Breathe through it

Have you ever heard the expression of something being so simple, it was as easy as breathing? Well, properly breathing while running may not actually be so simple. There’s a science to it, and if you learn, understand and apply the breathing technique, you will be able to run easier. The best part about this method of breathing? It could also help you avoid injury.

According to Budd Coates and Claire Kowalchik, all you need to do to run longer, faster and better is master the proper breathing. One important part of breathing is to make certain you’re breathing deeply, from your diaphragm. One crucial part of running in general, is to make sure you’re exhaling on alternate footstrikes. If you continuously land on your right foot as you exhale, you’re opening yourself up to more injuries. Your body is relaxed and at its highest potential for injury when you exhale, which is why it’s important to alternate the foot you land on when exhaling.

Coates and Kowalchik offer to techniques for runners, which could help improve their running experience. Before attempting to learn and apply these methods, it’s important to remember to focus on your breathing, while running, rather than just solely focusing on your time or distance. They also provide ways of practicing breathing deeply from your diaphragm and easing into the various techniques.

Coates and Kowalchik suggest using the 3:2 method for easy to moderate running. Make sure you’re breathing through your nose and mouth as you inhale for three steps and exhale for two. The odd number will help you to land on alternate feet as you exhale, equalizing the stress on your body. If you’re running at a faster pace, or exalting more energy (such as when you’re climbing a hill), try the 2:1 pace. Again, make sure you’re breathing through your nose and mouth as you inhale for two steps and exhale for one.

For a more detailed explanation of these breathing techniques, take a look at Coates and Kowalchik’s article. It also provides a detailed background of how it came into fruition and how it can benefit you. Let us know your thoughts! Share your experiences with us on Facebook or Twitter.