Couch to 5K
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J-jus-t c--can--'t get my b-br-eath!

I managed last week, to just about complete w5r3 on the third attempt with much gasping and panting. w6r1 was not too much of a struggle (apart from the fact the farmer had been muck spreading and with all the rain last week the paths I usually frequent were like smelly banana skins). Quick change of plan and completed the 'run' on roads.

w6r2 this morning - a miserable attempt despite a glorious day. I just do not seem to be able to breathe - legs and mojo good but lungs useless. Have carefully read all the advice on this site and keep trying the 'belly' breathing. Breathing in OK. BUT then rib cage and muscles get very confused as to how to breathe out! I end up just gasping - but I suppose after 63 years of breathing another way it will take a bit of time to re-train. But how can I compete the programme?? Everyone says it will fall into place but when?

I certainly do not think there is any way I can run for 25 mins next week or for all the following weeks but I'm desperate not to give up and to show family and younger work colleguees that an unfit and overweight 63 yr young can do this!


6 Replies

Try going back to brisk walking Brindled and speed that up to power walking using the same breathing technique, then gradually move into a slow jog. Once that slow jog is established you can then concentrate on building up your speed but slowly. It sounds to me that perhaps you are trying to go too quickly too soon. Hope this helps you, good luck. I'm an oldie too and yes you can do it, well I did so I'm sure you can.


Okay...take a deep breath... you have made it this far, you will continue. I find my hardest run being the third of each week. Keep in mind, your body is ready, your brain just needs to be willing to cooperate. :-) Take it very need to worry about speed, you are building stamina. Try to relax, easier said then done. Our body's are truly amazing creations. We were designed to run and if we relax and let things go, our body's take over. I am in week 9 (start Sun.) and I still struggle with the negative self talk. Just know, your body is ready to move on, its just convincing your brain to do so. Wishing you a very successful run3, it will be good if your other two were okay. Some find week 6 rough, me included. You will do week 7 as well as graduate, otherwise you would of never started or would of only made it a few runs.


Hi, I.also find the breathing difficult, my gym instructor recommended I breathe in through my nose and out of my mouth, but try to make it natural, I practiced for a while and I ended up gasping for air a few times, but I think that I was trying to hold it in, if that makes sense! I've just completed week 3 and tried to breathe this way, not emphasising the breathing, just keeping it steady and I was ok,I was a little breathless but no gasping!!


Brindled are you pacing yourself? Jog instead of running. I am the same age as you, and couldn't walk let alone run before I started this plan, and have asthma, but I paced myself and did the 20 minutes as per plan. I am starting week 6 tomorrow. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and you gear the pace to what you can do. You're still moving even if you aren't running as such. Good luck :-)


Just to parrot Pearsey, you need to slow down.

If you're gasping for breath you're going too fast. You should be able to participate in a brief conversation and not be winded.

The speed will come later, just focus on the endurance for now.


Thank you philmcclure. It does seem to me reading some of the blogs that people are not aware of the system that is in place as protection from injury and shortness of breath! You need to listen to Laura and her advice (slow down if you're becoming tired-pace yourself etc.). I've just read a blog where someone has run back to back week 6, runs 1 & 2-very ill advised as you need to get rid of the lactic acid buildup in your muscles-hence the need to drink plenty of water throughout the day of the run and have a days rest in between. I found Week 6 run 1 easy peasy, as probably this person did, and managed a brisk 1 mile walk with my sister 7 hours later, but I did not run again yesterday and won't until tomorrow.


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