A few readers have asked me, “how should I breathe while running?” So today’s post is in direct response to your questions. Much of the material is summarized and applied from an article in Runner’s World that discusses the book, Running on Air by: Bud Coates, M.S., and Claire Kowalichik. Their belief is that by using a breathing pattern you can: 1) prevent injury, and 2) increase your oxygen capacity which decreases your times.
How Can Proper Breathing Prevent Injury?
Run > Inhale > Flex Diaphragm > Flexing Creates Core Stability
Run > Exhale > Relax Diaphragm > Relaxing Creates Core Instability (increased risk of injury)
Re-establish Your Breathing and Increase Your Capability
Here are the 6 steps to better breathing from the Runner’s World article:
2. Place your hand on your belly and make sure that you are belly breathing (see their article linked below for a detailed description on how and why your should belly breath)
3. Breathe through your nose and your mouth.
4. Inhale to the count of three and exhale to the count of two. You might count it this way: “in-2-3,” “out-2,” “in-2-3,” “out-2,” and so forth.
5. Concentrate on a continuous breath as you inhale over the three counts and a continuous breath as you exhale over the two counts.
6. Once you become comfortable with the inhale/exhale pattern, add foot strikes to mimic walking steps.
Essentially, once you have mastered walking the steps you move to jogging and then running. Personally, I think it’s hard to breath out for only one count. However, I’m willing to try anything to get me moving faster! If you want to learn more go pick up his book and dive in. If you want something more basic, check out our previous article and read the part about ‘mantras’. Hopefully, you can get out there, try something new, and stay injury free.