If your chest going tight when nervous it suggests you are 'hyperventilating' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperventilation . This can be quite distressing and cause various symptoms including light headedness, pins and needles etc. The solution (that sounds a bit silly) is to focus on breathing out not in.
Otherwise it is, as CliveS says, breath for three steps out and three steps in
Fill your lungs and breathe deeply and rhythmically, depending on how hard you're going.
So in my case - in for four (or even five) steps and out for four is steady aerobic plod ... in two three four ... out two three four ...
Cruising speed in a half marathon race is three in and three out, for a 10K three in and two out. Kicking at the end or labouring up a hill is two in and two out, by which time I'm in danger of not breathing but panting and it's time to ease off.
Do a bit of trial and error to find which rhythm suits you but the key thing is to fill yer lungs.
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