IF YOU'RE WONDERING ABOUT YOUR BREATHING TECHNIQUE as you train and race, the article “How to Breathe Properly While Running” by Herwig for Runtastic.com lays out helpful general principles. The abdominal (belly) breathing method is explained and a way to practice it is provided. The question of whether to breathe through nose or mouth is addressed. Breathing rhythms are suggested for easy, moderate, and fast running. It’s a great piece if this question is on your mind.
Lastly Herwig wisely recommends readers to remember that only you can determine what’s BEST FOR YOU and your body will tell you what’s works well over time. The most helpful aspect of this and other articles is that the topic of breathing is raised and runners realize they must consciously evaluate how they take in and expel air while running if they wish to optimize performance.
Another article on running & breathing by Jill Becker for Adventure.HowStuffWorks.com, quotes a coaching legend, Arthur Lydiard, as recommending breathing through all orifices at once (mouth, nose, and even “through your ears if you can”)! The point is humorously made that runners should be doing all that is necessary to maximize air intake. This piece puts a bit more focus on how facial and mental relaxation helps with breathing (another reason to open your mouth is to release tension), emphasizes belly breathing as well, and links to an article on running posture to help with belly breathing.
What is not mentioned in these two articles is that to effectively move air in and out of your lungs, your chest wall must be able to move freely like a bellows. Correct upper body running form and posture will permit adequate chest expansion during running. Jeremy Duvall offers several upper body strength exercises to help runners improve their upper body posture and form for Competitor.com. A bit easier are 3 Pilates moves demonstrated in a 2008 Runner’s World article “Lung Power” by Gina Demillo Wagner that she says will “strengthen the diaphragm, stretch tight muscles and improve posture- all of which help you run longer with less effort”.
THORACIC SPINE FOAM ROLLING can also help improve upper body posture and stretch tight upper body and torso muscles involved in breathing. Therapeutic Associates provides demonstrations and directions as to how to accomplish this safely.
Hopefully you can breathe easier with this knowledge.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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