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OK, this is very basic and probably obvious, but I am confused! I just started running and have just finished week 3 of C25K. (Week 4 scares me, but I know I can do it - it will just be hard!) I have seen in a few places that when you have a stitch, you should alternate your breathing to breathe when a different foot hits the ground. And I saw another person comment that she had not paid attention to her breathing and thus almost threw up after a recent run. How am I supposed to be breathing? Am I supposed to be exhaling *every* time say, my left foot hits the ground? That seems like super fast breathing. Or just make sure when I'm exhaling, it's when my left foot is hitting the ground (or right, or whatever) at the same time, not necessary every time it hits the ground? Right now I'm breathing really fast and hard while I run, but certainaly as I go on and get more fit, my breathing will slow a bit? Thanks for the advice, I hope my question makes sense! Shannon

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I recieved my breathing advice from my martial arts teacher.
We practice controlled breath and I do this in my runs.
I learned this the hard way during a hill workout. I had gotten into the habbit of starting my climb with exagerated pants.
Then I thought about the breathing I had done in class. So instead of panting, I released my breath and allowed myself to relax for about about four steps and then I breathed in again just as relaxed.(I didn't hold my breath, I just relaxed it.)
It seemed like a miracle: The hill repeat that I had done with so much panting and so much effort, I did twenty seconds faster when I was relaxed and in control of my breath.

Peace
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I started running aged 47, after I nearly collapsed running about 200 yards. I'm now 54 and can still remember what it was like when I started.

IMHO it is best to run slowly, in fact very slowly, for the first month or so. Concentrate on good running form and enjoyment. Once you can comfortably run for about half an hour (however slowly), you can then think about upping the pace using interval sessions.

A typical runner takes about 180 paces a minute. Much of a faster runner's speed comes from stride length rather than stride frequency (swimmers will tell you the same story).

Breathing every 4th step gives you about 45 breaths to the minute. This is not cast in stone, just a guide.

Good luck and enjoy. I went from a gasping heap of flabby lard to a 3.20 marathoner in 7 years and looking for 3.10 this autumn.
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shamy-- last summer i did a lot of running/cardio stuff. actually it was marching in a drum corps playing trumpet, but it basically translated into 10-11 hours of cardiovascular exercise every single day all summer long. we ran a LOT - a couple of miles every morning, and we had to run to arbitrary waypoints and back whenever we made mistakes. anyways, it was kicking my butt for a long time and then i also tried applying the breath control i knew so well from playing music, to my running. i would breathe in for 4 beats (steps) as relaxed as possible through my nose and then out for 4 through my mouth. it worked pretty well and i got to the point where i could run miles at a time with relative ease -- that is, without kicking my own butt so hard that the rest of the day's workout was more difficult than unusual. it helped my sprinting more than anything else though. sorry, i know most of this is probably useless banter, but i hope it helps.

speedingwolf-- id just like to say congrats on your achievements! that is pretty amazing. i dont know if i'll ever be able to do a full marathon, but who knows. last year lance armstrong took part in the NYC marathon (but you probably already know this) with the goal of completing it under 3hrs, and he did it, but not by much if i remember correctly. just think- your running performance levels are approaching the levels of a seven-time TDF champion, and (i hope this doesn't offend you) youre much older than he is! that's awesome!!
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