Breathing is something that we just do automatically without thinking about it. But when it comes to running putting a little extra thought into how you are breathing can make a big difference. Proper breathing can lower your chance of getting a side stich, help you monitor your pace, and help improve your running stamina.
Nose or Mouth
One of the first things that comes up when people talk about how to breath when running is whether to breath through your nose or mouth.
Breathing through your nose has the benefit of warming up and filtering the air, but it does not allow you to take in as much oxygen. When you are running supplying your body with the maximum amount of oxygen is the most important concern.
The best way to accomplish this is to take deep breaths using both your nose and mouth. Leave your lips slightly parted and breath deeply so that air comes in through both passages.
This type of breathing will allow you both to take in the most oxygen possible, and to properly expel the carbon dioxide from your lungs.
This is probably the most important aspect when it comes to breathing properly while running. It is very important to take full deep breaths rather than shallow chest breathing.
By breathing deep and using your diaphragm you will use the full compacity of your lungs and be able to take in more air and more effectively process oxygen into your blood stream. This will help to keep your muscles more relaxed and will reduce your level of fatigue.
When you are breathing this way, you should feel you stomach move more than your chest as you are using your diaphragm to fill your lungs all the way. If this is not something you normally do than you can practice by laying on the floor and watching as you breath. After a bit of practice, it will start to come more naturally.
Match your Breathing Rhythm to your Foot strikes
This can take a bit of practice to get used to at first, but it can help you both maintain good breathing, and monitor your pace. Depending on the intensity you are running at you will want to use a different breathing rhythm.
The most common breathing rhythm ratios are:
3:3 on an easy run
2:2 on a more intense run
And 1:1 on a high intensity run.
This simply means that on an easier run you breath in for there footfalls, and then breath out for three footfalls. The same would work for 2:2 or 1:1 with the number representing the number of footfalls.
Find the Right Intensity
If you are running and you find yourself constantly getting out of breath this means that you are working too hard. You need to lower your pace to a level that you can maintain your breathing comfortably. If you are a beginner runner this might mean alternating walking a running
If you are constant and practice the above breathing techniques, you will improve your running endurance over time and will be able to run longer distances at a faster pace. Remember with running nothing happens over night, this is a sport of commitment and perseverance.