One of the main reasons people hate to run is because of how quickly they get out of breath.
Exercise can really take your breath away, especially cardiovascular exercise like running and this can sometimes be painful, scary, and can distract you from performing at your very best. Coming up with a few breathing techniques for performing cardiovascular exercises can make everything better during your workouts. If you are a runner or if you are looking into running, learn all about breathing and proper breathing techniques for running in this article!
Before you learn how to control your breathing during running, you first must understand the mechanical process that we all go through 24/7. Breathing isn’t just simply inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. There are 3 crucial steps to this process. Having an understanding of all three can help with your breathing techniques for running or other cardiovascular exercises. The first step is inhalation. You take in oxygen-rich air either through the nose, the mouth or both. This air travels through the larynx (throat) into the trachea, down into the bronchi, to the bronchioles, and last to the alveoli.
The second step of breathing that occurs is gas and nutrient exchange. This takes place in the alveoli of the lungs. The oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the blood and carbon dioxide are transferred from the blood into the air to be taken to the outside of the body. The last step in breathing is exhalation. The diaphragm, which is a sheet of muscle tissue that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen, relaxes which adds pressure in the chest cavity and forces the oxygen-poor, carbon dioxide-rich air out of the body. This air leaves through the nose or the mouth, the same way it came in. The process is repeated all over again.
Breathing Techniques to Improve Your Running
When running, it is natural to lose your breath or feel short of breath.
Learning how a few breathing techniques can help with your running. If you are breathing right, you will deliver more oxygen to your muscles, improving your performance.
- Breath from your belly. People make the mistake of breathing from their chest but they should really be taking breaths from their belly. To practice breathing from your stomach, lay down and feel the air come from your stomach rather than just from your chest. Once you practice this, start doing it as you are running.
- Breath through your mouth. Pay attention to how you are breathing right now. Is it through your mouth or your nose? The majority of people naturally breath through their nose. This is fine to do as you are sitting around but if you are running or performing other cardiovascular exercises, breathing through your mouth is the better option. When you breathe through your mouth, you allow for a greater exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. This will give more oxygen to the muscles, allowing them to work more efficiently during your running session.
- Take short, shallow breaths. Taking long, deep breaths during a running session will put you at a major disadvantage. You won’t be able to run as long or as fast. The best breathing technique is to take short, shallow breaths. At the end of a long distance or after a sprint, you can take long, deep breaths to help you recover.
Aside from following these breathing techniques during your running sessions, running, in general, helps to improve breathing and lung function.
The way a person breaths during running is crucial to the distance they can run or the amount of time it takes them to run a certain distance. Sprinters and long distance runners can benefit from proper breathing techniques. The breathing pattern is a crucial part of life and knowing the three steps to breathe, inhalation, gas exchange, and exhalation can help you understand how to breath better on your runs.
Following a few breathing techniques such as breathing from your belly, breathing through your mouth, and taking short shallow breaths can all help you improve your running.
If you are a runner or if you are looking into improving your breathing during another cardiovascular exercise, try out our breathing techniques and let us know if they help you!