Couch to 5K
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W3R2 - gave up, couldn't breathe!

I set off with determination ... on the treadmill. I was ready to blast W3R2 into submission, following my epic achievement on Tuesday with R1.

I do carry a blue asthma inhaler and I noticed I had to use it more than usual since my last run on Tuesday, and my gym session on Wednesday. So I had a rest day from both running and the gym on Thursday.

Skip to Friday afternoon. The 90 second run went fine - but I felt more puffed out than usual. By the middle of the 3 minute run, I felt decidedly unwell, but made it through to the end. The 3 minute recovery up walk was a struggle, followed by less than a minute of the next 90 second walk, a bit more walking, a half hearted 10 second shuffle for the 3 minute run before giving up, gasping for air!

Laura said don't give up no matter how much pain you are in - I don't think that applies to not being able to actually breathe! I don't know if this was asthma or me just being seriously unfit! I just can't seem to get the air down into my lungs, or back out again - it feels like breathing through a straw!

Luckily within a few minutes I recovered, did some heavy weight training on my legs, and then 10 minutes of elliptical on high resistance. I felt exhausted for the rest of the day though!

Because I did not complete the run, I am wondering whether I should have a rest today, or go back and try again this afternoon..... It looks like I will be repeating W3 next week at this rate.

6 Replies

Sounds like you are really struggling. My advice would be to have a days rest and try again.

It sounds like you are taking a lot of exercise, I don't know what your general level of fitness is but I know mine was appalling and I found that the rest day had to be just that or I found that I found the following run REALLY hard.

So for the last few weeks I have just concentrated on my running and because I run on set days of the week I have two rest days together on Friday and Saturday so if I want to do anything strenuous I do it on Friday so that I still have Saturday to rest before my 3rd run of tge week on Sunday.


Yes, I probably won't run today.

I think W3 is going to me my biggest challenge - running for 3 minutes straight. I think I really need to stay on W3 until I can do it without too much of a struggle. I notice that W4 requires 5mins of running - oh my! I am no where near ready for that : 0


I would definately take a rest day, personally my legs wouldn't without one. Don't have asthma but do find breathing difficult and end up gasping for air. Have been told to try and slow breathing rate down and breath in for 2, hold for 2 and then blow air out and when running try to concentrate on this breathing pattern and it has helped although am still gasping by the end of the run. Don't know if this will be of any help to you Good luck and keep running :-)


I've struggled with my asthma throught this program but don't let it put you off - I've graduated. My advice would be to use your blue asthma inhaler about 15 minutes before you run. Take it steady, don't push yourself to run faster, speed will increase in time, maybe not as fast as others without ashtma but it will. In the first weeks I had to use my inhaler a good few times when I was out running but that lessened over time and now hardly ever have to use it when in out for a 4 mile run. I did my first treadmill run this week and decided to see how I'd go without using my inhaler - and I couldn't believe it but it was fine :)

Stick with it, your breathing will get better. I'm not saying it's not a struggle but you will get there. And you were right to stop if your asthma was making it impossible to breath! I've found that if I'm doing longer runs when it becomes impossble to breath, taking a few walking steps help my gather my breathing then I can start to run again

best of luck!


Don't be disheartened! We've all had our bad days. Perhaps try running a bit slower on the treadmill. It's much better to go slowly and complete it than exhaust yourself and not be able to finish. Very best of luck!

S x


Thank you all! I am going to have another go at it this morning. Actually when I think about it, it is a big leap for me, running from 90 secs to 3 mins.


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