Couch to 5K
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How do you breathe - I know, silly question but I'm serious

I was listening to Laura today telling me to take nice deep breathes in through my nose and out through my mouth. But I just don't think I can breathe that way. Maybe I've just got a bunged up nose but it feels really funny.

I can only really breathe deeply in and out of my mouth. Does that matter?

At least with the music I can't hear it.

9 Replies

I know Laura says the nose, but I feel better breathing in through my mouth, especially at the beginning of my run. As I find my pace, I think I do a little bit of both. The main thing is to try and relax and try to breath steadily. On another running site, someone stated you need to breath in through your mouth to give your body enough oxygen. Who knows, I'm a firm believer of, we are all built differently and what works for one, may not another. You will eventually find your perfect fit. The main thing is:keep breathing! ;-) Gayle


From my own experience I would say don't worry too much about it, just make sure you do it! Any way is good! It has taken me months to get to the point where I can influence my breathing (puffing out helps breathing in and helps me push a little bit faster if I need to - even if it sounds like I am about to drop!).

Also to help breathing, try and keep shoulders back and down (I used to get so worked up and tense as the long intervals drew on that I was almost hunching over with the effort, and my poor lungs were never going to be able to expand) and as far as possible stay relaxed - and smile!


I think Deryn61 is right, keep your shoulders back, I have a problem with my breathing and that's what I try to do, I must admit my shoulders go down for a while when I am getting tired :-)Pat


I can't breath through my nose either it just makes me get out of breath. My friends a PE teacher and told me the reason you breath through your nose is to warm the air up not sure how much tuth there is in in but it made me not worry about not doing it.

I just concentrate on nice steady breaths. I think i'm slowly getting the hang of it (i'm on wk9)


As Alliec says you're meant to breathe in through your nose to warm the air (it's got a longer passage to the lungs) so the lungs don't get shocked by the cold, also to filter out any bugs. I'll admit I'm a mouth breather, but so far haven't caught any flies.


Thanks everybody - that's quite reassuring. I get a bit wheezy when i get colds in winter so maybe I'll think about running with one if those funny tubular scarves over my mouth to warm the air when it gets really cold in the mornings. There's so much to think about that as long as enough air goes in and out I think that will do for the moment.


Hi Parkbirdy,

I also have an issue with using my nose to breathe, well wheeze would be a better way to describe it! I'm an asthmatic so I am very conscious of my breathing. I use a light silk scarve over ,y mouth to help. Even though I'm not in acold climate(Australia :-) ) even cool temps can set me off. Also if it is hot, there will be flys and bugs and it stops them getting in!

The silk seems to work in not being too fluffy as some fleece scarves were for me.

My doc has told me not to worry about where i breathe, just make sure I try and get as much air out as I can in order to bring in new air. So if I focus on the exhale, the inhale takes care of itself - be it nose or mouth :-)


I agree with Deryn and Pat, plus I think it just takes care of itself in the end. I personally got the breathing right in Week 7 -- I just suddenly ran without thinking about breathing as in any other activity and now I run 30 minutes without getting out of breath. I do breathe out through my mouth so I suppose I breathe in through my nose as my mouth is shut when I run!


Thanks for asking this question! I feel exactly same as you but thought it was just me! Great answers too - i'm going to stop worrying about it and will just make sure i breathe! Good luck with your running.


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