Running is a great choice for a cardio exercise. In sunny days, you can do it outside and enjoy the stream of fresh air. When the weather is bad, there is no stopping you – you can do it indoors! It’s a fun way lose some weight or manage your weight.
But sometimes, people hate running because they find catching their breath pretty hard to do. Well, that’s normal, especially if you are running hard in intervals! But I know, some people want to know how to improve breathing while running. Not all of us are born with athletic prowess, you know!
The Benefits of Proper Breathing
Proper breathing technique while you run is not a trivial matter. It has a lot to do with how much mileage you can accomplish. Aside from that, there are other things you may not know off. Here are some other things that improve when you practice mindful breathing:
- Proper breathing gives you more air.
With the right breathing practice, your lung can expand to its full potential and give you more oxygenated air. More oxygen, more burn, more mileage.
- Improved oxygen perfusion.
Well, inevitably, when you exercise and breathe properly, your muscles and tissues get optimal oxygenated blood flow which leads to better performance.
- Proper breathing improves posture while running.
Essentially, when you master the art of breathing while running technique, you will notice a dramatic improvement in your running posture. When the lungs are filled to their optimum potential, your spine aligns properly giving you right posture.
- Less occurrence of side stitch pain.
Side stitch pain is theorized to result from two things. First is the diaphragm gets fatigued like every other muscles. The result, painful side stitches!
The second reason is posture. Incorrect posture and spine alignment force smaller less frequently used muscles to work harder to compensate, and results in side stitches.
Improving Breathing Techniques
- Breathing Through the Stomach
There are two types of usual breathing: chest breathing and stomach breathing. Which is the best between the two? Both methods of breathing will keep you alive, but only one of them can keep you running longer.
Stomach breathing is the best way to go when doing any type of exercise. The diaphragm pulls the lungs downwards and gives more room for the lungs to expand, unlike chest breathing which is limited to the space of the thorax.
When you breathe with your stomach, you give it a little more abdominal space that adds up to the exclusive thoracic space. The result? More air.
How to do it:
Inhale as much air as you can. Your stomach should rise with every breath. In every successful stomach breath, you should feel your abdominal muscles being stretched. For some, this may take a while to get familiar with. But all you need is practice!
We can breathe continuously even without giving it thought. It’s instinct. But, on the subject of proper breathing technique while running, there are details that make thing easier if you follow them.
Breathing through the mouth and nose simultaneously can give you the best intake of air in one big inhale. But, if you want to make your diaphragm stronger, inhaling through the nose is best.
Breathing exclusively through the nose is the best way to strengthen your diaphragm as the air passage is smaller, and you need to generate more negative pressure in the lungs to increase the flow of air. Essentially, your diaphragm will have to compensate and do more forceful contractions.
Exhaling forcefully is the best way to expel carbon dioxide rich air from your lungs. This should be done as if you are blowing a blow dart. Imagine blowing a projectile through a pipe. Thats it!
Lastly, your cadence and rhythm can greatly improve your pacing and regulate your breathing. Some people find this easy, but for most, there is a learning curve, and it may take a few sessions to master it.
How to do it:
To start with, you need to know how to count to 4. Thats all you need. You can learn this easily!
Give each of your steps 2 counts. Every step you take, give it two counts. For example, your left foot should always land on 1 and 3. Your right foot should always land on 2 and 4. (Well, you can have this switched if you want to.)
Now, when you have set your rhythm, you can inhale on 1, and exhale on 3.
Finding your rhythm may seem unimportant. But when you learn this, you will see and feel a noticeable change in your pacing. You will run better, and stronger.
This technique may seem too simple. You may even have thought you knew it already! To your surprise, there are minor details you might have missed! But hey, now you can put all of these to practice and improve your breathing while running technique and add a few more miles to your daily run! Dont forget to rehydrate to fuel yourself!
I hope you find this post informative! What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below, and I will connect with you soon. Feel free to share this page with your friends!
Guest Blog Bio: My name is Kristin, and I’m a housewife with big love for cooking. When I’m not bringing on the Food Network and attempting to become America’s Next Top Chef, I’m browsing online for unique recipes to awe my friends with. Now I ‘m a founder and main editor for Taste Insight, my blog about nutrition and vegetarian food!