Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tip Tuesday: Proper Breathing While Running

If anyone of my generation remembers the movie Jungle to Jungle they may or may not remember a scene and line that has always stuck in my mind. It is when Tim Allen (Baboon) is chasing his new found son (Mimi-Siku) through the streets of New York City. Once the chase is finally over Baboon is breathing heavily while Mimi  is just fine. 

Baboon says "Your gonna have to learn a few things about my jungle." 
Mimi says, "And you need to learn how to breathe when you run."

When I run I think about this statement. Obviously there is a proper way to breathe when running and I wanted to learn it to make running easier for me. 

I used to think it was in through your nose, out through your mouth. Apparently that isn't the best. I'll share with you what I learned from an article in runnersworld.com.

1. Open your mouth. Breathing through your mouth allows more oxygen to come into your body rather than breathing through the small openings of your nostrils. 

2. Learn belly-breathing. Belly-breathing as opposed to chest-breathing allows you to take deeper breaths.
"When you take deeper breaths, you use more air sacs in your lungs, which allows you to take in more oxygen to feed your muscles," says David Ross, M.D., a pulmonologist at UCLA Medical Center.  

To learn belly-breathing take this advice.
Place one hand on their abdomen and one hand on your chest and watch. The lower hand should move with each breath, while the upper hand should remain relatively still (usually the opposite occurs). "Every time you breathe in, your belly should fill up like a balloon," says Mindy Solkin, owner and head coach of The Running Center in New York City . "And every time you breathe out, that balloon should deflate. When you chest breathe, your shoulders get tense and move up and down. That's wasted energy-energy you should conserve for running." 

You can practice this while resting and soon enough this technique will carry over to running.  Lie or sit down, placing your hand on your belly. Concentrate on rising your belly when you breathe in and lowering it when you breathe out. 

I have started belly breathing when I run. I have noticed great results in my cardio endurance. It felt slightly awkward at first, but it didn't take very long to make it feel more natural. 

3. Coordinate breathing. Another way to develop more strength in your diaphragm is to make breathing patterns. Coordinate your breathing with your foot falls by starting with 2-2-pattern. Breath in while stepping right, left. Breathe out while stepping right, left. Then try 3-3-pattern, breathe in while stepping right, left, right. Out while stepping left, right, left. Then work your way up to 4-4-pattern. 

You can enjoy the article I read in its entirety here.