Just breathe.

For some reason, only heaven knows why, some people are concerned about breathing. And concerned about breathing while running. As if breathing is a big deal or something. ;)

I never thought I would write about this on my blog, but here goes nothin': I am a nose breather while running. This works for me. But if breathing for your mouth works for you, ignore me and my nose. I wouldn't recommend changing your breathing method if what you do currently works. 

// The key is to keep your breathing consistent. Erratic breathing patterns {e.g. fast then slow, deep and shallow, etc.} actually can cause you stress, resulting in you feeling like you aren't getting enough air, which you might not be! 

// Breathe in slow and deep. Ever notice that many relaxation techniques include slow, deep breathing? It is calming and soothing. 

// Breathe in patterns. This one is not for the faint in heart, but eventually comes extremely natural {this is how I run without even thinking about it}. Coordinate your inhales and exhales with your footfalls. This can strength your diaphragmatic* strength {fancy way of saying stronger diaphragm = easier breathing}. To coordinate, you can start with a 2-2 breathe in while stepping left, right; breathe out while stepping left, right. You could eventually advance to a 3-3 pattern and then a 4-4 pattern. 

// Breathing exercises. For those who really struggle and are serious about breathing with more ease while exerting yourself, there are uber easy breathing exercises that you can do {before, after, near, never-near your actual run} that will help you get the 2-2 coordination down. Here are a couple video examples: The Hundred, the Swan, the Roll Up and the Saw

// Pilates. Over all, Pilates is a wonderful tool for all runner {particularly beginner and ones who have difficulty with breathing} because it is so heavily focuses on controlled breathing. 

And then some other fun facts, helpful hints:

// In colder temperatures, breath through your nose. It warms up the air for you!

// People with asthma usually do better breathing through their nose while exercising. Studies have shown that people with even mild asthma who breath only through their mouths during exercise can exacerbate the problem. 

Happy trails to you, runners. :)

If you have a question pertaining to running, please leave a comment or email me at runaholic {at} gmail {dot} com. I will feature your question in a future blog post. 

* Betcha didn't even know that was a word, did ya? ;)


Brooklyn Jolley said...

I'm loving all these running posts!

Missy W. said...

I've tried really hard to be a nose breather while running. I know it's supposed to be better, but I just can't do it. Thanks for the links!

jessie said...

Shoes! what about running shoes? How do you pick them... I am enjoying your running post, I am ALMOST a believer... :)

hilly007 said...

Thanks for this post Min......I might actually get my breathing down this year...here's hoping! I will try your suggestions.

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