Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Breathe Easier While You Run

Breathing is a very natural activity--and so is getting out of breath when you run!

Here are 7 easy techniques to help you breathe easier and improve your overall running performance during your next run.

Breathe in and out through your mouth. This may be the most effective way for most runners to take in more air as they run, as opposed to breathing through the nose. The act of breathing through your mouth will encourage your facial muscles to relax and therefore create a more relaxed composure.

Let your jaw drop open slightly so that your lips are parted, creating a "dead fish" expression.

Take short and shallow breaths. These should be comfortable and not forced. An occasional deep breath is all right, but should not be the norm for maintaining breath control during running.

Breath from your belly or diaphragm, not your chest. Try lying on your back and watching your stomach as you breath. If you are breathing correctly, it should rise and fall with each breath, while your chest remains relatively motionless. Keep this feeling with you as you run.
See the benefits of belly breathing in both your control of breath and your abdominal muscles. With conscientious belly breathing, your muscles will be performing an isometric contraction which, over time, may result in a flatter, more toned mid-section.

Check to see what your natural breathing pattern is by counting your steps as you run. Some runners may find they breathe in for two steps and out for two steps while others may take three steps before the next breath. Whatever your pattern is, keep it regular and use your steps to monitor your breathing rate.

Use your ears to control your breathing. If you can hear yourself breathing heavily while running at an easy or moderate pace, you are running too quickly for your condition. Practice slowing down your breathing while running out a slower pace before challenging yourself with faster strides.

Please email Sarah Lowe at:
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