Running Technique – Breathing Struggles When Running

Over the past 3-4 years I’ve been working with a number of runners and one of the most common struggles are related to breathing patterns and rhythm. Every running has questions regarding this.

How should I breath when running?
Is there a rhythm?
How do I breath in through the nose if I can’t get enough oxygen in?
How do I keep the rhythm? I lose it after a while

In the 6 min video below I attempt to address all these questions and suggest several solutions. If you have a health condition that can be made worse through deep breathing or breathing exercises talk to your doctor before applying the ideas in this video.

The struggles identified:

– can’t take in enough oxygen through the nose
– can’t keep the same rhythm of breathing through the nose for a long time
– nose hurts when breathing through the nose in winter (because it’s cold)

 

Some of the solutions discussed in this video:

 

1. Correct breathing rhythm through the nose

To begin with I suggest the following rhythm:

2:2 – 2 in breathes, 2 out breaths
For practice and to increase lung capacity you can take it up to 10:10 and then down to 2:2.
Eventually you want a 2:3 pattern or 4:3 (breathing out one longer than in). This is because you want to avoid the first out breathe to fall on the same foot over and over again.

 

2. How to keep the rhythm through longer runs

Don’t worry if you lose the rhythm. Maybe after breathing 10 times on the nose you need to breathe a few time through the mouth. It’s not a problem and not written in stone. Then get back in the rhythm.

 

3. How to practice the rhythm until it becomes natural

If you want nose breathing to be natural you have to close your mouth throughout the day and breathe through your nose. You might feel you cannot get enough oxygen.

However, how do you expect to be efficient breathing through your nose if you breathe through your mouth when you walk, sleep and do housework.

Breathe through your nose, that’s why it’s there, for you to use it for breathing.

 

4. How to allow more oxygen to come in through the nose

Relax. This is the “trick”. Forcing air in by tension your nose and face will only restrict the flow. Relax your face, mouth, nose and nostrils and allow the air free passage through your nose.

When you need to breathe in through the mouth just do it and then go back to using the nose. Even if you have a problem with the nose (i.e. sinus) and it restricts the breathing relaxing your nose and face can’t harm, but only help.

As mentioned before, you cannot expect to take it enough oxygen through the nose, to be efficient, if you don’t use it.

 

5. Abdominal breathing

Efficient breathing doesn’t only mean breathing through your nose but also breathing into the stomach without lifting your shoulder.

For runners the shoulders and level of tension in them impacts their performance almost instantly. Watch the video on how to relax the shoulders.

Watch the video below as I give examples and talk about other aspects as well. If you wish to attend our dedicated running workshops email support@themtechnique.com