Believe it or not, most people, when they run, do not think about their breathing. They allow their body to go into 'auto-pilot' and follow a breathing cadence based on their level of exertion.
This is fine, and will work, but it may not be the most efficient way to maximize your aerobic metabolism. Not only that, but most people exhale when their right foot strikes the ground. This can cause a chain reaction that pulls down on your diaphragm, causing a side-stitch.
For those of you who are runners, or have done some running in the past know that a side stitch can really take a bite out of your momentum.
To maximize your breathing while running, and help avoid side stitches, try running with a 3:2 breathing ratio. This is how it's done:
1. Inhale in 3 steps. So for example, if you start your breathing pattern when your left foot hits the ground, you will start your inhale on your left foot, and continue to inhale while your right foot strikes, and then back again on your left foot.
2. Exhale in 2 steps. You have just finished your inhale in 3 steps (left, right, left), so you will now begin to exhale as your right foot strikes, and continue to exhale as your left foot strikes the ground as well.
3. Because the entire 'cycle' is completed in 5 total strides, you end up beginning your exhale alternating between either your right or left foot.
You may even find that trying to mentally focus on what foot to inhale or exhale on helps you focus on your breathing and less on your fatigue. This does not need to be perfect by any means, but something to keep your mind occupied and focused while running.
Quote of the day:
"Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever."