Breathing Techniques for Running that Everyone Should Know

Breathing Techniques for Running
03 Mar

Are you having trouble with your breathing while running?

Even if you can’t run one mile today, I’ll show you some Breathing Techniques for Running that will improve your performance drastically in no time.  You just need to do something that most people don’t do for their entire lives: think about the way you breathe.

There are basically 2 ways of breathing: Shallow or Deep

Let’s do a quick observation experiment: Breathe in. Either your chest or your belly expands. Which one is it in your case?

If it’s your chest, I’m sorry to say that you’re breathing too shallow.

Now, let’s do it again. But this time breathe in through your diaphragm (really expanding your belly).

See the difference? This is the way you should breathe: deep! It lets a lot more oxygen into your lungs. Your running will be much more effective and pleasant.

It may feel a little awkward at first but if you concentrate on your breathing while running, I guarantee you’ll soon get the habit. And it really pays off, so go for it!

“Repetition is based on body rhythms, so we identify with the heartbeat, or with walking, or with breathing”
– Karlheinz Stockhausen

You may be wondering now: “Should I breathe through my nose or my mouth?”

Breath in x Breath out

If you only use your mouth to breath – in and out – you’ll soon feel it dry, a sensation of dehydration. Of course, you don’t want that while running.

Now you have 2 options:

  • Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth
  • Breath in and out through your nose

What I usually do is I start breathing in and out through my nose. Once it starts getting harder, and I need more oxygen circulating, I then begin to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth.

But note: if you do this in a randomly paced kind of breathing you won’t get the best results.

You need rhythm!

For every step you take, make sure you’re either taking a deep breath in or out. It’s something like this: IN – IN – OUT – OUT

Right step (breath in), Left step (breath in), Right step (breath out), Left step (breath in) and so on.

Check out this video and you’ll understand it much better!

[YouTube video “How to Breathe While Running to Run Further and Easier” (Jeffrey Brooks)

Nice video by Jeffrey Brooks!

Very well demonstrated that if you have a RANDOM, SHORT breath your running won’t last long.

But if you use a rhythmic breathing, matching your footsteps you’ll be able to achieve longer distances and, most importantly, in a much easier way.

Let’s go a little further, though.

Here are 3 more tips that will help you greatly:

  1. You can choose one of 2 Breathing Techniques:

    ⇒ 4 in – 4 out – You get it, right? IN – IN – IN – IN – OUT – OUT – OUT – OUT
    This is indicated for running at a lower speed, usually longer distances.

    ⇒ 2 in – 2 out, as shown in the video above (IN – IN – OUT – OUT)When you’re running faster, it’s hard to do 4 ins and 4 outs, so you do 2 ins and 2 outs. But remember to inhale and exhale strongly so you get as much oxygen as possible into your lungs and then out.

  2. When breathing in you want to increasingly expand your belly (in 2 or 4 counts). Imagine you have a balloon inside your belly. Every breath you take in it expands a little more. The contrary happens when you exhale.
  3. Keep your posture nice and straight. If you keep your shoulder blades slightly back, head facing forward you’ll allow more oxygen into your lungs and – of course – you’ll breath easier.

Okay, now you can put these techniques to work on your next run.
I’ll love to hear the results! Leave me a comment.

And remember: Run and live a GREATER life!

P.S.: If you need a few tips on Running Posture and on How to begin running, check these 7 Quick Tips on How to Run 5K for Beginners.


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