Andy Hawthorne

Thoughts, stories and ideas

A breathing technique for running

Have you ever run alongside someone who seems to never take a breath? They seem to have a magical breathing technique. While you are gasping and panting like a knackered steam engine? 

Breathing comes natural to us humans. When we are running, it helps to regulate your breathing. A regular breathing pattern helps with keeping an even pace and good form.

While that might sound a bit odd, there is some reasoning. The metronomic effect of steady breathing relaxes you and makes it easier to mange your run.  

So there’s a breathing technique you can use that will make a big difference to how you feel when pushing the pace. It’s so easy you’ll think it won’t work – but it does.

Imagine you are running along and building the pace. Your regular breathing pattern is starting to sound laboured. As you push harder, you breathing now starts to sound more like gasps. 

And this is not a surprise. Running hard will make your breathe harder, that’s a no-brainer. That’s going to happen for a runner at any level.

I used to work on the principle that slurping air in like a warthog was the best way. I’d suck it in any which way I could. That sort of works. But running faster needs something more regulated. 

Much of this depends on your fitness level. The stronger your cardiovascular fitness is, the harder you can push. That’s before your breathing gets ragged. But this technique works whatever your level.

The breathing technique…

Here’s the technique. As you are running and you feel the tension in your lungs because you are pushing, exhale. And I mean exhale hard. Blow the air out like you are trying to blow a tree down. 

And now for the science part. By blasting out all the carbon dioxide from your lungs, you make more room for the good stuff  – oxygen. 

When you Infuse oxygen into your bloodstream and you’ll have the power to keep going. Simple, right?

I know, I know. It sounds crazy. But it does work. I’ve been using this technique for months now. My times are improving across all the main distances. 

That’s not only because of this breathing technique, of course. But the technique has helped. The other thing I’ve noticed about it is: it seems to relax you. 

There you have it, a simple breathing technique that helps to rid your lungs of carbon dioxide. The fitter you get, the more effective this technique will be.

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