How to breath while January 2016 - Shelby Stanger
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What’s The Right Way To Breathe While Running?


Yes there IS a better way. And no, it’s not as complicated as you’ve heard.

You’re so not a runner right? That’s what you’ve been telling yourself for years. However here you are, ready to log some miles. Whether it’s a resolution to start running, do it more regularly, or to crush that random race you signed up for three months ago and promptly forgot about (nothing like a race day deadline to kick your butt into gear), you’ve finally decided to lace up on the reg. THAT’S A WIN! Celebrate it!

So what’s next? First, stop with all that negative self-talk. There’s no distance or minute-per-mile threshold you have to meet in order to be called a runner. If you run/jog/shuffle at a quick pace you’re a runner. It’s that simple. Then…

In addition to wearing properly fitted sneakers, there are a few other things you can do to make your run more efficient.

Henk Badenhorst, Getty Images

In all honesty running probably won’t feel “enjoyable” right away but you can focus on efficiency. Just know, if you stick with it, running nirvana is possible! So what can you do to keep on keeping on right now? Focus on your breath.

That’s why simplicity is key for Andrew Kastor, coach to Olympic medalist and American marathon record holder Deena Kastor (who is also his wife!) and to the elite professional ASICS Mammoth Track Club.

There are only two breathing tips coach Kastor advises his Olympic and recreational runners to focus on while running.

JGI/Tom Grill, Getty Images
  1. Take deep breaths
  2. And take those deep breaths through the belly and diaphragm rather than through the upper chest. Basically, you want to think of your belly button moving in and out—avoid lifting your shoulders to expand your rib cage during the inhale he advises.

“I always yell ‘big lungs!’ at my athletes during a workout because that’s how you go faster. Rather than pumping your fists, moving your arms, or gritting your teeth, you just need to breathe deeply,” Kastor said.

You may have heard that a 3:1 or 2:1 breathing pattern is best, but trying to coordinate three steps forward, one breath in, two steps forward, one breath out or vice versa, can sometimes be more complicated than trying to learn the choreography from Missy Elliot’s new music video. “It blows my mind how complicated people make breathing during running,” Kastor tells SELF. “I have never once counted my breaths or made my breaths in sync with my foot strike,” he added.

Start by inhaling and exhaling with intention.