You may find that you will not be able run faster or longer than your friend even though you know both of you have been training for some time. He may be able to run effortlessly with ease while you have to struggle to gasp for air. One of the key differentiators may be the way you breathe. In fact, most seasoned runners are trained to practice breathing techniques at some point until they become second nature even without trying hard.
While I agree that we all have been breathing all our lives and our bodies will figure out the best way to get the air, but for if you are a serious runner who want to improve their performance, you may want to learn to breath better. You may wonder why breathing can be so critical. Focused breathing increase your lung capacity. When you get more oxygen through your blood stream while you are running, you will find it easier to run faster. In fact, you can run longer and further.
Today, I have compiled some of the recommended breathing techniques and here you go:
How To Breathe While You Jog or Run with 4 Great Tips
- Try matching your breathing to your steps. For instance, inhale for every 3 or 4 steps then exhale for the same amount. Count the steps in your head instead of shouting it out. It is like a tempo, 1-2-3-4, inhale; 1-2-3-4, exhale.
- Pick a foot, left or right, to start your breathing cycle. It is easier this way to help you to remember.
- Set the tempo correct first before you increase your pace. So, if you run too fast and could not get the rhythm properly, slow down.
- If your breathing pattern breaks at some point, do not get discouraged. Simply start over.
- Learn to breathe using your diaphragm which is the large muscle at the base of your lungs.
- Before you run, sit down or lie down and learn to breath using diaphragm. Place left hand on your upper chest and right hand just below your rib cage. Breath in slowly so that your stomach moves against your right hand. Your left hand on your chest should remain still.
- The trick is to fill your belly first, then only your lungs.
- As of whether to use your nose or mouth to breathe, it is up to individual. Based on my experience, inhale and exhale through nose while running is the best. Some prefer to inhale using nose and exhale with mouth. Others using both nose and mouth to breathe in and out.
- For people who run in winter or cold windy weather, you may want to breath through a scarf or turtleneck.
Again, the above guidelines are for serious runners. For beginner who starts to run, focus more in your running skill. It is quiet challenging to get used to a new breathing technique, but once you do, you feel state of calm while you run. Bear in mind that you may need to tweak some of the above tips to find what works best for you. Hopefully, you will say good bye to “out of breath” soon and enjoy your next run!
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