James Dunne from Kinetic Revolution has written this really useful article containing ‘Breathing Tips for Distance Runners’. James has an academic background in Sport Rehabilitation and a special interest in Applied Biomechanics, and here he talks about one of the most commonly asked questions that arises in his running technique workshops, and that is all about breathing.
His article highlights the issue that new runners often have difficulty with, and that is ‘getting short of breath long before their legs feel significantly fatigued.’ Dunne suggests practicing diaphragmatic breathing in which you breathe into your belly as opposed to your chest (which is very limiting).
The reason why this way of breathing is beneficial is because when you train above your lactate threshold your breathing moves out of its comfort zone and increases. This then has an effect of your other working muscles, and in the case of runners, the legs. This is because while running your inspiratory muscles need to work harder and use a lot more energy and therefore require a greater amount of blood flow towards the respiratory muscles. Hence a reduced blood flow to the legs and fatigue.
This is where POWERbreathe can help. POWERbreathe training specifically targets the breathing muscles, strengthening them by around 30-50% to significantly improve running performance and reduce breathing fatigue.
You can watch James demonstrating his breathing tips in this 7-minute video.