Ask an expert

15 Apr 2004

Breathing whilst running
Hi FitnessDoc,

Hope you had a wonderfull Easter weekend, at least the next weekend is just around the corner. My first question is related to running. I am not registered with a club, but overheard people say that there is a certain technique when it comes to breathing whilst running so that you don't fatigue yourself. Can you please elaborate on this.

My second question is what exercise in particular I can do to give my thighs some more definition. I'm getting there, but I guess I'm just too impatient...

Thanks for great feedback. I just love this forum.

Answer 357 views

01 Jan 0001

HI Asterix

The breathing question is quite common, and to be honest, there is no right or wrong way to breathe. From experience, athletes often come up with correct ways or improved ways to breathe, but I have a feeling that if you asked 10 different guys what they felt was the best way to breathe, you'd get 10 different answers. So, my advice would be to find what works best for you. One thing that is certain is that a steady, rythmic breathing pattern is best, and you should avoid short, gaspy, shallow breaths. That's why often a breathing pattern where you breathe in for 2 steps and then out for 2 steps, or 3-3, or whatever is most comfortable. I think that breathing is something that eventually becomes unconscious, and you do it without thinking about it. Certainly, you can't breathe differently to avoid fatigue - the body will tell you to breathe as much as you need to, so you can't bypass this at all. What you can do is breathe badly, as I said, by breathing with short, shallow breaths, and so that's what you have to avoid. But, eventually, you'll look back on the days when you battled to breathe and you'll wonder what all the fuss was about.

Then, as for the thighs, have a look at the 'Zone-in-on' section of the Health 24 website ( You can find this section under 'Fitness', and then just click on the image that shows the areas you want to work on, and you will be able to see the exercises relevant to you.

Good luck, and keep up the running
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
32% - 9467 votes
68% - 20230 votes