Breathing Tips for Runners

Breathing pic
Breathing
Image: active.com

A senior director at an Oregon-based application development and support services company, Graeme Queen oversees budgeting and handles setup and management of offshore development. An avid runner, Graeme Queen has competed in multiple marathons as well as 5K and 10K races.

In addition to proper form and appropriate footwear, proper breathing is key to success in any running endeavor. Running coaches recommend that runners employ deep belly breathing while running instead of chest breathing. Belly breathing allows for deeper breaths and ensures the body gets the oxygen it needs to stay active. On the other hand, lung expansion and therefore oxygen intake is limited with chest breathing.

To practice belly breathing, begin by lying on the floor and placing your hands on your stomach. Take a deep breath, making the belly expand, then exhale all the air in the lungs until the abdominal muscles contract. As you breathe in and out, you should see your hands rising on the stomach. Over time, you can consciously employ this breathing technique during short walks, jogs, and eventually runs.

In addition to breathing through the stomach, runners should breathe through the mouth instead of the nose. The mouth is capable of taking in more air and helps runners achieve maximum oxygen intake during a run.