Running Technique – Breathing Tips
Running may be an exercise of your lower limbs and a training of your endurance but breathing is one of the most important aspects of running effectiveness. The ability to take in as much oxygen when breathing can make a significant boost in performance compared to runners who have not mastered good breathing techniques.
Inadequate oxygen can lead to reduced performance, cramps and early fatigue. Practice good breathing techniques earlier on to avoid bad habits and ensure your runs are more enjoyable and comfortable. Let’s have a look at some very pertinent points on breathing.
Breathing Tip #1 – Deep Breathing
Before you start to run, warm up by going through some breathing drills such as deep breathing and belly breathing. Deep breathing fills the lower part of your lungs which allow better gaseous exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. A good way to start practicing this is to lie on your back on the ground and take in a deep breath. Inhale as much as you can and watch your stomach rise/expand. Hold your breath for 5 seconds before blowing it out. As you exhale, watch as your stomach falls. Diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing is a much healthier way to take in as much oxygen.
If you have not mastered this bit yet, repeat this exercise for 5 minutes every time before you run.
Breathing Tip #2 – Mouth & Nose
There is some debate if breathing through the mouth or nose is better. Breathing through the nose can be helpful in winter as your body warms the air that enters your lungs. Breathing through the mouth relaxes your facial muscles and gives you more volume of air compared to breathing through your mouth. But generally speaking using both your mouth and nose to breathe allows more oxygen to enter your lungs. Having more oxygen helps to get in more oxygen into your system which is what your muscles really needs during an aerobic exercise like running.
Breathing Tip #3 – Good Posture
Slouching or bending forward can have an impact on breathing. That is why in my previous article on body posture, keeping an upright torso is important. Standing upright helps get more oxygen into your lungs. A poor posture results in reduction in total lung volume, thus causing less oxygen to enter your lungs.
Prefer to see a video instead of reading. Check this article out by Tim Borland.
Good Luck Guys!
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