A little bit ago I wrote about how I’m struggle with breathing evenly when doing speedwork. Sometimes I end up gasping for air and feel lightheaded after a hard mile.
Last week I caught up with Lauren, my running coach, and she sent me a few good articles on breathing techniques and this screenshot from Jeff Galloway’s Marathon book:
I’ve been reading through all of the articles she sent me, and thought I would share my favorite tips:
1. Try out this technique: Lay down on the floor and place your hand on your belly and breath deeply. If your feel your hand rise and fall then you are belly breathing, which is good. If your chest moves up and down you’re not breathing deep enough. Practice belly breathing and incorporate into your runs.
2. Also try this: After running a mile at a moderate pace, place one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly. Your top hand should be relatively still, but the hand on your belly should move in sync with your breathing.
3. Keep your mouth open. It’s bigger than your nostrils and more effective at taking in oxygen. It also keeps your face more relaxed.
4. Coordinate your inhales and exhales with your footfalls. Start with a 2-2 pattern breathe and advance to 3-3 and 4-4 patterns.
5. Use Pilates to strengthen your diaphram. The below exercise is recommend along with the two others here (scroll down a bit).
I’m definitely a chest breather right now, but am working hard on breathing from my belly. I’m also consciously working on doing a 2-2 pattern when running at a moderate or fast pace. When I am running at an easy pace I generally do 2-2 or 3-3 naturally.
What’s been interesting is that if I try to run fast outdoors I have a much easier time following the 2-2 pattern than when I’m doing speedwork on the treadmill. I think it’s because I’m always scared that I’m about to go flying off the treadmill and hold my breath, haha.
Do you follow a certain breathing pattern when running?
Have you tried the hand of your chest/belly technique to see if you’re a chest or belly breather?