Remember to BREATHE!

Check out this article by ITC”s very own Sherry Smiley. Sherry is a running enthusiast who recently led her running team (51 Hour Energy) in the world’s longest non-stop non-professional relay in the WORLD! She’s also a member of T.E.A.M. Training and works the front desk on Wednesdays.


Sherry's Bio Pic

Don’t forget to breathe!~by Sherry Smiley

According to an article in Health magazine, better breathing is the secret weapon to running better, feeling better, relaxing better, thinking better, being in better posture, sleeping better, and so on.

So what is ‘better’ breathing?  Below are three ways to have better breathing when you run.

Belly Breathing
With belly breathing or diaphragmatic breathing, you get more oxygen in and more carbon dioxide out.  To practice, lay on your back with a book on your stomach and check that your stomach is expanding each time you take a breath while your chest remains still.

Nose breathing vs. Mouth breathing
Most of us breathe through our mouths while running in an attempt to the get the most oxygen as possible. Mouth breathing can lead to overbreathing which leaves an imbalance of carbon dioxide.  Nose breathing allows us to better regulate our breathing.  The nose filters, moistens, and warms air as it enters the body which makes it the ideal method.  If you can’t breath through your nose all the time, then do a recovery breath through the nose every few minutes.

Rhythm Patterns
Establish a pattern between your steps and your breathing to help regulate your breathing.  The most common pattern is 2-2, where you take 2 steps for each breath in and 2 steps for each breath out.  A step is on one foot, so you breathe in while you strike with your left foot and right foot then breathe out when your left foot strikes again.  Other patterns are 3-3, 2-3 and 3-2.  Notice which foot you are starting your pattern with.  If you get a stitch in your side, adjust your pattern to start on the opposite foot.

Try this

Learning a new breathing pattern can be challenging, but with a plan for progression and/or regression, it can be done and is worth your time! Warm up for 5-10 minutes at your regular rhythm breathing pattern. Then practice one of the rhythm patterns above at a slower pace than what you’re used to. This allows you to focus more on your breathing effort rather than your walking or running effort. Start with five sets of 40 seconds of focused rhythm breathing and 20 seconds of whatever feels comfortable. Add a minute each time you workout. This breathing pattern can be used with stretching and strength training as well.

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