How To Breathe While Running – The Ultimate Guide to Running Relaxed
As a new runner, you have probably have been more focused on completing your distance rather than knowing how to breathe while running. To be fair, most people don’t think they need to be taught how to breathe correctly when running. So, they often don’t think about it. However, once you get more comfortable running, you will start to see that your breathing is not all that comfortable or relaxed. That’s why knowing how to breathe correctly during a run, can not only help lower your heart rate but can also increase your performance and make you more comfortable.
Because of this, both new and more experienced runners can benefit from learning the correct breathing techniques. By doing so, you can give you’re running a little boost and also reduce some common injuries caused by being tense.
If you are struggling to control your breathing during a run, and want to learn how to control it properly, keep reading. We will teach you some basic techniques to help.
Why Do I Struggle To Breathe When I Run?
Since running is an aerobic exercise, your body needs large amounts of oxygen all the time. Generally, when you are new to running or haven’t been running for long, the increased exertion can often leave you gasping for air during a run. This often happens when you start to push a run or increase the distance more than you are used to.
Once you start pushing the pace, the breathing starts getting faster. That is a sign the body requires more oxygen.
Once the oxygen demands are met during exercise, the breathing will start to return to normal. However, if you find that your breathing never really improves throughout a run, it might be a sign of an underlying health condition. If this is the case, speak to your doctor.
How To Breathe While Running?
First, it is important not to forget a proper warm-up. Following a warm-up routine and some stretching can help increase the body’s temperature and open up the airways before your main session. This is even more important during the chilly months because the cold air contracts the airways more than during warmer weather.
Below are a few tips to learn how to breathe while running. These include:
– Breathe from the belly
– Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth
– Time your breathing with your cadence
Breathing from the belly
If you find you take shallow breaths when running, or when you get tired, you may be breathing from the chest. Many new runners tend to breathe through their chest, rather than from their belly. Unfortunately, breathing this way isn’t the best way to maximize your oxygen intake and can often leave you gasping for air during a run.
Belly breathing or diaphragmatic breathing is a technique that allows maximum oxygen intake. It works by engaging the diaphragm as you run, creating more space in your chest cavity. In turn, this allows your lungs to expand and allow more oxygen to pass through.
Several studies have shown that deep belly breathing can increase the amount of oxygen-rich blood to the muscles. In turn, it will help delay fatigue from happening and improve your focus and mental fortitude.
An easy way to learn deep belly breathing is to lie on the ground and place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Then breathe normally, and see which hand rises first. This will show whether you are breathing from your belly or chest first. If you are breathing from your chest first, try to focus more on breathing from the belly instead. Then once you can master this, try to bring the air up to your chest when you exhale.
Breathing For Beginners
If you are a beginner runner and tend to breathe in and out through your mouth, you may need to change your breathing technique when running.
Breathing in and out through your mouth can cause a hyperventilating effect, This generally won’t allow enough oxygen to the body. The same goes if you breathe in and out through your nose.
The best way for a beginner to breathe is to use the belly breathing technique. Then learn how to inhale and exhale through your nose and mouth at the same time. Doing so will help control your breathing and keep it steady. It will also engage your diaphragm more, which will help increase oxygen intake.
Once you have mastered the art of controlling your breathing a few things will happen.
There are many benefits to breathing correctly while running, so it is important to learn the correct way. By doing so, your performance will rapidly increase.
How To Breathe While Running Long Distance
When you run long distances, breathing is not as important as during a more intense session. However, learning to control your breathing can make you more efficient and prevent fatigue as the run gets longer.
By keeping a steady and controlled breath your heart rate will be lower and less stress will be placed on the body. That means you are less likely to incur an injury during the long run, or when you increase your mileage.
Just like more intense sessions, try to inhale and exhale with the nose and mouth. That way you will get the optimal amount of oxygen into the body. Then when paired with belly breathing, you will feel more relaxed, and less fatigued as the run goes on.
However, learning a new breathing technique can take some time. Try to change your breathing pattern through parts of the run. Once you become more comfortable increase the time slowly. Within a few months, it should start to feel normal and you should start to see some small improvements in your running, heart rate, and technique.