Thursday, 9 February 2012

Breathing Exercises To Help A Long Distance Runner |

Being able to run long distances means building your endurance and training your body to handle the increased mileage. To do so, you need to be comfortable when you run by breathing properly. Many runners make the mistake of shallow breathing, which can lead to quicker fatigue. Fortunately, once you learn the right technique, your breathing and running can become much easier.

Shallow Breathing

Shallow breathing is defined as quick, short breaths from your chest. You can feel like you are gasping for air and not able to relax. This means you are not getting enough oxygen into your lungs and your body. If you are having trouble breathing during a run, you have either started out too quickly without warming up properly, or you are running too fast for your fitness level.

Talk Test

Most long distance runs should be at a relatively slower pace where you can talk while running. This means you are running at an aerobic level and getting enough oxygen for your pace. If you are running at a slow pace and still cannot speak more than a few words at a time, you are breathing too shallow. This can be exhausting and make long runs uncomfortable, so it's important to learn the technique of deep breathing instead.

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is where you are relaxed and able to take in a full breath of oxygen. Here is a good exercise to practice this. Put your hand over your belly button. Breathe in deeply. You should feel your belly rise and lower with each breath. That is deep breathing. If your belly does not move, you are still shallow breathing from your chest and not your belly.
During a long run, practice this same exercise. First, make sure you are fully relaxed. If you are tight or anxious, your body will not be able to take in deep breaths. Then, pull in a deep breath and feel it go all the way to your belly. Exhale slowly and maintain this comfortable, relaxed breathing for the duration of your run.

3:2 Ratio

Another exercise is timing your breathing with your steps. You will breathe with a 3:2 inhale to exhale ratio. These are deep, full breaths where you inhale on the left, right, left steps and exhale on the left, right steps. This pattern will help you concentrate on your breathing so you don't breathe too shallow or too quickly. You will also notice a lower heart rate because you are able to get more oxygen in.


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