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Breathing Tips For Runners

Should I breath through my nose or mouth?

When you’re running you should be breathing in and out through your mouth. Your mouth is the most effective way of getting enough oxygen into your body and expelling waste. To make the most of your breathing you should avoid ‘chest breathing’ and focus more on diaphragmatic breathing.

What is chest breathing?

Chest breathing is seen as the weakest breath to take whilst out on the run as it is too shallow to bring in maximum oxygen. Your breathing should be more diaphragmatic – so the breath extends down into your stomach, with the chest remaining relatively still.

Focus on making the necessary corrections to diaphragmatic breathing next time you run, it is the best way of avoiding shortness of breath and stitches.

Can I train my breathing muscles?

The muscles we use to breath can be improved just as any other muscle can - through exercise. There are recommended exercises you can do at home to improve the efficiency of your intercostal muscles: laying on your back on the floor and breathing deep controlled breaths into your belly is a good start. Once you have mastered this, you can move on to Pilates or Yoga to stretch out the intercostal muscles and lengthen the spine, improving running and breathing.

How do I time my breathing?

There is no set rhythm you should be following. Your exact rhythm will depend on how hard or easy you run. A general rule of thumb is 2:2; this means you take two steps while breathing in and another two steps whilst exhaling. Increase or decrease the ratio depending on your level of intensity.

For those preparing for running events in the near future, mastering breathing techniques will ensure your body is able to perform at a higher level during all kinds of running events.  


11th January 2018, 11:18
Page updated 11th Jan 2018, 11:18
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