Running & Breathing

Don't Forget to Catch your Breath!

Who would have thought there was a wrong way of doing something as automatic and unconscious as breathing?! The truth is most people don’t breath correctly. This is true for everyday life but is most evident when running. As you increase your physical output during exercise your body requires an increased supply of oxygen deep into your lungs so that it can be transpired into the bloodstream and enable your muscles to work efficiently. Below are are few breathing techniques to assist you in preventing stitches and to help you train more efficiently, allowing your body to run faster for longer.

Correct Breathing Techniques

Diaphragmatic breathing: Inhaling and exhaling actions extend down into your stomach. Your stomach should expand and contract as your diaphragm forces air into and out of your lungs. Practice belly breathing lying down first and then move to a standing position. Focus on keeping your upper chest and shoulders still. Raising your belly as you inhale and lowering your belly as you exhale.

Avoid “chest breathing”: Shallow and rapid breaths means you are not using your diaphragm to breath in or core muscles to breath out. This is one of the reasons why you may be getting a side stitch when you run.

Pilates exercises: These poses help stretch your intercostal muscles and lengthen your spine which are muscles responsible for your breathing pattern. Movements that are beneficial include cat/camel and a cobra pose.

Rhythmic Breathing: The coordination of foot strike with inhalation and exhalation in an odd/even pattern so that you land alternately on your right and left foot at the beginning of every exhalation.

Ultimately, try different breathing rhythms and choose the one that works best for you. Often, the best breathing pattern for you will develop itself over time. For more information contact our exercise physiologist on 4655 5588.