This breathing technique will allow you to maximize your oxygen intake while you are running. This technique works by contracting the diaphragm which creates space in your chest allowing your lungs to expand to take in more oxygen. The best way to get a feel for belly breathing is to practice this before your run in order to assure you are performing it correctly.
- Start by lying on your back with one hand placed on your chest and the other on your belly
- Breathe in through your nose and try to draw the air down into your stomach. Your belly should expand into your hand while your chest does not move.
- Exhale through your mouth with your lips pursed (as if you were trying to blow out a candle) while squeezing your abs and letting your stomach fall down while you push the air out through your mouth.
Breathe through both your nose and mouth: like discussed in the diaphragmatic or belly breathing technique, in order to control your breathing it is best to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth while your lips are pursed. This will allow you to slow down your breathing in order to control it while you run.
Coordinate your breathing while running: this is called rhythmic or cadence breathing. This will allow you to maximize your breathing during a run and put less stress on your body. One easy way to perform this is to follow a 3:2 pattern. In order to do so, inhale for 3 foot strikes and exhale for 2 foot strikes. You can always adjust the ratio especially if you are running at a faster pace.
Run with good form and posture: Proper posture is important for everyone. It is especially important during running due to the stress running puts on the body.
-Head: make sure your ears are sitting over your shoulders, you do not want your head to be forward
-Shoulders: make sure they are not rounding forward, they should be aligned over our hips. If they are rounded this will increase the stress on your mid-back.
-Hips: make sure that you are extending your hips during your run. Hip extension stretches will be beneficial before your run to make sure your hips are loosen up in order to get full extension of your hips.
-Feet: make sure your toes are pointing forward.