How should you breathe when running?
When running, you always focus on the ways to maintain your distance and speed to achieve longer distances and faster speed such as: running shoes, exercises before and after running, how to lose or gain weight…I agree that all of them are really important for improving your performance. But some people often forget another factor which also enhances your health and improves your performance, and that is the way you regulate your breath while running.
According to many studies of runners, a large number of inexperienced people likely breathe irregularly. While experienced runners always find the ways to synchronize the breathing with their stride for pacing and efficiency. So here are a few tips to help you regulate your breath reasonably and have good health for running:
How to breathe deeply
When breathing deeply, you are expanding your lungs as the same time pressing down the diaphragm, and making your abdomen to expand when your lungs are filled with air or on the other words, it is the action of inhaling and exhaling which extends down into your stomach. You take a deep breath while running that will help you take in lots of oxygen, prevent nausea and dizziness. With training, you can breathe to increase your endurance. You can learn to breathe from your diaphragm by Cross-training with Pilates and yoga.
Combine your breathing with your steps
For an easy pacing running, inhale within three or four steps, and then exhale within the same amount of steps. Count the steps in your head to adjust your breath. For a faster running, your breathing tempo should increase to support your increased energy output, inhale for one to two steps and exhale also for one to two steps. If you don’t combine your steps with your breathing, you should try to run faster or slow down to get back your rhythm.
Breathe primarily through your mouth
When running, providing your muscles with enough the oxygen is very important and breathing through mouth is the best way to inhale and exhale oxygen. You should avoid chest breathing, and in favor of diaphragmatic breathing as I mentioned above. At first period time, you should be aware of your breathing to breathe through your nose or mouth. If you still breathe through nose, focusing on making the corrections to breathe through your mouth. It may be difficult, but at last you will be able to change to a better breathing technique, and do without thinking.
Breathe through nose in cooler temperatures
Your lungs don’t like dry air; you can catch wheezing and coughing if you breathe in cold air through your mouth. Additionally, cold air is dry and breathing through your mouth increases the dryness while decreasing the temperature of the air. Therefore, it is very important to breathe through your nose in cold air, it not only filters out impurities in air but also warms cool air and body temperature. It likely creates less shock for the lungs to decrease the asthma symptoms.
Strengthen the breathing muscles
We often enhance our hamstrings or hips to improve our leg strength. Therefore we can also strengthen the muscles used for breath to improve this. In fact, a study showed a direct connection between the strength of diaphragm and fatigue in the marathon. You can enhance the strength of this by lying on the ground. Lying on your back, you inhale deeply for your belly rises up with your chest, and down when you exhale.Maintain practicing this until you can be able to move upright. You can do Pilate exercises. Pilates also help lengthen the spine and stretch your intercostal muscles, which improve breathing as well as running.
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Your breathing rhythm depends on how hard or easy you will run. Breathing rhythms express the number of footsteps you take with each time you breathe in or out.
- Easy runs: Typically, people run with a 3:3 rhythm (one with your left, one with your right, one with your left while breathing in) and change foot and do the same amount of steps with breathing out. This provides plenty of oxygen to be inhaled through the lungs and processed before being exhaled easily. Don’t try to force yourself with a 3:3 breathing rhythm if it isn’t comfortable. Try a 2:2 rhythm (one with right foot and one with left foot) while breathing in and do again with different foot while breathing out. You shouldn’t breathe slower than a 3:3 because it will not give your body enough time to process carbon dioxide andget in enough oxygen you need.
- Moderate paced runs: it runs harder than easy runs, but you don’t have to make race efforts, and typically people often run with a 2:2 rhythm. You will take about 45 breaths per minute with this rhythm, and it is perfect for marathon pace runs.
- Hard workouts and Races: At the end of races, you should run with a 1:2 (one step inhale, two steps exhale) or 2:1 (two steps inhale and one step exhale) breathing rhythm.You will take 60 breaths per minute and this increases your oxygen.
These are some tips which you can use to regulate your breath as well as set the reasonable rhythm for each type of run, in order to improve your performance.