Breathing When Running


It’s Friday so I’m also linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.

My Topic today is: Breathing.

but NO I don’t wear one while I run

I think that wearing a mask has gotten to me.

Or maybe it’s adjusting to the heat and humidity.

And that awful pollen in the air.

Anyway, I’d had a hard time breathing.

So I got to thinking about Breathing when Running.

I’m not a coach or have any medical expertise.  All I know if what I’ve been told by coaches and what I’ve read so you can take what I say below with a grain of salt.

1.Deep Belly Breathing is better.

Deep belly breathing is also called diaphragmatic breathing. (Here’s how to do it – https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-breathe-with-your-belly-89853)

How to Do Belly Breathing Like a Pro | Yuri Elkaim

It is said to be more efficient because it uses the entire capacity of the lungs. It helps to increase your VO2 max. (This site will tell you what this is – https://www.cnet.com/health/your-vo2-max-explained/)

VO2 Max: Compare your cardio fitness to your peers.

2.Breathe Through Your Mouth 

You need to take in oxygen and expel C02 as efficiently as possible when you run.

Obviously, you can’t take in as much air through your nose as you can through your mouth. So it makes sense to mainly breathe through your mouth when running.

Image titled Control Breathing While Running Step 4

I remember when I started running, my coach stressed to us to NEVER breathe through our nose.  He said to keep your tongue against the back of you bottom teeth and concentrate taking in air through your mouth.  I don’t always remember to do that but when I am out of breath, I do and it works!

Yes, of course, you can breathe through your nose but it will slow you down!! (Nose breathing is harder.)

3. Slow Down if you are out of breath (or have a side stitch).

If you are out of breath, just slow down your pace, take some deep breaths and then you can speed up again.

How To Ease Painful Side Stitches When Running | Wilderman ...

Many times if you have a pain in your side, it’s because you are holding your breath or breathing too shallow. Just breathe in deeply several times and it should go away.

4.Use Proper Breathing Rhythms

I admit that I rarely do this.  I have tried but as with anything else, it takes practice.

  • Easy runs – 3:3 (three steps while breathing in and three steps while breathing out)
  • Medium-intensity runs: 2:2
  • Maximum and high-intensity runs: 1:1  (For me this is only crossing the finish line at the end of a race lol)

What Is The Best Way To Breathe While Running

5. Do What Feels Natural

In other words, you are more comfortable breathing through your nose, then run that way.  There are many breathing patterns.

Do whatever works for you.

Happy Running! Any other suggestions related to breathing? Do you get out of breath when you run? Do you even think about breathing correctly when you run? Please share.

19 thoughts on “Breathing When Running

  1. Sometimes my breathing is an issue and then I go months without thinking about it. I was taught breathe in through my now twice and exhale through my mouth when I felt my HR was too high or it I could not regulate my breath.

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  2. That’s interesting, Darlene! I breathe through nose and mouth while I run – I need all the oxygen I can get. 😊
    I’m not sure I understand your coach’ recommendation properly. Why should I not use both, mouth and nose? Sorry for the pesky questions, but it’s intriguing 😊

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  3. Breathing when running is something that, once I start thinking about it on a run, I can’t stop thinking about it. I almost always use a 2:2 rhythm, no matter how hard I run.

    Also, my watch now tells me that my VO2 max is 49. That can’t be right.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This might sound strange, but yoga helped me regulate (and improve, IMO) my breathing while running. I’ll have to pay attention of my next run if I coordinate my breathing with my steps.

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  5. I can never count anything while running. Not foot touches, and certainly not breaths.

    Nasal breathing will slow you down. Supposedly in the beginning. Supposedly eventually (much like HR training), you’ll get back to where you were — or better. I don’t know yet, it’s thankfully been better the last couple of weeks but then it’s also hotter so it’s hard to tell which is really making a difference.

    However, there’s LOTS of data on why nasal breathing is good. Some day I’ll write a post, but I’m not ready to yet. It may still be something I give up — or not. Of course you can’t chat while breathing through your nose!

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  6. I’ve tried to do the breathing rhythms with the foot strikes but I believe I think about it too much and then it messes me up and I can’t get into a rhythm!
    I know I often breath through my nose because I run through the wooded trail a lot and I don’t open my mouth often because I am afraid I will swallow a bug…lol. Hmm, I wonder how much better I could run if I breathed through my mouth? -M

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  7. I definitely breathe more effectively though my mouth when I’m running. It’s really freaky biking, though, because of all the potential bugs that could fly in there. YUCK. I’ve been trying to breathe-in through my nose, and exhale with my mouth…and that’s frustrating.Thankfully, biking isn’t as strenuous as running…

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