How to breathe when running?

I Want to Run Faster!
March 25, 2019
Trail Run Tips
April 13, 2019

   Many argue that the way to breathe when running is to breathe through your nose and blow it through your mouth. But actually, air must be able to enter the lungs through both. When running, many muscles of the body work hard and require high oxygen intake, so that oxygen drawn through the nose alone will not suffice. A good breathing technique encourages us to use the diaphragm or stomach – not with the chest. Breathing using the chest is low breathing and does not support the need for oxygen intake. Breathing with the diaphragm helps you draw more air and can prevent side stitches. Exhale in full so that more carbon dioxide is wasted and the next breath will be even deeper.

   Here’s how: Make sure your shoulders are in a relaxed position but not bent. Inhale through your mouth, stretch your stomach and at the same time tighten and push with the diaphragm. This will give the lungs more room to grow and attract more oxygen. You will feel your stomach expand – not the chest.
Gently exhale and draw by mouth. You can practice this breathing technique by lying on your back and paying attention to your stomach movements while breathing. Your stomach will go up and down along with each breath. If only your chest moves, your breathing is still not deep.
Continue to practice while lying down and memorize this technique to practice when running. Other useful tips: Try to breathe every 3 steps and exhale every 2 steps.

   If you are a beginner runner, run at a speed where you can still breathe without difficulty. Use ‘test talk’ to find out your natural pace. Natural pace is when you can say one full sentence without panting. This speed is also known as conversational pace. Reduce speed or walk when you feel out of breath. Feeling relaxed and controlling speed can usually help eliminate respiratory problems.

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