Total Noob - Taking it really slowly!

Hi All, I have just joined this site because I think I have become addicted to running after just 5 days of running attempts!

It all started when I was doing 3 dog walks a morning. I spent roughly 2 and a half hours out walking back and forth, passing the same scenery and chucking the same dog slobbered Frisbee. My mind soon started to wander and I realised that despite being able to walk a 13 minute mile and despite the amount of time I am on my feet, I seem to have a bit of a round belly on me. I declared that although I was a healthy weight.... I was indeed totally out of shape, literally. Fast track and before I knew it I had stumbled across something called 'couch to 5k' image

There was no thought process involved, my friend says I am impetuous and I think she is right. I instantly knew this was for me!

So I decided that every other day I would make one of my dog walks a dog run, that way there would always be the routine and structure, meaning less chance of me giving up, missing a run etc

Our first day of running I didn't go with the couch 2 5k plan as instructed, instead I used it as mere guidelines. I would walk the dog to the fields/dirt tracks (takes 5 minutes - there is the warm up!) and then I would simply run until my legs gave the wobble code for 'ok that's enough'. Then I would walk for a minute or two to catch my breath. Repeating the process all the way round the route until I had been run/walking for 30 minutes. Then I would enjoy the nice 5 minute walk back home (cool down).

I managed to run for 30 seconds (pb 45 seconds) and my walk was about 1.30.

After my first day I set a manageable goal for myself. Every time I ran, all I had to do was simply stay level or beat my previous average times and go by what my body was saying when it came to the walking parts.

Fast forward to today (5th day running). My running times are between 55  - 1.05 seconds and my personal best 1.28. I have continually improved on each run day by about 5 seconds and I have always gotten a personal best each run day. My walking times are not limited, but I do time them now and then... they never go above 2 minutes.. So I am really pleased over all image every run day I come home feeling like I should celebrate! Which I do, by drinking chocolate milk and eating a banana, because I heard that was good for the body lol I have altered my eating habits and found some really tasty healthy alternatives... one of which is a baked sweet potato with chopped spring onion and olive oil spread.... LOVE IT!

I did start off running as I wanted to get into shape via a fun method which I would enjoy..... however, I now don't care much for the getting into shape bit.... I just want to run.

I decided to allow 11 weeks for my 'couch to 5k guidance' programme and in early July I am going to sign up to do my local 5k parkrun.


I only have one question at the moment...... how on earth do you control your breathing whilst running? I find I can breath in nice slow and deep for 4 seconds, but when it comes to breathing back out I can only do so for a split second before I take a sharp deep breath back in again. It is really annoying me and makes me loose concentration on running image  It also makes me get the 'wobbles' a lot quicker!

Thanks in advance x


  • At this stage, I would keep my breathing simple- in and out, without pause.  Breathe in a little quicker. I would guess that you are gasping in because your in-breath is too slow and your not getting air in quick enough.

    Well done on becoming a runner image

  • MedicalertMedicalert ✭✭✭

    You are doing well to listen to your body so why not keep doing that. Your fitness obviously needs building up and your breathing will adapt to the work load you are putting on your body.

    Basically breathing increases as oxygen demand increases. As your body gets fitter and more efficient this will mean you have more control as less adjustment is required.

    So breathe as your body demands it!

    Well done for getting off the couch and keep at it!

  • Thanks faithsdaddy, what you say makes sense. I shall try to breath quicker on my next run day.

  • Thanks medicalalert... I think you are right too. I have listened to my body in every other aspect but for some reason not on this. I used to breath way too quick and got the wobbles almost instantly... so then tried to ignore what my body was saying and tried to breath much slower... perhaps too slow though.

    Makes perfect sense now... how I managed to over look that before is beyond me.

  • Counting breaths is for yoga and relaxation, not for running when you shouldn't really be thinking about it. Just run slowly enough to breathe comfortably - you should be able to hold a conversation if you had to.

  • Thanks screamapillar, I now think the overall problem might be with the speeds.... too slow breathing... too fast running! I shall be sure to think about these before my next run.

    I have no idea what pace I am running/jogging at. I know I walk comfortably at 14 min miles (school run is 1 mile and takes me 14 mins to get there... only reason I know my speed!). So I would be naturally running faster than needed? I will admit, I do feel like it is a comfortable pace, I consider it a fast jog rather than a run, defo not a sprint! I shall try the conversation thing and if I can't, I will slow my pace.



  • XX1XX1 ✭✭✭

    At this point, beyond actually being able to breath, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

  • lol thanks xx1, I could possibly just be over excited with it all .... and I shall give the ' worry less' a go as well.

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    I'm in the don't worry about your breathing just go with what works for you.

    When I started i developed this weird horse like whinny that it took months to get rid off image But, just go with the flow and as long as you are still breathing at the end of it then that's good image

    As you are a self proclaimed newbie, one of my biggest pieces of advice is not to overdo it to soon.  You sound like your on a perfect plan, relaxed, playing with the dog, and taking your time.  Your leg muscles develop a bit quite quickly and that usually leads people to think they can do a lot more, but the joints, tendons, sinews etc... take a lot longer than your muscles to develop, so keep it sensible and don't overdo it for the first 3 months image

  • Thank you Booktrunk, I am glad you managed to overcome the horse whinny!

    Well, I took every ones advice on board and when I went out for my 6th run/walk today I ignored the breathing and just let that do what it wanted... amazingly I felt much better not worrying about!

    I also slowed my pace slightly which seemed to work wonders.

    The first run saw a personal best(1.30)... as did the second (1.46) and then the 5th (1.54) also, whilst running I was convinced each run was only lasting 60 seconds max, so was really surprised to see the real times at the end! I still had about 15 minutes of run/walking left to go but heeding advice I decided to leave it at that and take a nice steady walk home despite feeling like I could have done a few more runs. I assumed the new longer times were due to the new running techniques, so I am really pleased.

    I am now going to enjoy my long weekend rest, but I can't wait to get back out on Monday image really really enjoying the whole experience!

  • I would forget all this personal best stuff for the time being.  Until you can run for at least half an hour, comfortably, speed shouldn't be a consideration.

  • I second what Fathsdaddy says that but it's great that you feel more relaxed now image

  • Thanks Faithsdaddy and Screamapillar.

    I am not aiming for personal bests, they are just a novel bonus in the early days. To me I am just seeing the time as an indication of my stamina building up nicely and nothing to do with speed (when I say run, what I probably mean is jog). I still actually think I am quite slow and lacking stamina, because on the couch to 5k programme people would be being forced to run 2 minutes per run for 8 runs this week.... I am 30 seconds slower than that and even my longest run was about 10 seconds short. Next week it would be forcing me to run 3 minutes image and I am not expecting to be doing any better than my 1.30 from last week, maybe I might just break into 2 minutes if I am lucky and get a personal best, but I am not going to force myself to get will just be a nice bonus if I do.

    So rest assured, in my mind it is not the be all and end all to get personal bests or be the fastest, but I wont lie... to see a time that is higher than you expected and feel like you could have ran a little further when you stopped. It is terribly exciting image

    Thanks again for the advice, I will try to tame my excitement as I can understand it might lead to feeling discouraged if I get used to PBs and they stop happening, as my stamina levels out image




  • Run without a timepiece, so 'your time' has no bearing on what you do.  Once you can cover the distance comfortably, then re-introduce the watch.  There's plenty of time for PBs, but for now, it's the wrong motivation.

    Wouldn't it feel like a good achievement to do your long run comfortably, without stopping?  That would be a really worthwhile goal for now image

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    Agree about not stopping, but don't agree with not timing. the tools are there you don't let them control you, so you wear and carry on timing but don't look at it as you go, but still have it to review after if you want. 

    But I love gadgets in whatever I'm doing in life image 

  • Booktrunk- I used timing and always have done, so I'm a huge fan of watches and technology. But... I'm just concerned that the OP is harming her progression because of (what appears to me) trying to beat her times, yet not 'properly' completing her run. 

    I think completing your run is more important than doing bits of it faster.

  • I agree with what you are saying faithsdaddy... but I am not trying to complete sections in a faster time (for one I never go round the route in the same way, I alter it every day to avoid other dog walkers and joggers seeing my attempts lol). The time is to see my stamina/endurance and whether or not I can run/jog for longer times... rather than run a set distance in a certain time.

    The couch to 5k works on you being able to run for 30 minutes without stopping (no matter the pace, run, jog or shuffle!), this should in theory mean you can run/jog the parkfun 5k without having to stop. So I need to time myself to see if I can run for 30 minutes without stopping.

    I mentioned walking in 13/14 minutes because if I know it would take me approx. 45 minutes to walk the parkrun... in theory, surely 30 minutes non stop jogging would get me round the parkrun? And that is why I am timing myself image I don't care how fast I get round it, I just wanted to know how long I am going to have to run for to make sure I can complete it without walking any of it. Hope this makes sense.

    Oh and if I knew the distance of the route I was training to run on... I probably wouldn't time myself at all. I would just find a 5k route and keep run/walking until I was running it all with no walking.

    Thanks for your advice though, if I knew the distance, I would probably take your advice and try to run the distance.


  • Out on my run/walk today and again there were improvements. I noticed however my ankles were feeling sore, which made me think about what Faithsdaddy had advised. I think I misunderstood what you was trying to get across image

    I am not trying to get faster runs at all, but I am 'hoping' to increase the time spent running every day (that's every other day when I run). Which is just the same as trying to get faster times I guess.

    So, with that in mind, the rest of the week I am just going to focus on running the sections I know I can run, but not running further even if I feel I could. Once I can run those sections with complete ease I will add a little extra to them until it all adds up to one long run.

    If OCD gets the better of me and I really must know how long I am running for time wise, I will make it something fun and on a Friday just time the runs to see if I have improvements per week, rather than per day image

    Does that sound better?7


  • Quick update, I decided not to run for the time being as I think my sore ankles are something more than just the typical aches after running.

    The aches from Mondays run have now become pains that last pretty much all day long making me limp while I walk, despite icing and resting both ankles as much as I can.

    Docs tomorrow to see what he says. Feeling gutted!


  • What shoes are you running in? You may just need some properly fitted running shoes (not all that cheap though).
  • KattCKattC ✭✭✭

    Would anyone mind if I joined in.  I'm a newbie too been run/walk for about 4 weeks now up to 4 minutes run x 1 min walk for 30 minutes.


    The thing that I need to sort out is my calves, they just tighten up.  Got correct shoes but have found that skin calf guards seem to help and getting my breathing under control I would fine image  I am determined to keep it up and Mo F hasn't got anything to worry about.


    Just glad I found the forum as lots of useful tips xxx


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