Improve Your APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test ) Run Time: The way to Breathe whereas Running


Improve Your APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test ) Run Time: The way to Breathe whereas Running

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Even experienced runners can benefit from optimizing their breathing. Breathing properly during your APFT timed run can shave off seconds from your score and help you avoid injury. So what does “proper breathing” look like? Well, it varies by person, but as a general rule, many seasoned runners recommend the 3:2 rhythmic breathing pattern.

The 3:2 concept is pretty simple: inhale for three steps and exhale for two steps. But putting the concept into practice is a bit more challenging. Here is a step-by-step guide to getting better at the 3:2 rhythm.


First, practice the breathing pattern lying down on the ground.

  1. Lie on your back at the side of your knees bent and feet flat on the bottom.
  2. Take a few normal breaths, breathing in and out through your nose and mouth.
  3. Once you feel focused and relaxed, start the 3:2 breathing pattern. Count to three as you inhale and count to two as you exhale, making sure you take one continuous breath in and one continuous breath out.
  4. When you are comfortable with the breathing rhythm, tap your feet on the ground to mimic running. Breathe in for three taps and breathe out for two taps. Practice this step for at least three minutes.


Once you have the pattern down, take a walk to practice the 3:2 pattern in action.

  1. Before you start walking, take a few deep breaths through your nose and mouth at the same time. Inhale while you count to three in your head, then exhale while you count to two.
  2. Start walking. Inhale one continuous, deep breath through your nose and mouth for three steps, and then exhale for two steps.
  3. Continue walking using the breathing pattern for at least 10 minutes before you start running to get into the rhythm.


  1. Take off your headphones. Don’t listen to music while you’re learning to breathe rhythmically while running; the beats in the music will throw you off.
  2. Breathe in through both your nose and mouth at the same time. Inhale one continuous, deep breath for three-foot strikes.
  3. Exhale through your mouth and nose for two-foot strikes.
  4. Continue the 3:2 breathing pattern for your entire run.
  5. If you come to a hill or really challenging point in the run, you may notice that you need to breathe in and out faster. While running through the tough part, drop your breathing pattern to 2:1. Instead of breathing in for three seconds and out for two seconds, you will breathe in for two seconds and out for one. Return to the 3:2 pattern when you pass the challenging part of the run.

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