Running on Air

on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 7:45 PM

So the past year, on trying to increase pace, I tried something slightly different. If you've ever registered for anything on the runner's world website, you've probably been spammed with their book entitled "Running On Air: The Revolutionary Way to Run Faster by Breathing Smarter".  I was intrigued at the idea of gaining speed by just changing breathing patterns so I borrowed it from the library.  I realized that I have too many  running books that I haven't read yet and figured I could get a look at it and see if it was worth buying. 

In summary, probably not worth buying.  The basics of the breathing pattern is described on their website at
In the actual book, the basics of the breathing is within the first 50 or so pages and the rest of the book is just general running stuff that you can find in any running book.

Basically the gist of the method is to coordinate when you breath out with alternating foot strikes so you switch back and forth between which side hits the ground when you exhale.  This is good at preventing side stitches which is  something I learned long ago.  The problem with the breathing technique for me is that it's very unnatural. I've tried to practice the 3-2 breathing pattern for long and recovery runs,and I feel that I'm just not getting enough air in.  On LT runs though, I do naturally alternate between sides in a 2-1 pattern which is good (breathin in for 2 step, breath out for one step).  The other thing I learned from the book is a different way of breathing during short fast races like in 5k and 10k which is basically to breath in a 2-1-1-1 pattern where you breath in for 2 steps, out for 1 step, in for 1 step and out for 1 step. It's a bit awkward at first since you basically have to force the breathing pattern and it's not symmetrical, but I think it works. Towards the end of races, I had generally have done a 1-1 breathing pattern, but I always felt like I was almost hyperventilating. This 2-1-1-1 still allows me to get the oxygen I want but not be panting like a dog. This technique worked out well for me in the 5k and 10k races I did. 

Glad to have read it, but not going to be buying it.