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How Can I Improve My Breathing When Running?

One of the most difficult things to do while running is controlling your breath. How many times can you say that you have started running and not got out of breath? If you’re new to the running game, then you probably would say more times than none.

Believe it or not, there is an art to breathing when running. There are many different breathing techniques out there that you can try out. If it works for you, great! If it doesn’t, try a new one. It is that easy.

So, where should you start? To kick things off, you should try the simplest breathing technique when running. This can be known as diaphragmatic breathing. This type of breathing allows you to take in more oxygen than regular breathing.

We highly recommend that you start doing this on your runs. If you’re aiming to complete your first 5K, this breathing technique will help you to run for longer. To start diaphragm breathing on your next run, follow these simple steps:

  1. Breathe in slowly through your nose and fill your belly with air.
  2. As your belly starts to fill with air, you will want to push your diaphragm down.
  3. Once you have fully inhaled through your nose, you can now start to exhale. During your exhale, make your breath longer than your inhale. 
  4. If you struggle with diaphragmatic breathing at your usual pace, slow down when you incorporate these breaths at first.

Lastly, you will want to carry out this technique for a minimum of one week before trying out another technique. If this doesn’t work for you, there are plenty of other breathing exercises you can try instead.

What is the best way to breathe while running?

If you are new to running, you may be left wondering why it is so difficult to manage your breathing. This is down to the increased oxygen your body requires when you work your respiratory system harder.

If you are trying to increase the length of your run or run at a quicker pace, then you may struggle even further with keeping your breath under control. So, what is the best way to breathe while running?

Our top recommended way to breathe while running is to inhale through your nose and exhale from your mouth. This technique allows you to take deep breaths in a controlled manner. This breathing technique is great to use for runs that you are looking to push yourself to reach a certain pace.

However, if you are doing a different kind of run, you may want to try different breathing techniques. For example, if you are running hill sprints your body will need oxygen a lot quicker. So, for this type of high-intensity run, you may want to inhale and exhale out of your mouth.

On the other hand, if you are planning to go on a casual run or jog, you may find it easier to solely breathe in and out from your nose. Whatever run you plan on going on, choose your breathing technique carefully. The way you breathe on your run can hugely impact your performance.

What is the best way to breathe while running and wearing a mask?

Whether you need or should wear a face mask during a run depends on where you are running and your state’s coronavirus procedures. So, let’s quickly take a look at when you should and shouldn’t wear a mask while running.

If you are in an environment where social distancing cannot be achieved, then you may need to wear a face mask on your run. As well as this, if you are going to be running through crowded areas on your route outdoors, you may want to place a mask on for those instances.

However, if you plan on running around your block at a quiet time, then you do not need to wear a face mask. If you happen to see another person whilst out on your run, take time to cross the street so that social distancing can be maintained.

Wearing a face mask on your run could affect your regular performance. This is because it slows down the airflow of oxygen into your lungs. To keep your performance at its best during a run, opt for a workout face mask.

These types of masks will be thinner than other fabric face masks that will help more oxygen penetrate through. Look for fabrics like moisture-wicking as these can feel less restrictive around your face too. Whilst wearing the mask, take deep controlled breaths.

How do you do the 3:2 breathing technique?

The 3:2 breathing technique works quite simply. You inhale for three beats and exhale for two. Why is this a good technique to use whilst running? Well, when you inhale for a steady amount of time, your diaphragm pushes down onto your core. This stabilizes your core muscles and prevents injury.

As you are more stabilized using this technique, it means that when your feet hit the ground there is less chance of you falling or hurting yourself. This will keep you running for longer periods.

To start with the 3:2 breathing technique, you can practice first by laying on the floor. Follow these easy steps:

  1. Lay on your back on the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.
  2. To control your breathing, put your hand on your belly so you can feel the deep breaths.
  3. Inhale through your nose and mouth for three beats and then exhale for a further two beats.
  4. Repeat this process until you feel comfortable.

When you are confident in your 3:2 breathing you can start to incorporate it into your runs. On your run, breathe in through your nose and mouth for three steps and then exhale for two steps. Repeat this process until you complete your run.

One of our top tips is to not listen to any music or podcasts when trying out this technique for the first week. Instead, listen to your breath and focus on nailing the technique!


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