How about breathing well? We sometimes forget our breath, whether it is simply holding tension throughout the day, or not truly breathing while running. Those age old resolutions can sometimes feel overwhelming. Starting with a goal of learning how to breathe, or at least breathe better, can transform your runs, your training, and your life.
So how do we know if we are breathing in the best way? And how can we begin to implement those enriched breaths?
Why does the right breathing matter? It can largely affect your athletic performance, and change how your muscles, your brain, and other organs function whether you are sprinting, or running a marathon.
MASTERING YOUR BREATHING
CHECK YOUR BREATH
Take the time right now, to take a deep breath. Does it feel full in your stomach? Does your chest feel tight? Are you able to fill your lungs fully? A proper breath should fill your belly, not be shallow in your chest. If you do feel it more in your chest, try this exercise:
Put your hand on your belly
Mentally count to 5, taking in a full breath through your nose as your belly swells
Hold it for 3 seconds
Release through your mouth completely as your belly shrinks back
Do this a few times, so you really start to feel the breathing cycle through your body.
BREATHING WHILE RUNNING
Just like singers who use their breath to power their instrument, as runners we must have a master control over our breath. This will allow you to keep your muscles full of oxygen (thus working properly) and your brain clear! Here are some methods you can use while you are on your next run. Once you find the right method for you, you can start working them into your training, and then into your performance runs!
Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth as if you are blowing through a straw. This keeps the breathing focused and steady.
Try the 4:4 method: Breathe in for 4 counts, then out for 4 counts. This keeps your breathing even, and is easier to keep track of.
Slow down. If you find yourself struggling with breath, take a walk break, and get your breathe cycle back on track.
FEEL THAT BREATH
BREATHING WHILE RUNNING
can be a learning curve, but YOU CAN DO IT!
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