Running Tip: Breathe from da Belly

This morning I went running and still even though its been over a year since I started running, I still can’t quite get the breathing right. I take short breaths in and long breaths out. I gasp for air and my legs start to go all wobbly. All I can think is when do I next get to stop. Oxygen isn’t getting to me fast enough. I feel like I’m suffocating a little. I can feel my lungs heave against my chest. I reach the end of my minutes and I heave for air.

This is not how my breathing should be and it makes me tire more easily than I should. There has to be a better way to breathe. I can’t quite get over my neighbour who is running along as if he were out on the countryside smiling, looking left and right. His breathing is calm and relaxed. His running looks so easy. His feet are quiet. I take a peak at his speed and he’s running at 10.5 km/hour! Wow. That’s very fit..I’m doing 9km/hour and I’m huffing and puffing like I was a big bad wolf about to blow down houses. My face has turned all red and sweat trickles down my face.

This huffing and puffing has just got to stop. On runner’s world website today I found a great article on “Lung Power.” It mentions how good runners must also train their diaphragms which is a muscle that helps you breathe.

I discover that what I do wrong is breathe from the chest. We are supposed to breathe from the belly. A good way to test according to the article is to have one hand on your chest, and another on your belly. When you take in a deep breath from your belly your belly should expand like a balloon with your chest remaining still. I do the exact opposite when I run. When I inhale, my stomach goes in when its supposed to go out! No wonder…

The best way they say is to practice even when you aren’t running. Pilates is supposed to help. I suppose I’d better start going back to those Pilates lessons I’ve only managed to do a few times. They’re great, but incredibly tiring! I think Yoga should help too. That’s something I keep doing on and off also.

So next time you run, remember to take deep breaths with your belly! 🙂 Happy running!

P.S. The article has some great vdos on Pilates exercises you can do to help your breathing… 🙂