Breathing is a very valuable and often overlooked function of the human body. When you inhale, you take in oxygen, which gets transported through blood cells. When you exhale, you get rid of toxins and gases such as carbon dioxide. Proper breathing during exercise is of utmost importance because it helps oxygenate hard-working muscles and supplies them with nutrient-rich blood.
Your lungs have to work extra hard to absorb more oxygen from the air, and this is the reason why you will get out of breath while you are running. If you want to test the limits of your respiratory system, you can do the “talk test”. Start by running at a pace that allows you to breathe easily. You should be able to converse comfortably with your running companions. Then, run a little faster and try to converse again. If you are unable to converse comfortably, you are probably going too fast.
Proper Breathing Techniques
If you are able to properly breathe while running, you can improve your endurance and run longer distances. The right breathing techniques will help your body deliver oxygen to your muscles more efficiently, and this will in turn make you feel more comfortable when you are running.
Breathe Through the Mouth
Under normal circumstances, it is natural for you to breathe through your nose. However, when you are running, you should use your mouth to breathe instead. If you breathe through your mouth, you can take in more oxygen as well as release more carbon dioxide. This is the best way to supply adequate amounts of oxygen to your muscles.
Breathe from the Belly
When you are running you should not be breathing from your chest. To get more oxygen into your system, you have to breathe from your belly. You can lie down and practice breathing from the belly when you are at home and then apply the same breathing technique when you are running.
Short and Shallow Breaths
The best way to breathe while you are running is to take short and shallow breaths. You will not be able to run far if you are constantly taking long and deep breaths. However, if you have difficulty breathing while you are running up a steep slope, a few long breaths can help you regain your breathing rhythm.
Breathe in Rhythm
It is important to breathe in rhythm while you are running. You should inhale and exhale at a consistent rate, no matter how fast or slow you are running. One way to check whether you are breathing in rhythm is to count your steps when you are running. You can inhale or exhale once every 2 steps or once every 3 steps.