early on in the programme realised I will have to learn every trick in the book to be able to keep going. I find that if I do a few minutes of concentrated belly breathing even before I start it helps. Definitely a trick worth learning.

  • Thanks. I'll try it tonight. W3R1.

  • I have asthma too, and at the beginning I despaired of ever getting the breathing right. I listened to Laura, looked on YouTube and talked to experienced runners who just said breath as you need to (easier said than done!). None of it worked for me.

    I couldn't get enough breath out before it was time to breath in again, and was panicing slightly. Repeating runs until I felt comfortable helped, accepting that running does make one breathless, and controlling my out-breath (sometimes I'm exhaling very noisily which I think wastes energy) suddenly made my breathing drop into place, to the point where on W6R3 I realised that I was belly breathing without trying to.

  • I think 4 steps to a breath is faster running than I could do so don't woory about that. However, breathing with the diaphragm will help a lot. Breathe in by pushing out your stomach to drop the diaphragm and expand the lungs and breathe in by pulling in the stomach to raise the diaphragm and squeeze the lungsPractise this during your walking parts to because and keep up a good walking pace. The walks are going to build stamina too :)

  • I've been giving this a try while resting, working, and driving. I'll give it a go during tonight's run. Thanks again for the advice and encouragement. Temperatures in my hometown remain in the lower 100s, so I'm putting my run off a little later than I'd like so as to run when it's not so darn hot.

  • Don't worry to much about this, you could always decide to do a three count breathing instead of four. I worried about this at week 2, but decided to just breadth as I needed, I'm still trying to get a hang of the belly breathing :-)

  • Thanks, Phil. I'm going to focus primarily on finishing and will not overfocus on the breathing.

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