Often many of us wonder as to how the runners run with such an apparent ease. They do it because they have gone through scientific training program involving focussed breathing techniques. With practice, gradually breathing becomes second nature to them. These come in handy for a practitioner in overcoming the difficulty and meeting the increased metabolic demands of the body.
Comparison of Breathing Pattern in Normal State and While Running
The breathing rate of a normal healthy adult is 14 to 20 breaths per minute. The approximate breathing ratio is 1:2. For a runner the breathing ratio varies. It may be either 2:2 (normal course of running), 2:1 (brisk running) 1:1 (very rapid running, usually during sprinting).
Runners often run out of oxygen. The problem is not due to the volume of air that enters the body, but due to the inadequacy generated because of increased metabolic demands of the body.
Differences in breathing rate and ratio during running, are the results of normal metabolic variation. So there is no need to panic. These can be effectively handled through improvised and refined breathing techniques.
Could you Please Suggest any Specific Procedure of Breathing that Comes in Handy While Running?
Breath with nose. Breath with mouth. If you can even suck the air through you ears. This is what the expert coaches say. In fact it is true. Your jaw should be relaxed and mouth should be open for increased oxygen passage. Because, during running the body desperately needs oxygen. The more the better. The oxygen should reach the blood first and then the muscles. This is very vital for maintaining the aerobic mode of respiration and preventing the anaerobic mode of respiration from taking over. Running is essentially an aerobic exercise, done for ensuring long term endurance and cardiovascular fitness.
Could you Please Suggest any Specific Breathing Techniques for Better and More Pleasurable Running Experience?
The following techniques are quite useful in improving your breathing while running:
Warm up: Walk briskly for 3 to 5 minutes before commencing your actual running schedule. It prepares you well for a faster pace by adjusting your diaphragm for deeper breathing.
Learn the technique of breathing from diaphragm for better results. Sit down, place one of your hands on the rib cage and the other one on the upper part for your chest. Breath in slowly. Now you will be able to feel the air in your diaphragm, as the stomach moves against your hand. The hand on your chest should always remain stationary. You may try this procedure even while lying down. The procedure is initially difficult as most of us are used to shallow breathing (breathing through chest).
What are the Advantages of Deep Breathing?
Renting of Air: Unlike shallow breathing, deep breathing ensures better retention of breath and supplies more oxygen to the muscles.
More air for muscles enables the runner to cope up better with the increased metabolic demands.
Side stitches (side aches and cramps), usually noticed among runners are effectively prevented through diaphragm breathing.