“Breath. Not just to collect oxygen, but to collect yourself.”
Breathing is something that often comes up when talking to people who want to start a running routine, but constantly feel as though they cannot get enough oxygen when they are running. My boyfriend happens to be one of those who struggles with this, so I decided to do a little research and play around with different breathing techniques myself.
Breathing is crucial to aerobic activity as it helps prevent against injury and buffers against strain on your muscles and joints.
Remember to breathe in through your belly, or diaphragm. This is a proper breathing technique that you should try to practice at all times, but especially during exercise as it allows you to take in more oxygen this way. If you want more practice with this form of breathing, I recommend trying Yoga.
Something I found out from my research is that it is key to exhale on alternating legs so as to decrease the amount of impact that either leg is receiving. See this runners world article for more information about proper breathing techniques.
Here is the pattern that works best for me, and I hope it helps you as well!
Inhale for 3 steps, Exhale for 2 steps
or it can be modified when I feel that I need longer breaths to
Inhale for 6 steps, Exhale for 3 steps
The odd number will set you up so that you are always at the top of, or beginning the exhale on alternate steps. Once you get used to the pattern it will start to come naturally and you won’t need to think about it. However, I have also noticed on especially long or tough runs, it helps me keep going to focus on the inhale, exhale pattern and count my steps.