One very important aspect of running that many new runners tend to forget about is breathing. While getting in shape, strengthening your legs, and making sure you have a good pair of running shoes (see: best shoes for plantar fasciitis ) are all important, the fact is that it is important that a runner tries rhythmic breathing techniques.
The problem most beginners to running have is that they don’t know how to breathe properly. There are two things to keep in mind: the muscles you use to breathe and with which part you inhale and exhale. The fact is that the average person breathes through their nose while using the chest muscles. This method of breathing can slow you down, lead to fatigue, and even cause injury. Breathing through the mouth and using diaphragm muscles increases the amount of oxygen intake with each breath, increasing the efficiency of your breathing. However, there is more to that when we are talking about rhythmic breathing.The best style of breathing to use is rhythmic breathing – but why? Here are three reasons, why when a runner tries rhythmic breathing techniques, they never breathe the old way again.
Reason 1 – Increased Endurance
When your breathing is tuned in to your stride and you are inhaling and exhaling to increase the efficiency with which you use oxygen, you become far less likely to tire easily. With increased endurance, running a race becomes less of a chore and more something to just enjoy. By breathing properly in a rhythmic fashion, you reduce your chances of slowing down or getting injured because of fatigue.
Endurance is an important quality for all athletes to have – and particularly so for runners, especially those who are running a marathon. Many people tend to equate running with racing. While this may be true in some cases, the primary goal of running is to get from point A to point B without feeling winded or defeated by the time you finish the run. Increased endurance can help you feel as good (or better) when you finish your run as when you began it.
Reason 2 – Increased Overall Speed
When you learn how breathe rhythmically, you avoid overtaxing your lungs. Furthermore, by making the most of the oxygen you are breathing in, you will be able to take longer strides during your run. These factors, combined with the fact that breathing in tune to your stride helps you keep a constant pace contribute to helping increase your overall speed. While going fast is not always the most important part of running, being able to comfortably keep a good pace will help you feel better both physically and mentally.
Reason 3 – Reduced Risk of Injury
Hands down the most important reason that a runner tries rhythmic breathing techniques is to decrease the chance of injury. One of the most common mistakes runners make is to time their breathing to coincide with the foot strikes of one particular side of the body. This causes greater impact on that side and increases the risk of serious injury. By learning how to breathe in such a way that each exhalation coincides with alternating foot strikes, you can not only run faster and farther, you reduce your risk of getting hurt as well.
Talk to any professional runner and they will tell you the same thing. Learning how to breathe is an integral part to running well and being able to do so for a long time. When a runner tries rhythmic breathing techniques for the first time, doing so may feel unnatural. That is okay and to be expected. However, once you do learn how to do so, your body will respond positively. Not only is rhythmic breathing helpful for running outside, it can also be a factor in how to run on a treadmill for a long time without losing your mind as focusing on your breathing helps distract you from the monotony of the treadmill. Remember that running isn’t just about putting one foot in front of the other quickly – there are several things to keep in mind and techniques to practice, rhythmic breathing being one of them.