How to Control Breathing While Running

With the proper breathing techniques, you can run faster, longer, and increase your overall lung capacity.

Whether you’re a sprinter, marathon runner, or just love taking an afternoon run every now and then, improving your breathing is essential. Your lung capacity peaks when you’re in your 20s and slowly reduces as you get older. This is why it’s so important to learn how to control breathing while running.

There are a few helpful techniques and tips that you can use to improve your running. These techniques help improve your lung capacity and reduce stress on your body while you’re running. The benefits of learning to control your breathing exceed just running, making these techniques great to learn to improve your overall health.

Interested in improving your running form with the right breathing technique? Read on for everything you need to know.

The Importance of Breath Control

We all know that oxygen is incredibly important. However, maintaining your body’s oxygen level is even more important during physical activities. This is because your body requires even more oxygen when it’s under stress.

When you’re working out, your heartbeat rises, and blood is pumped throughout your body. This is essential to maintain your athletic performance. However, your lungs need to catch up so that you can pump oxygenated blood throughout the body.

If you’re weight lifting, the natural reaction that many people have is to hold their breath. This is because holding your breath is the easiest way to stabilize your torso and focus on lifting. However, this is actually not the most effective way to increase your performance.

Research has shown that using the right breathing technique can help you increase your performance in every way. Whether you’re lifting weights in the gym or running a marathon, controlling your breathing is key.

How to Control Breathing While Running

Being out of breath is a natural sign of being tired. However, controlling your breathing can help improve your endurance so that you can run longer and faster. Professional runners around the world understand this and dedicate thousands of hours to mastering the most optimal breathing techniques.

These breathing techniques help them reduce the stress on their body while still providing every muscle with the oxygen it needs to carry on. This helps improve performance by focusing on a rhythm and increasing lung capacity.

Popular Breathing Techniques

There are a few impressive breathing techniques out there to help improve your overall performance. These techniques take time to master, but you’re bound to notice improvements from day one. While the techniques may differ, they all aim to increase your lung capacity so that every breath you take is more effective than before.

As with all techniques, it’s important to practice both at home and while running. This can help you master the technique so that you can see the best results on your run. Here’s a quick look at three of the most popular breathing techniques that you can use to improve your breathing.

1. Rhythmic Breathing

When it comes to running, rhythmic breathing is one of the most popular, effective breathing techniques. This technique is based on breathing in and out according to a rhythm that’s linked to your run. This could mean breathing out on every fifth stride or whatever is most comfortable for you while you’re running.

If you’re listening to music or have a song in your head, this can also help you stay in rhythm. At the end of the day, the rhythm helps you focus on your breathing so that you don’t allow yourself to get out of breath.

2. Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing is also known commonly as belly breathing. While many may breathe in with their chest, breathing in with your belly allows you to take in more oxygen with every breath. This is why professional musicians around the world prefer diaphragmatic breathing.

To help you learn how to breathe in with your belly, relax your shoulders and sit back against your chair or a wall. Place a hand on your tummy and another on your chest. Breathe in with your tummy, focusing on the hand that’s expanding.

When it’s time to exhale, push your hand down on your tummy. This will help train your body to breathe with your tummy instead of your chest.

3. Pursed-Lips Breathing

Pursed-lips breathing can help make slowing down your breathing and the energy required to breathe. This means that you can increase your overall performance. To master this technique, inhale slowly through your nose and purse your lips when you exhale.

By pursing your lips, you restrict the exhale and keep your airways open for a longer period of time. There are breathing exercises you can do at home to practice this technique so that you’re all set for when you hit the road.

Breathing Exercises

When it comes to increasing your lung capacity while running, breathing techniques are the best way to go. However, there are also breathing exercises that you can do to improve your lung performance in general. These exercises are incredibly simple and can be done anywhere.

If you have any lung disorders or just want to improve your overall lung health, consider including these exercises in your daily routine. All you need is around 10 to 15 minutes a day to see some impressive results. Here’s a quick look at the best breathing exercises you can do at home.

1. Rib Stretch Exercises

Rib stretch exercises can help you breathe more effectively. This exercise requires you to do a few different stretches that are aimed at extending your rib cage. In simple terms, increasing your rib flexibility can help improve your overall lung performance.

2. Equal Breathing

Equal breathing is a popular yoga breathing technique and exercise. The general concept is that you take in the same amount of air as you exhale. This creates a rhythm that you can focus on, allowing your body to improve each breath over time.

3. Numbered Breaths

One of the easiest ways to increase your oxygen intake is with numbered breaths. This is an exercise that uses mindfulness to help you relax and focus on each breath. You can close your eyes and take full breaths before exhaling completely.

By saying the number out loud, you will start to push your lungs to the limit. You should also focus on exhaling as far as possible before taking another breath. As time passes, you’ll notice how each breath grows.

4. Straw Breathing

Straw breathing was a technique and exercise developed to help divers learn how to breathe underwater. However, the exercise can be done at home by learning how to purse your lips and breathe through a normal straw.

Since you require more effort to exhale through the straw, you can improve your lung capacity over time.

Have All Gear Within Reach

When you’re on your run, even the smallest of distractions can get you off rhythm. Carrying your phone and keys with you can provide peace of mind so you can concentrate on your run and breathing.  

This is why you should always consider a running belt. These belts come in a variety of styles and colors but work in the same way. The belt itself effortlessly clips around you and has enough space for your phone, wallet, and even quick snacks to keep you going.

Having all your gear close to you allows you to get your phone or a snack without having to stop running. This means that you can continue to build momentum and even improve your performance on your run. These belt bags are perfect for both hobbyists and professional runners as it’s a sleek, comfortable option that keeps you focused on the run.

As mentioned above, the best breathing techniques all surround themes of rhythm and concentration. In this way, having a running belt with all your gear around your waist eliminates distraction and allows you to stay focused.

Improve Your Running Techniques with Proper Breathing

Breathing is essential for running and all kinds of endurance activities. Learning how to control breathing while running can have major health benefits in other areas of your life. Especially if you have asthma or other lung disorders, mastering these techniques can have major upsides.

When you’re on your run, it’s important to have all your gear within arm’s reach. Running belts make this effortless as you can store everything you need in a convenient belt. Click here to learn more about our wide range of running belts today!