What is the Right Way to Breathe While Running?

Steven Petrov
The Paw Print

How to increase the oxygen intake throughout the run?

Have you ever felt out of breath while running followed by a sharp pain in your left or right side of your stomach? Yes, we all have, but the question is why. One of the most basic concepts of running is that while running your body, and more specifically your muscles and tissues, experience a high need of oxygen. However, many of us are not really familiar with this fact and we wonder why one day we can run and don’t even get tired, and on the next day running the same distance could “kill” us. It is all connected to the levels of oxygen you allow your body to receive while running; if your muscles do not receive the high oxygen levels that they need, the fatigue starts to take place making the whole workout (running) extremely painful and difficult. The good news is that the process of keeping your oxygen levels high enough is a relatively easy process, which consists of couple steps performed before and during your run.
1.) Hydration – The intake of 1-1.5 liters (4-6 glasses) of water around 1 hour before your run and having a bottle of water during the run are essential for the proper oxygen circulation. When your body is not hydrated well enough, the oxygen doesn’t reach all of the muscle groups in equal amounts. The water should be drunk in small servings over longer period of time, so that the whole body gets hydrated equally.
2.) Warm up – The importance of a whole body warm up is significant. Do not stretch only your lower body, but spend time stretching and warming up your neck, torso, and arms. The proper warm up will ensure the proper blood circulation in your body with high oxygen levels. Start slow and build up your speed slowly and progressively; sprinting or fast jogging right after your stretch will cause a drastic lowering of the oxygen levels within your body, as well as a much slower recovery period.
3.) Breathing  – The most important and often the most neglected aspect of running. Specialists advise runners to breathe in when making a step with their right foot and breathe out by the third step made with the same foot. For beginners in running, a common system of breathing is: breathing in in small amounts for three consecutive steps (left-right-left) and breathing out for the following (right-left-right) steps.

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