Updated: Jul 26, 2019
Proper breathing techniques can lead to better body position and enhanced performance. So in honor of proper breathing while swimming, biking and running we are doing a 3 part series focusing on proper technique in each sport. This week we will close out the series with the run.
A good breathing technique running starts with a proper body position, just like when swimming and cycling. Running tall with an open chest, gives room for your lungs to expand. Simply look forward and run tall. If you find yourself looking at your feet there is a good chance you are hunched over and limiting your lungs room to expand down. Breathing with your belly is the most efficient way to run. Pushing your diaphragm down allows the most air to enter into your lungs and in turn gives your body time to use the oxygen you inhale as exhalation time is prolonged.
Rhythmic breathing is key when running. Running relies on a lot of moving parts working together for an efficient, fatigue resistant and injury free stride. Breathing is also part of this rhythm. Efficient breathing can be accomplished when paired with step count. Such as a 3:2 ratio where you breath in for 3 steps and out for 2 steps. The 3:2 ratio is often best for long or easy-moderate paced runs. For faster tempo or race pace efforts a 2:1 is often better suited to accommodate the higher workload. Notice how both ratios are not equal, this is to help keep us balanced so we are not inhaling and exhaling on the same side of our body’s for the whole run, instead alternating sides.
When you head out for your next run monitor how you breath during different efforts, such as warm up, aerobic and speed work efforts. Take some time on your warm ups and hone in on your breathing to make you a more efficient and balanced runner.