This informative article published in Trail Runner Magazine (the UK’s No.1 off-road running magazine) talks about The Forgotten Muscle, your thoracic diaphragm, and how important learning to use it properly can correlate to increased stamina, quicker recovery and even decreased chance of injury.
It talks about how, as a trail runner, you strengthen your muscles with squats, lunges, plyometrics and core work, but neglect the muscle that’s capable of improving your balance, stability, efficiency and oxygen economy - your thoracic diaphragm.
With improved balance and running efficiency being two of the greatest benefits of proper breathing for trail runners, you can understand why not neglecting this muscle counts.
The article explains how, “When we use our diaphragm to breathe properly, it makes it easier for our blood to pull oxygen out of the air we inhale, which translates into improved running economy and endurance. Of course, as you become fatigued, it’s often necessary to rely on secondary muscles of respiration as well—but, ideally, the diaphragm should be the primary muscle used.”
Read the article The Forgotten Muscle to discover a few ways to help you become a ‘breathing ninja’, however there is one training method that gets directly to the core of improved diaphragm breathing, and that is Inspiratory Muscle Training with POWERbreathe.
POWERbreathe IMT can help overcome two obstacles trail runners face:
1. In the case of breathing, fatigue occurs almost exclusively in the inspiratory muscles and results in laboured, uncomfortable breathing and intense breathlessness. POWERbreathe targets the inspiratory muscles, improving their strength and stamina and reducing fatigue.
2. Fatigue of the leg muscles can also be a result of fatigue of the breathing muscles, because research has shown that fatigue of the breathing muscles may result in diversion of blood away from the leg muscles. This means that the supply of oxygen to the legs is reduced and performance is impaired. POWERbreathe reduces fatigue of the breathing muscles by targeting them directly to improve breathing strength and stamina.
With disciplined POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training you’ll improve breathing comfort too during running because POWERbreathe specifically targets the breathing muscles, strengthening them by around 30-50%, helping to eliminate breathing fatigue and improve running performance.