Oct 20, 2020
Breathing Keys to Maximizing Every Run

A common struggle among recreational runners is controlling their breathing during long runs.

Being able to breathe effortlessly during a run is essential for any beginner runner to break through the early stages. In a new article from the Irish Times, shared some tips to help make progress, build confidence, and stay motivated running.

Photo: Kristoffer Trolle / Creative Commons

Below is an excerpt from that article and author Mary Jennings.

Finding your pace

If the only time you usually run is when you are chasing a bus or tearing down the road after a toddler on a scooter then it is understandable that you might doubt your running ability. You may even assume that is how running is supposed to feel. Fear not.

To make your running more enjoyable, slow right down until you find a comfortable pace you can maintain with a quiet breath, even if you feel you might be quicker walking.

Your breath as a guide

Your breath is a pretty good indicator of how hard you are working. Use your breath as a guide to help you move at the right pace for you. Always start slowly to allow your body to adapt to the effort. To balance enjoyment with effort, conversational pace is just about right for most recreational runners.

Nose or Mouth Breathing?

Most of the latest research is encouraging us to use our noses more and our mouths less when running. You may remember that during the summer I wrote a whole article on the benefits of nose breathing for runners.

» ALSO SEE: Joint Cartilage Regeneration Could Replace Knee Replacement Surgery

Sometimes not thinking about the breath and focusing on other parts of our body can help our breathing settle.

Finding space for air

As we run tension can build in the body if we are not paying attention to how we are moving. Distracted by music, scenery, or the clock, a runner can often look very different in the second half of a run than when they started out. As tiredness kicks in, they may bend at the waist, start looking downwards, and generally have their lower body carry the upper body around. Those long strong bodies that started out the run sink down into the hips.

Picture how that impacts the space in the torso. If you can imagine what that might do to lung capacity, it is no wonder that breathing becomes harder as tension builds and posture dips.

To read the full article from The Irish Times on running and breathing tips, click here

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