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Pre-Run Breathing

A warm-up activity that focuses and energizes kids, reminds them to breathe consistently, and helps them breathe better

Tags: elementary school, stretches & strength, warm-up activities



  1. Have your runners put their hands on their stomachs and take in a series of full, deep breaths through their noses.
  2. Have them feel their stomach expand as they breathe in and contract as they breathe out.

Performance Points:

  • Make sure the stomach expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. This is diaphragm breathing and helps runners take in maximum oxygen.
  • Breathe in for a two second count and out for a two second count.
  • Focus on breathing for a full minute.
  • The goal is not to alter natural breathing patterns, but to promote full and consistent breathing while running.

Training Specifics:

Duration / Reps: Do Pre-Run Breathing for a full minute.

When: At the beginning of the running session


  • Focuses and energizes kids in preparation for the running session
  • Reminds kids to breathe consistently when they run
  • Helps kids breathe better, which enables them to run longer and stronger before getting tired
  • Helps to prevent side cramps

Youth and Schools

New York Road Runners Mission