When running, it’s important to pay attention to how you breathe so that you feed your muscles with enough oxygen to run faster and longer. Here are a few tips to help you breathe properly for greater running efficiency and performance.
Diaphragmatic vs Shallow Breathing
Start by making sure you’re not in the habit of shallow breathing. You can distinguish the difference between shallow breathing and diaphragmatic breathing by watching your chest and stomach. Your stomach moves with your breath when you’re breathing with your diaphragm, while your chest will move up and down if you’re shallow breathing.
Instead of breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, try your best to use both your nose and mouth to breathe in and out. This helps maximize the amount of oxygen in your lungs and muscles at any given time. Practice this technique when you’re not running to be better prepared during your next run.
If you have difficulty saying more than a few words at a time while running, then you’re either running too fast or you’re not breathing properly. Keep in mind that the optimal intensity level of your run should allow you to maintain a conversation.
Train Your Muscles
The strength of your diaphragm directly relates to your ability to consume enough oxygen during your long runs. To train your diaphragm, simply lay on your back and breathe deeply allowing your belly to rise while you inhale. Practicing this technique on a daily basis will improve your lung capacity and ability to breathe while running.