Breath Tools: A Synthesis of Evidence-Based Breathing Strategies to Enhance Human Running

Eric Harbour*, Thomas Stöggl, Hermann Schwameder, Thomas Finkenzeller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Running is among the most popular sporting hobbies and often chosen specifically for intrinsic psychological benefits. However, up to 40% of runners may experience exercise-induced dyspnoea as a result of cascading physiological phenomena, possibly causing negative psychological states or barriers to participation. Breathing techniques such as slow, deep breathing have proven benefits at rest, but it is unclear if they can be used during exercise to address respiratory limitations or improve performance. While direct experimental evidence is limited, diverse findings from exercise physiology and sports science combined with anecdotal knowledge from Yoga, meditation, and breathwork suggest that many aspects of breathing could be improved via purposeful strategies. Hence, we sought to synthesize these disparate sources to create a new theoretical framework called “Breath Tools” proposing breathing strategies for use during running to improve tolerance, performance, and lower barriers to long-term enjoyment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number813243
Pages (from-to)813243
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Issue number813243
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Harbour, Stöggl, Schwameder and Finkenzeller.

Copyright © 2022 Harbour, Stöggl, Schwameder and Finkenzeller.


  • breathing pattern
  • coupling
  • respiration
  • running
  • strategies
  • techniques
  • ventilation

Fields of Science and Technology Classification 2012

  • 107 Other Natural Sciences

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