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 > Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon > Training > Training Tips

Training Tips

Breathing tempo

Expert: Dr. Simon Yeung - Associate Professor of Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Key Points: 

  • Focus on your breathing out (exhalation) rather than breathing in (inhalation). 
  • 5-step tempo: exhale for the first 3 steps and inhale for the 2 following steps.
  • For runners who run with a pace of 7 min/k, their step frequency should be approximately 150 steps per min. If they are using 5-step-one breathing cycle rhythm, their breathing rate should be 30 times per minute. This breathing tempo should be quite relaxing and enjoyable. When you start to increase your speed, it will be natural that your step frequency will be increased. For most runners, their optimum step frequency should be around 180 steps per min. At that speed, your breathing pattern might likely change to 4 or 3-step per cycle. Thus, your breathing rate would increase to 45-60 breath per min. With this breathing rate, you are likely to be able to sustain with this pace and breathing rate. Further increase in your pace or breathing rate will render your run and difficult to sustain.