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How to Breathe Effectively While Running?

How-to-Breathe-Properly-While-Running

A lot of people who take up running realize that they are unable to breathe properly, and this severely affects their performance. This can also happen to the people who are simply jogging. So, what is the reason behind people not able to breathe properly while running? The answer to this question is that people are running too fast, but at times, people get tired because they are not using the proper breathing technique. In this guide, you will learn how to breathe effectively while running and thus improve your performance in a short period of time.

Shallow Chest Breathing Vs. Deep Belly Breathing

Most of the time, people rely on shallow chest breathing technique which is not as efficient as the deep belly breathing technique. In the shallow chest breathing, where the air you breathe in, stays in the lungs for a relatively short period of time. Thus, the process of air exchange remains incomplete. In deep belly breathing, which is a more efficient technique, you utilize the entire capacity of your lungs as the air you breath goes down to the lower part of your lungs and stays longer. By using the deep belly technique, you increase your oxygen intake and improve your performance.

How to Master Deep Breathing Technique?

In order to learn deep breathing technique, you should follow the steps given below.

  • First, lie down on the floor or on a sofa and place a light book or your hands on your stomach.
  • Now, consciously take deep breaths. As you breathe in and breathe out, the book or hands should move up and down respectively.
  • While breathing out, ensure that you completely empty your lungs. As you keep practicing the belly breathing technique, it will become a habit, and you will start doing it automatically.

Nose Breathing or Mouth Breathing, Which One Is Better?

While running, the purpose of your breathing is to take in as much oxygen as possible while exhaling the highest possible amount of carbon dioxide. Generally, you can take in much more air while breathing through your mouth than through your nose. So, it is a much better option to breathe through your mouth while running. It is true that breathing through your nose provides significantly warmer and more filtered air than does breathing through your mouth. However, while running, the goal is to get as much air as possible and breathing through your mouth helps with that. Depriving yourself of oxygen puts your body under stress and therefore, as you start running more intensely, you should start breathing through your mouth as breathing through your nose won’t be enough in this situation.

Find A Rhythm and Maintain It

Once you start to train regularly, the body gets accustomed to breathing in and breathing out an increased volume of air. This means that your body creates new blood vessels, as mentioned by Kyle Barnes, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise science at Grand Valley State University. In the next step, you need to work on focused breathing while running and maintain a rhythm. The best way to maintain a 2:2 breathing rhythm which means that you breathe in for two counts and then breathe out for two counts. By doing this, you would help yourself to maintain a better pace. It is true that the steadier the breathing pattern is, the lesser is the chance that you would overexert yourself and feel breathless. Maintaining a rhythm also helps in steadily supplying oxygen to your muscles.

However, you cannot do it while running at your full pace from the start. At first, you should try to get into a rhythm while walking. Once, you get comfortable while walking; you should try it while jogging and from then on wards, keep increasing your pace until you reach your maximum speed and are able to breathe properly. By paying proper attention to your breathing pattern, you can effectively understand your pace and the level after which you become uncomfortable. Doing this will help you break the barriers and become more efficient at breathing while running at higher speeds.

How to Practice Maintaining A Rhythm?

To maintain a perfect rhythm, you need to practice a lot. So, start using the 2:2 breathing technique while jogging and then running at speeds for like 30 seconds. By doing this regularly, you will get accustomed to it, and then, you can start to increase the duration you are running for. You should aim to reach levels where you can run about half a kilometer while maintaining your rhythm. In case, you are running more casually, try 3:3 or 4:4 breathing rhythm as well. Some experts also suggest trying 2:1 rhythm for faster running and 4:3 or 3:2 for simple running. Try these combinations and find out the one which suits you the best. As mentioned earlier, a lot of people who have just started running rely on shallow chest breathing technique instead of the belly breathing technique to improve your performance.

Try Altitude Training

Patrick McKeown claims that you can even replicate altitude training to help yourself to breathe properly while running. As we know, at a higher altitude, the amount of oxygen present in the air gets reduced and makes breathing a challenging thing to do. However, it helps in increasing the amount of oxygen you breathe in with each breath that you take. So, if you are ready for that, then buy one of those altitude training masks that are available on the market. These masks restrict the amount of air that you can breathe in to simulate an altitude. Train with these masks regularly to help increase your oxygen intake.

FAQs

Why Do I Feel That I Cannot Breathe Properly While Running?

Most of the time, people feel breathless while running either because they are running too fast or because they are not using the proper breathing technique.

What Is the Proper Breathing Technique While Running?

Mainly, we rely on our noses to breath as they act as a sort of air conditioner and improve air quality. However, by breathing through our mouths, we increase the oxygen intake and thus provide more energy to our muscles which allow us to maintain our speed much longer.

How to Train for Deep Belly Breathing?

To become proficient in belly breathing, initially, you need to lie down on your back and place a light book on your belly. Now, take deep breaths which move the book placed on your belly upwards then exhale completely to lower the book. Do this exercise regularly, and belly breathing would turn into a habit.

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