Breathing Tips for Runners
These simple breathing techniques will help you run further and longer… and maybe even run faster.
Taking control of your breathing pattern is the surest way to run faster, further and with less effort. The human body relies heavily on oxygen, and when there is a lack of it, your performance takes a big shot and you can’t keep up without huffing and puffing. Breathing cadence is the best way to ensure constant delivery of oxygen into your working muscles.
Here are a few tips that can help you to master this amazing technique.
What is breathing cadence?
Breathing cadence is inspiration and expiration to the pace of foot movement. For example a breathing ratio of 3:2 means that you take 3 steps on the inhale and 2 steps on the exhale and so on. Thus it is an excellent way to coordinate your breathing with running movement.
Why cadence is important?
Breathing cadence ensures constant delivery of oxygen into your blood streams; many runners forget to breathe when running, thus they suffer greatly and tire very soon. On the other hand, rhythmic breathing stimulates proper running form and mechanics.
Rhythmic breathing cultivates also focus, reduces stress and decreases the risk of injury. The exhale reduces the stress of impact on the body, so a ratio of 3:2 balances the workload on both legs equally, without having to rely heavily on one leg during the impact.
What is the best cadence for me?
Elite runners have a 2:2 breathing ratio, this means that they take 2 steps on the inhale and 2 steps on the exhale. And when they approach the finish line, the ratio changes to 2:1, thus allowing elevated oxygenation and faster running tempo.
But for most beginners, this is not the best approach; instead you should start with a 3:3 or 3:2 ratios, whatever you find most comfortable. The 3:2 breathing ratio is highly recommended as a starting point.
Don’t just rely on your chest for breathing!
Many runners are chest breathing, meaning that they only use their upper torso for breathing; instead you should get the entire of your diaphragm involved in the process. Thus setting the stage for deeper and highly oxygenated inhales, and removing the highest amounts of carbon dioxide while exhaling.
Belly breathing can be easily self-taught, but it is always better to enroll in a yoga class, there they teach some amazing Pranayama technique – also know as yogic breathing – that can not only boost your athletic performance, but it can help you to resolve any emotional issues, hence enriching the quality of your life.
image credit: http://blog.proform.com/?p=2263