Our body needs a large amount of oxygen while running or doing any other exercise. Due to increased activity, the person may feel short of breath and gasp for more oxygen. Only when the body meets the oxygen demand, our breathing returns to normal. There are a lot of breathing exercises out there to improve our breathing. Moreover, running tracker apps act as a boon in such cases.
Working muscles naturally need oxygen, and with the right way to breathe while running, training and proper knowledge, you can boost your performance. Experts say that it is better to have a breathing strategy if you are a new runner. The regular runners usually do not care much about their breathing as much as they do for the mileage and running routes.
So, from the beginning of your running journey, make it an excellent practice to breathe in the best and right way! If you are breathing correctly, there are minimal chances of nagging injuries. Thus, breathing in the correct pattern is essential for all runners.
Importance of Breathing while running
Neophyte runners often feel short of breath while running. With appropriate improvements, you can reduce this difficulty and perform better. These improvements will boost your ease and efficiency by helping you to reach your full potential. At times, you may feel uneasy and uncomfortable with the nuances, but these optimizing breathing changes will make your running experience more enjoyable in the future.
How to improve and get the breathing technique right?
We all know that increased exertion and running can hunt for more air, which is normal. If you breathe faster than how you do in routine, it increases the level of oxygen in the body. This scenario results in building lesser levels of carbon dioxide in the body while running. The breathing returns to normal once your body gets the exact wanted level of oxygen.
For reducing shortness of breath, the following breathing techniques will be of great help! Even after practicing these techniques, your breathing is not normal; then, it is advisable to consult a doctor as it may be a sign of some underestimated health issue. Let us have a quick look at the techniques:
- Do Warm-Up
Be it any workout, a warm-up is a topmost priority you should pay attention to even if you are running. To overcome the problem of breathlessness, stretching and light jogging for 10-15 minutes can help improve your performance. When you do a warm-up, it prepares your body for the exercises with ease and flexibility. It also sets your body temperature. There is a contraction of air due to dry and cold wind, especially in winters, making breathing even more difficult for the runners. So, it is advisable to wrap up for a better performance in winters.
- Practice Breathing Techniques for Running
Breathing exercises are always the best option to practice as the lungs can hold enough oxygen required by the body while running. You will get to know that you will be huffing while performing any lungs-related exercises if you’re breathing is very shallow. Breathing exercises to strengthen lungs will increase the capacity to hold on to more oxygen while running. Some of the famous breathing exercises include diaphragmatic breathing, alternate nostril breathing, or Nadi-Shodhana. You can practice these deep breathing exercises every day to improve your breathing while running.
- Breathe Rhythmically
If you breathe in a rhythmic pattern, it allows your body to take in more oxygen and give less stress to your body. 3:2 breathing pattern is the best way to inhale and exhale while running. Inhale for three-foot strikes and exhale for two-foot strikes. While running, always keep in mind to breathe with your nose and your mouth as and when you need oxygen. Sync with the movement of your body when you are breathing while running.
- Adjust your Speed:
It is always fair and practical to take up challenges related to your health, but you also need to slow down when you are exhausted. If you keep on pushing yourself without taking care of your body, it will harm your body. Health benefits can only be gained when you are working out systematically. If you witness shortness of breath while running, you need to slow down and adjust your pace for a few seconds or minutes until everything is back to normal.
If you are a neophyte in the running, you should not get over-excited and run like a professional. It would be a better option if you slowly initiate increasing your pace day by day rather than speeding up the first day itself. The right way to progress is to increase your speed while running slowly and steadily for better performance.
- Diaphragmatic Belly Breathing:
This technique is considered the antidote for all those who face shallow breathing in their routine lives. All you must do is lie on your back on the floor and breathe until you are sure that your stomach has risen. Then, tighten the muscles of your stomach, and exhale by holding those muscles tightly.
You can repeat this exercise several times a day, and you will notice the difference that your breathing has become relatively more straightforward and efficient. This technique will strengthen your core by activating the abdomen and diaphragm. Within a short span, the runner would not need to focus specifically on breathing while running.
Use of Running Apps to improve & track breathing technique:
There are many running apps available on the play store that can be used free of cost when you are running to measure the KMs, runs, and much more.
Paced Breathing is a significant health and fitness app that improves breathing while running performance by providing visual, audio as well as haptic breathing cues. This application’s benefit is that it is useful for yoga and meditation and useful for intense exercise training purposes. All you need to do is start with your favorite starting point. You will automatically begin to improve your breathing then!
The features included in Paced Breathing app are:
- You can adjust the session time according to your choice (Inhale, Exhale)
- Enablement of ramping times up or down
- Access to visual, audio as well as haptic cues
- You can custom breathing profiles whenever you want to
- You have the option of tons of sound choices, such as binaural beats, which can be used with headphones
- There is also an option of Breathes Per Minute (BPM) Tracker, which helps in improving your performance day by day
- You can adjust the volume feature to make the breathing volume quieter to avoid interference with the music being played
- There is a fixed bug causing audio stutter when the screen is off
- There is also a fixed bug when clicking on notifications during an on-going session
Another fantastic app is Runtrackr.app, which is helping lots of people to improve their health and fitness. Your fitness diary enables you to maintain the daily, weekly, and monthly records of your running goals. Every piece of data is stored locally in the app. You can access the information anytime, anywhere when you want. Isn’t that amazing? This app contains every feature that a fitness freak wants every day—nothing less and nothing more. You can easily track your steps, watch your calories getting burnt in the app, track your speed and heart rate quickly, and pace up or down accordingly. Track your duration of the run. There is also a map feature whereby you can set your goal to any specific destination.
It is always said that it is significant and essential to change your goals and set them high. So you can also set your goal and update the app every month with the activity goal-setting feature. In a nutshell, Runtrackr helps in tracking your run goals, helps you burn calories, monitors heart rate on an everyday basis, and improves your speed and distance too. The app calculates the distance with the help of your GPS.
If you are now planning to run as a neophyte, we hope you got enough techniques about improving your breathing and performance together. Install the health and fitness app today, set your goals high, and starts the practice tomorrow itself.
Because better late than never! Being wholly healthy and routinely fit is not a fad or trend. It’s a lifestyle. These techniques and apps can help you in being pro in the running without shortness of breath. You should always exercise to enjoy the glow of good health!