Anyone who has ever taken up running knows that some days running feels like a joy and you want to keep going, while on others, you can barely make it around the block. You made sure you got enough sleep and fueled your body with the proper foods so what gives?
The way you are breathing can have a major impact on your run. With each inhale, you supply your muscles with the oxygen they need to do their job. When your breathing is shallow or out of sync, you can expect your energy levels to wane. Breathing is such a natural thing and we do it all day without even thinking about it, but when it comes to running (or any exercise, really), awareness becomes critical. Here are
some tips to help you master your breathing so you can get the most from your run!
Most people only use the top third of their lungs. When you inhale deeply, you expand your lungs and press down on the diaphragm. This expands your abdomen and fills your lungs. Breathing like this while running will help you take in more oxygen, preventing nausea and dizziness. To make this type of deep breathing easier, you can practice it when you are not running. Simply lie down on the floor and exhale completely. Slowly inhale for long five count. Then exhale slowly, again counting to five. Doing this regularly will not only help you manage stress levels, it will teach you to breathe from your diaphragm. Adding a few yoga sessions to your routine is another great way to master deep breathing.
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Breathe According To Your Tempo
Try to match your breathing to the steps you are taking. If you are running at an easy pace, try inhaling for three to four steps, then exhaling over the same amount of steps. If you are going at a faster pace, you will need to adjust your breathing to match your energy expenditure. Try inhaling for one or two steps, then exhaling for one or two steps. If you are not able to sync your breathing to your steps, you are running too fast. Slow yourself down until you can find the rhythm.
Breathe Through Your Nose
Breathing in through your nose helps you to breathe more deeply and with greater efficiency. It also helps you navigate seasonal changes in temperature. If you've been running in the cold, you know what we're talking about. Running in cold air can leave you coughing, wheezing, and in some cases, gasping for air. This is because cold air is dry and your lungs don't like dry air. When you breathe through your nose, you are warming the air to body temperature before it hits your lungs which will decrease the shock and the coughing.
What are your tips for learning to breathe properly on a run? Share them with us in a comment!
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