How To Breathe Properly While Running | Proper Technique

If you have ever ran in your life, and yes am not talking about you running from your responsibilities or any chores. Then you would know how difficult it is to breathe while running or jogging especially long distances.

It’s a no brainer that physical activity like running demand maximum output from your body in this case your heart and lungs. And it’s not just about running, during any exercise two of the important organs of the body which comes into action are the heart and the lungs. The lungs bring oxygen into the body, to provide energy, and remove carbon dioxide, the waste product created when you produce energy. The heart pumps the oxygen to the muscles that are doing the exercise and then the process goes on.

When you run, your muscles work harder. Thus your body uses more oxygen and produces more carbon dioxide. To cope with this extra demand, your breathing has to increase from about 15 times a minute (12 liters of air) when you are resting, up to about 40–60 times a minute (100 liters of air) during exercise. Your circulation also speeds up to take the oxygen to the muscles so that they can keep moving.

So when you know how to properly breathe, you automatically keep a large breathing reserve while running. You may feel ‘out of breath’ after running, but you will not be ‘short of breath’ ever.

So here are quick tips and hacks which you must get straight for never getting ‘short of breath’ while and after running

  • Belly breathing- Many people get into the habit of breathing only with their chests. But while running diaphragmatic breathing, sometimes called belly breathing is a must. During belly breathing when you inhale, the diaphragm contracts and moves downward. This movement sets off a cascade of events. During which lungs expand, creating negative pressure that drives air in through the nose, filling the lungs with air. When you exhale, the diaphragm muscles relax and move upwards, which drives air out of the lungs through your breath via mouth. While doing this, always remember the golden rule ‘breathe in through your nose, breathe out through your mouth’. To practice more of ‘belly breathing’ you can also do ‘Anulom Vilom’.
  • Rhythmic breathing- If you are planning for injury-free long runs, then you must master the art of rhythmic breathing. As the name suggest its all about finding rhythm while coordinating it with your footsteps and breathing. One classic example of rhythmic breathing is a pattern where you coordinate footstrike and breathing in such a way that you would land alternately on your left foot and right foot at the beginning of every exhale. Beside this many runners develop a 2:2 pattern of breathing, meaning they inhale for two foot strikes and exhale for two foot strikes. Some breathe in for three steps and exhale for three or two(advance level) steps. Both have the same result— your exhale is always on the same side. Breathing patterns that extend the inhale will shift the point of exhalation alternately from left to right or from right to left, from one side of the body to the other. The singular point of all rhythmic breathing patterns is this: Exhale on alternate foot strikes as you run. You never want to continually exhale on the same foot.
  • Tongue posture- This point is about how to inhale more oxygen with just one simple hack. So Instead of allowing your tongue to lie at the base of your mouth, place the tip against your hard palate (located behind the upper front teeth) while breathing in and voila, here you go. Practice it through Pranayam and soon you will feel the difference, especially in the long run.

As you use all of these ‘points’ in your training and racing and tune in to your breathing efforts and paces, you will learn to run from within, in complete harmony with your body. You will discover the natural rhythms of your running, which will lead you to improved performances but also to experience the pure joy of running. Till then: Happy running, runners….

ABOUT AUTHOR

Anucool, still believes that Ponting used a spring bat in 03' WC Final. One of those nerds who think that 'sports can change the world'. 'Ex Mohalla' Footballer and a full time sports viewer. Trekking makes him happy.

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