How to keep breathing when out running

If you are a keen runner then you know it is extremely difficult to regulate your breath while running. This is more difficult if you are just starting out as a runner. If this is the case with you then it is a sign that is telling you to take it easy, slow down and overall take a rest. When you run you are increasing your cardiovascular and muscle health and placing more strain on all your muscles. The more you exercise the quicker your heart is pumping to pass the oxygenated blood around your body to all of your muscles. As the body attempts to draw in more oxygen to support your muscles, you will notice your breathing becomes shallow and frequent.  However, learning some breathing techniques will overcome the breathing difficulties that you face when out running, to ensure your running experience is enjoyable and problem free.

Step 1

When running your breathing pace will be quicker and faster than normal. When this starts happening always breathe in and out from your mouth, rather than through your nose. The reason for this is because when you breathe out of your mouth you are able to take in more oxygen through a deeper breath.

Step 2

When breathing always keep your mouth open slightly to relax your jaw. This allows you to focus on shallow short breaths rather than long deep breaths.

Step 3

As soon as you start to gather pace in your running try and time your breaths with your steps, this also helps you focus. Start with a 2:2 breathing ratio. 2:2 ratio is when you step with your left foot and then right foot as you take a breath in. If your run involves challenging aspects such as running uphill, then change your ratio to 2:1 – two steps when inhaling and one step when exhaling.

Breathing difficulties can occur any time while running. Using the correct techniques for breathing can improve running performance no end and make it more enjoyable


Image source: Livestrong


  • Step 1 breathing through the mouth is at odds with the Buteyko stance on breathing. This advises breathing through the nose as much as possible in order to build up CO2 in the blood stream to stop the blood becoming too acidic. Since swapping to nose breathing I have noticed an improvement in my running, breathing and recovery from long runs. What is your take on Buteyko breathing?


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