NEW! Ask the Fitness Bro

Editor's Note: We are pleased to introduce our newest columnist, Todd Tanner. Todd is a longtime fitness enthusiast, a veteran of nine 5Ks, and a Certified Fitness Bro (CFB). He has also taken online courses in Sociology, Advanced Kettlebell Theory, and Superfoods. He will answer your fitness and training questions here every two to 24 weeks. Welcome, Todd!

Dear Fitness Bro,
I started running last week, and I'm training for my first marathon. (So pumped!) My problem is that my runs start fine, but after two or three minutes my legs feel heavy and I'm out of breath. Am I not breathing correctly?—Concerned in Chicago

Dear Concerned,
Thanks for the question. Are you breathing incorrectly? It's very possible. Many new runners just breathe the way that comes naturally. That is a big mistake. For breathing while running, I recommend the Van Houten Method—a half-breath in as your right foot lands, followed by a hard breath out as the right foot kicks back, and then a full breath in as your left foot comes forward, then a series of sharp exhales as it lands, alternating each side of the nostril every other 10 strides. It's more complicated than it sounds, so to really learn this method you'll want to buy Fundamentals of Breathing for Runners, by John Van Houten, Ph.D. (540 pages, $19.95). Good luck with your 26.2!—Todd Tanner, CFB

Dear Fitness Bro,
I run with some "old timers" who tell me that core work isn't necessary. These guys have run a bunch of marathons, and most have PRs well under three hours. None of them does core work—they just run a lot and do speed workouts, tempo runs, hill repeats, and stuff like that. Now I don't know what to think. Am I wasting my time strengthening my core?—Unsure in Utica

Dear Unsure,
Sounds to me like your running buddies haven't heard of a little thing called the internet. Because anyone who's been on the internet can tell you that the core is absolutely crucial. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles and videos devoted to the core. That is how important the core is. And you have to do core exercises if you want a strong core. Starting to get the picture? Also, try some superfoods.—Todd Tanner, CFB

Dear Fitness Bro,
How many times a week should I work out?—Wondering in Washington

Dear Wondering,
Five.—Todd Tanner, CFB

Have a question for Todd? Submit it here!