How important is breathing slowly?

I have just finished my 2nd run in week 2 and although I am starting to find it easier, the thing I have always had problems with is breathing... in the first week I tried really hard to breath slowly, as suggested, but I always ended up struggling and out of breath with a bad stitch, so my last 2 runs I have tried to ignore the breathing and it has been much better. My worry though is that as the distances get longer I will again struggle to breath, if I dont learn to "do it properly" now, is this a valid concern or should I just run in the way that works for me?

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  • Don't think about it. Just breathe. Your body will naturally sort it out for you.

    I've never even thought about it and sometimes I find that I'm breathing really easily, other times I find myself panting a bit but it all just sorts itself out in the end.

    One thing to be wary of though is to not go too fast at this stage. If you're really struggling then you are probably going too fast for your current level of stamina. Slow down until you're breathing more easily and maintain that pace. Doesn't matter if that means running slowly, you are trying to very gradually build stamina and strength which will help prevent injury. Speed and distance will follow in good time.

  • There are many who struggle in the first couple of weeks with the breathing but the best thing is too relax and it will take care of its self. The program says breathe in through the nose and out by mouth which I cannot do as I can't get enough air in through my nose, so I'm a mouth breather (in & out) only thing you have to be careful of is flies in the summer, they don't taste very nice ;)

  • Just do what comes naturally to you. If you are panting, just ease back the pace and that is where you should aim to be on your runs-breathing reasonably easily, but pushing as hard as you can to avoid the panting. You will find in a couple of weeks that your breathing is much easier and your recovery times have reduced drastically. The same goes for the footfall advice in the podcasts...do what comes naturally.

    Good luck. Keep running, keep smiling.

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