Breathing + Running = Better Running?

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    Dec 03, 2008 11:12 AM GMT
    Just wondering if there is and correct way to breathe while running. Like is though the nose better then mouth or maybe a way of breathing so you don't run out of breath easily or something?
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    Dec 03, 2008 4:47 PM GMT
    Personally, I've found that you will most likely need to adjust your breathing pattern as your conditioning improves and also relative to the pace of the run, grade of the run and so forth. I wish there was a blanket answer to give you, but ultimately you are going to have play with your own cadence. As an example myself when running an endurance run I find that a breath on every third right heel strike is about the right amount to control my breathing while providing enough oxygen to keep fueled for the run. The methodical practice of focusing on the breathing induces a meditative like effect that will help the run seem easier or rather divert your brain's attention from the physical to the rhythm of your breathing. Good luck with this.
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    Dec 03, 2008 4:50 PM GMT
    My CC coach in HS always told us to breathe in through our noses while running in cold weather. Apparently the air is more warmed this way when it reaches your lungs. I could never hold out for more than six or seven breaths this way though. Just didn't get me enough air fast enough!
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    Dec 03, 2008 6:11 PM GMT
    I have sinus problems so breathing through my nose isn't effective. There are a million theories, do what's comfortable for you, and keep your breathing in control with some sort of rhythm.
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    Dec 03, 2008 6:17 PM GMT
    I've found that learning how to breathe and sing properly has made it entirely easier to breathe properly while running. Basically, you want to focus on your diaphragm, which is, give or take, in your lower abdomen. Deep, controlled breaths can keep me going for miles at a time. I haven't had breathing issues since I started really focusing and controlling my breathing; it's wonderful.
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    Dec 03, 2008 6:22 PM GMT
    As someone who regularly 1. run, 2. runs outside, and 3 runs outside in the very cold weather such as the 27F and 19F wind chill we had here yesterday, my advice is:

    1. In warm weather, breathe using the mouth and nose to intake the maximum air amounts you can. But don't gasp for air...your guts will start to ache and you won't process your oxygen properly.

    2. In cold weather, chew gum. While chewing gum, breathe in through your mouth and nose, out your mouth. You'll find that most of your intake will be through the mouth. The chewing action elevates your temp and keeps your mouth, sinus and throat warm. Your boogers won't freeze.

    3. Control your breathing. Don't over think it, but control it. Maintain a steady pace of breathing. No gasping. If you feel as if you need to gasp for air, slow your running pace for a bit.
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    Dec 03, 2008 9:51 PM GMT
    I usually breathe through my nose, but it actually took some 'training' to be able to do it comfortably....honestly, it is kinda weird to do at first especially if you are just getting started with running.

    But whatever the case, when done running, don't bend over at the waist to catch your breath. If anything, stay standing up...or put your arms above your head.
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    Dec 06, 2008 1:28 AM GMT
    Controlling breath is definitely the key.

    When we are actively breathing it is important that your shoulders and throat (pectoral girdle) are stationary to allow for the most air into the lungs. You can focus on your pectoral muscles contracting along with your diaphragm. This opens the ribcage while the diaphragm lowers to create negative pressure (suction).

    When the lungs are full you can expell the air through your abdominal muscles (Abdominus rectus is easiest to focus on but the tranverse and obliques work just as good too).

    It really doesn't matter mouth or nose. when your body is heated that much the air will be warmed by the time it reaches the lungs.
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    Dec 07, 2008 11:34 PM GMT
    I was a competitive runner in HS and College. The breathing part should come naturally. It is the same for all aerobic sports. You need to hit a pace where the breathing is part of your rhythm. Runinthecity is right. You should never be gasping, after a sprint maybe, but not during a long distance run. Rowbuddy mention breathing to a song. I don’t do that but like I said there is a rhythm that is timed with your pace.
  • toybrian

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    Dec 07, 2008 11:53 PM GMT
    Tasty, for me the best way of breathing is through my mouth..I have tried racing with breathing through the nose and found for me it does not work...I usually run 5 and 10K races and found that easier...You have to try them both to see which works better for you...I run most the year outdoors so use to it in the cold and heat here in NJ...thanks..and good luck to you..
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    Dec 08, 2008 4:37 AM GMT
    I've been breathing through my mouth( natural for me), but have started pursing my lips forcing me to breathe deeply and slowly.

    I started doing this about a year ago and have noticed an increased endurance in my marathons.
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    Dec 08, 2008 4:40 AM GMT
    In cold weather breathing through the mouth will make your throat hurt very quickly, supposed to breath in through nose for 4 strides, out through mouth for 2 stride or something like that I was told. the gum idea sounds interesting.