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902 Views 1 Reply Latest reply: Jul 11, 2011 4:53 AM by Emcee2
Running Aficionado Pro 188 posts since
Jun 7, 2010
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Jun 14, 2011 4:01 AM

Breathing Techniques In Running

One of the more important aspects of running is the proper way of breathing. Running is not just about the legs and thighs and feet. It is also about the  lungs and how to bring greater amounts of oxygen into the system  efficiently.

Unnoticed by many, even by the athletes themselves sometimes, the nature  of your breathing during your running affects your performance. Those  runners who can correctly deliver oxygen into their system are stronger  than their counterparts who struggle when they are running because they  do not know the technique.

Swimmer’s Breathing

One training technique is to breathe slightly slower than your body requires when you are not running. This starves your system for oxygen and forces the heart to beat faster.

After a time, the body learns to compensate for the lack of oxygen so that when this technique is not in use, your body is already more efficient in processing your breathed air. This is demonstrated in swimming.

Swimmers do alternate breathing which is breathing every third stroke. This enables them to breathe on alternate sides without taking a breath with every stroke.

At the start, their body demands more oxygen, but will learn to adjust  to the decrease in oxygen. In time, the body becomes more efficient in  processing the limited air. Runners who swim often have excellent breathing efficiency.

Breathing Rhythms

Sometimes, in long races (or even those short races) a runner may lose  focus and is thrown out of his breathing rhythm. It could be caused by  the simple forgetting to concentrate on the breathing or its pattern.

One way to avoid this is for the runner to time his breathing in rhythm with his steps. This is like the style of the swimmers who breathe at every third stroke.

Runners who get to this state can keep running like a clock, with consistent pace and a great deal of efficiency. This concentration on breathing can also take his mind   away from pain or soreness that may have developed at this stage and can  cause him to quit the race.

Deep Breathing

One other technique that can be used when running is deep breathing. It has several benefits when correctly done and practiced.

It helps the runner to stay relaxed, which in turn, helps to decrease fatigue. The ability to relax decreases the chances of performance decline.

Runners who forgot to relax find themselves making inadvertent changes  in form until they feel the resulting pain. Examples include clinching  of fists too tightly and running with the shoulders too high to be  effective. This type of poor form often results in muscle fatigue and soreness.

Deep breathing helps promote relaxation while running. This is done by taking a larger-than-normal breath and exhaling all the way out.

During the exhale part, you should concentrate on releasing all the  tension in your arms by shaking them, opening up your hands and moving  your head in circles.

This combination of activities will give you an easy way to remain  relaxed during the run and does not even need to break stride to do all  of them. This is true to all the other breathing techniques in running –  no requirement of great efforts but just as effective.


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