Do you catch yourself breathing harder each time your run?
The constant loss of breath and tired sensation you experience could be linked to not knowing how to breathe as you run. As a beginner to running, thinking about your time and distance often trumps the most important factor of your run, your breathing.
Here are two breathing techniques you should master to have a successful running season.
Establish a basic breathing pattern
A typical breathing pattern for runners is a 2:2. This means that you’ll inhale for two footsteps and exhale during the following two steps of your run.
A simpler way to incorporate the 2:2 pattern into your workout is to recite the ABCs in your head. You will inhale every 4 letters and exhale during the following 4 letters. Your breathing will be similar to the following:
The initial inhale will begin at “A, B, C, D.”
You’ll exhale during “E, F, G, H.”
You’ll inhale during “I, J, K, L ” and so on.
By following the 2:2/ABC breathing technique, you are training your body to inhale and exhale on specific footsteps, preventing your body from taking additional breaths that will not only exhaust your body faster, but shorten your distance and time.
Breathe from your belly
Breathing through your belly allows your body to expand your diaphragm with larger portions of air which is needed for running. Naturally we breathe using our chest muscles, however, breathing with these muscles will only hinder, not help your performance. The muscles in our chest are smaller which means relying on them to breathe will make the muscles get tired faster, causing you to get tired faster.
However, it doesn’t take long to adjust your breathing from using your chest muscles to your diaphragm.
According to Runner’s World, here are the steps you should take to get your body used to breathing with your diaphragm.
- Lie down on your back
- Keep your upper chest and shoulders still
- Focus on raising your belly as you inhale
- Lower your belly as you exhale
- Inhale and exhale through both your nose and mouth
Combine the techniques
Together breathing from your diaphragm and the 2:2 technique will help you to build the momentum you need to run long distance without feeling fatigue.