Do you Suck Wind

signal hillThis morning I got up and hit the Hill at 6am. I have not been consistent with this hill in about two months, so I decided to 30 minutes giving me time to walk and run the first hill twice. Well, after I hit that hill boy did I suck wind. So, I decided to come home and research how to breath and run and this is what I found…..It’s important to remember that, if you run out of breath, become dizzy or nauseous, it means you are not taking in enough oxygen for the speed you are running. Generally speaking, this means you must either adjust your speed, or the amount of air you take into your lungs. You should allow air to enter through both your mouth and nose when you’re running. Your muscles need oxygen to keep moving and your nose simply can’t deliver enough.

7 Key Breathing Tips

  1. Try slowing down before attempting to change your breathing.

  2. Focus on longer, deeper breaths.

  3. Breath more from your diaphragm (belly) than your chest (chest breathing is more shallow).

  4. Focus on exhaling more fully. This will remove more CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and allow for deeper inhalations of O2 (Oxygen).

  5. Allow air to enter through both the nose and mouth. This will allow for maximum O2 intake.

  6. Aim to take three footsteps for every inhale, and two footsteps for every exhale(3:2ratio).                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Many experts will say that to fully oxygenate the muscles and clear the body of carbon dioxide you should breathe a 3:2 inhale-to-exhale ratio; full inhales and full exhales. This means you INHALE on the LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT foot strikes and EXHALE fully on the RIGHT, LEFT foot strikes. This pattern is not that hard to turn into a habit, but it may require you to slow your pace down for a few runs to master the technique. You will notice a lower heart rate as you are able to get more oxygen in and more importantly push all the carbon dioxide out of your body. You may notice that you naturally drop to a 2:1 ratio when you are really pushing it to the finish. That is OK. But realize it is difficult to maintain a pace that requires you to breathe at a 2:1 ratio.

  1. One last thing – try not to over-think your breathing! It’s best to try to slow down, relax, and let yourself fall into your body’s natural rhythm.

Following these tips should make breathing easier, and your runs more enjoyable. For you audio/visual learners, I’ve included two very good video clips which cover much of what I’ve described above.