Unless you can breathe properly while you run, the whole undertaking will feel like an inhuman endeavor. You will often find yourself having to stop, or worse, failing to reach your distance goals. There is plenty of misleading advice out there on the ‘right way’ to breathe as you run, but most of it will only make you a lot less effective as a runner. So, how should you breathe as you run? Here is a quick look at the right way to do it.
Use Both Your Nose And Your Mouth:
Some ‘experts’ will argue that you should breathe through your nose, others will swear that breathing through your mouth is the way to do it. Some even claim you should use your nose to breathe in and use your mouth to breathe out. The truth is that neither of these methods will help you get better as a runner.
While running, you basically need as much oxygen as you can possibly breathe in. In fact, during some running workouts, there are times when your body has to generate the energy your muscles need independent of oxygen (anaerobic respiration) in order to keep you going. So, this means you cannot commit to using your nose or your mouth on its own to breathe as you run, it only limits your capabilities. Of course, the mouth offers a bigger air passage than the nose, and this automatically means your mouth will bring in most of the air you breathe while running.
Learning to use both your mouth and your nose to breathe is not all there is to breathing correctly while running, but it is an important step. You have to make sure the breathes are deep as well. As you might have realized, as soon as your breathing becomes shallow, you soon feel completely worn out.
The key to avoiding this problem is using your belly, or diaphragm, to breathe during your run. If you breathe using your chest, then your breathes are not deep enough. Shallow breathes do you two injustices as a runner on the track – they keep you from getting in enough oxygen, and they also prevent you from removing all the used up air from your lungs.
How To Breathe Deeply:
With shallow breathing, your chest will appear to move a lot, while your stomach remains relatively still. However, with deep/belly/diaphragmatic breathing, your chest should be relatively still as your abdomen and diaphragm do most of the moving.
Understandably, deep breathing can be a relative term. So, you should try to make sure your inhalation lasts for three steps, while your exhaling lasts for two or three steps. Mastering this technique will not come without some effort.
At first, you may find yourself unable to do this kind of breathing as you run. So, you should start with some practice, for instance, running at a lower pace so that you can achieve the appropriate number of breathes with each set of footsteps.
Benefits Of Deep Breathing:
So, why do deep breathing and not rapid shallow breathing? The answer is simple, this breathing technique lets you take in more air, and this translates into more oxygen for your muscles at a time when they need more of it.
Additionally, deep breathing helps prevent side stitches, which are sharp and intense pains on the lower side of the ribcage after some bit of running. The faster you have to breathe as you run, the shallower your breathing is, which means you need to learn deep breathing to avoid getting exhausted fast or suffering from side stitches.
When running, there is the right way to breathe, and the wrong way to breathe. Shallow breathing is not good, and it will cause exhaustion and other nasty side effects such as side stitches. So, stick to deep breathing. Additionally, you have to use both your mouth and your nose for breathing: you should not pick a favorite. Using both of these air passages ensures maximum oxygen gets into your lungs and to your muscles as you run. These simple breathing techniques might take a while to get used to, but once you grasp them, your running will be more efficient, enjoyable, and more rewarding.