It is a known fact that in order to be a successful runner and take the best of this exercise, it is not only important to have powerful hamstrings, quads, and calves, but you also need your diaphragm to do the work. Proper breathing is essential when trying to improve performance and endurance. When you are running, the diaphragm creates forceful contractions that expand the lungs and let them take in more oxygen that will fuel your muscles and give you the much-needed energy supplies.
If you are not breathing correctly, you will experience not only the shortness of breath, but also tightness or pain in your neck, asymmetrical rotation in your torso, and numerous other problems.
With this article, you will learn the top 3 breathing techniques you need to implement in your running routine and thus ensure you are healthy and safe while breaking your records.
1. Breathing Through the Stomach
The most efficient way of maximizing the oxygen intake is by breathing through your stomach. This way of breathing uses the entire capacity of the lungs by pushing the air down to their lower portion, which makes it stay there longer and thus increase VO2 max.
You should practice breathing through your stomach; lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor. Then, place the hands on your belly and focus on breathing through your stomach and not the chest. If you are doing it right, your hands should rise and fall as you breathe.
When you reach the point where you start struggling to breathe on the racetrack, it is a point where your body enters a struggle mode, making you panic even more. To avoid this situation, you need to consciously focus on getting as much air as possible. With the increase in your running intensity, it won’t be sufficient to breathe solely through your nose, so you need to employ breathing through your mouth as well, which leads us to the next technique.
2. Use Combination Breathing
Another way of maximizing oxygen intake is by employing both your nose and mouth in the process, especially when high-intensity running is concerned. While it is true that breathing through the nose warms the air and filters it, you shouldn’t deprive your body of the much-needed oxygen by breathing only through your nose or your mouth. Use both and thus avoid shallow chest breathing.
3. Breathing Patterns
When breathing the right way, rhythmic patterns are essential. With breathing in every two strides and breathing out for the next two using belly and combo techniques we mentioned, you will ultimately use the 2:2 breathing pattern technique. This breathing pattern helps you breathe deeply and in a constant rhythm, which would be great for workouts and shorter races.