To stagger your breath, you inhale for three steps and exhale for two. Counting requires focus, which will prevent you from going into autopilot as your body tires and your mind starts to wander over the course of steady-state runs, Jackson says. In turn, you'll feel less discomfort caused by subpar form.
What's more, structured breathing will bring fresh oxygen to your muscles at a regular cadence, helping to reduce fatigue, he adds.
The bottom line:
Practice staggered breathing during warm-ups, steady-state runs, and while recovering from intervals.