When you are preparing yourself for a training session, what are the things that you think about? You probably make sure that you are hydrated, that your shoelaces are securely tied up, that you have properly stretched and warmed up with your music playlist is ready to go, right? But there is one important aspect that people tend to skip, and that is breathing. Breathing properly is a crucial factor when it comes to maximizing your running efforts. If you are unsure of how to approach this, then here are some running breathing tips for beginners.
Running Breathing Tips for Beginners to Help Improve Your Performance
1. Focus on Deep Breathing From Your Diaphragm
There are different types of breathing that runner’s usually experience: deep breathing and shallow chest breathing. Most beginners often use shallow chest breathing, which is why they run out of air very easily, making it difficult to keep going and run the distance.
You want to breathe from the diaphragm; that is where the deep breathing comes in.
A way to learn how to do this is to stand perfectly still in front of the mirror and breathe in. If you are breathing in deeply from your diaphragm, you should see your stomach area naturally expand and contract. If you are breathing from the chest, then it is the chest area that will move. This is the area that you don’t want to see moving.
Try alternating between deep diaphragm breathing and shallow chest breathing. You will soon be able to differentiate between the two and how it feels in your body.
This exercise is one of the great running breathing tips for beginners as it will teach you the difference in the breathing types and to recognize how it feels. After you have mastered deep breathing while you are standing still, you can apply this breathing technique while you run.
2. Find Your Rhythm
Have you ever found it difficult to find a good running pace? Your steps feel clumsy and you are are struggling to keep going. Then, suddenly you find a rhythm in your steps that help you to keep moving in an easy way.
Another one of our running breathing tips for beginners is to find your breathing rhythm, the same way you try to find your rhythm in your steps.
Finding a pattern helps you take in as much air as possible without the struggles.
There isn’t a right or wrong pattern, just one that works best for you.
Some examples could be:
– Breathe in for 2 steps, breathe out for 2 (2:2)
– Breathe in for 2 steps, breathe out for 1 (2:1)
– Breathe in for 3 steps, breathe out for 2 (3:2)
It doesn’t matter which ratio you prefer, as long as it works for you.
3. Choose Oral or Nasal Breathing
There are debates about whether breathing through the nose or mouth is better for runners. Advocates of oral breathing believe that as the mouth allows more air to come in as opposed to the nose, it maximizes oxygen intake, hence resulting in better performance.
On the other hand, others believe that it is because the nose cannot take in as much air that it actually trains and forces your body to breathe through your diaphragm as opposed to through the chest. And of course, nasal breathing also assists in protecting pollutants from entering your body. This is why, if you are asthmatic, then it is best to breathe through your nose. Breathing in through your mouth may exacerbate the symptoms of asthma,
Apart from that, the bottom line is that there are advantages to both types breathing. Ultimately, the decision comes down to the one that best suits you. If you are uncomfortable doing one or the other, it won’t improve your performance in the long run.
Breathing technique is an often overlooked aspect of running. Learning how to breathe through your diaphragm to maximize oxygen intake, and finding a rhythm can assist in curating an efficient breathing technique that will start to become natural to you over time. So try applying one of these running breathing tips for beginners in your next running session.
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Whether you are new to running or looking to improve, Zen Labs Fitness has a range of running apps for you. Not only do they come with an audio coach and proven walk-run program but it also comes with a supportive community of like-minded people that are there to help you every step of the way.
Have you found that improving your breathing technique has actually improved your running performance? What other running breathing tips for beginners do you have? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to know!