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Bradmelon

What is "correct" breathing while running?

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Bradmelon

I've been doing a bit of running in the last week to get ready for Air Force basic training, and so far it feels pretty good (non-stop 1 mile intervals with a few minutes rest in between; I'm also trying to bump up my carb intake accordingly).

When running, I'm able breath in and out through my nose for the first few minutes, but then I'll resort to inhaling with my nose and exhaling through my mouth.

Is this the "physiologically correct" method for breathing when running? I've heard from a few sources that you should ONLY breath through your nose while running, and then I've had other people tell me to do "what works for you".

So what is it, guys? Do I need to start putting tape over my mouth while running?

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frolosophy

Definitely put tape over your mouth. Lots of tape.

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Bradmelon

Definitely put tape over your mouth. Lots of tape.

I can't tell if you're being serious or not :D

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Brian Martens

How you breathe is going to be determined by your pace.  Try sprinting for more than 30 seconds while breathing only through your nose and see how difficult that will be.  Ridiculously oversimplified, but if you can start with just your nose but upon fatiguing a bit you have to exhale through your mouth, reducing your speed should enable you to return to nose only.  In terms of "the best" way, it completely depends on what your goals are with running.

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Guest

I am a 17:49 5k and 4:50 1600 runner, and I almost always breath in through my mouth. My gauge for how hard a run truly is, is how many steps I take while breathing in. 3 or 4, it is an easy aerobic one. 2 (never one) and it is either intervals or a more difficult run. People try to tell you breath in through your nose, out through your mouth. Just do what comes naturally.

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Marcos Mocine-McQueen

Forget about it. Literally. Forget about how you're breathing. As both a runner and a medical care provider I have observed that the body will do whatever it takes to get the respiration it needs (baring some sort of catastrophic physiological problem). 

 

The longer I've spent in the running world the less I think I know. There was a time when I coached my athletes on how to breath. I rarely say anything about my athlete's breath anymore.

 

Just do what comes naturally. When I ran longer distances my breathing cadence was four steps per breath (two during inhalation, two during exhalation). During hurdling the breathing pattern was markedly different and even included brief moments of apnea (no breathing at all) during the hurdle clearances.

 

The body will not let you breath too fast or too slow for very long. That's why hyperventilation isn't really a medical emergency... it's a self-limiting problem (the person will pass out before any serious damage is done... it's the body's way of saying "enough of this BS").

 

So it is with running. If your body wants more respiration, it will turn up the rate. Let it happen.

 

For most athletes, the less one thinks, the faster one runs. There are much better runners on this forum, but I was for a a while a sub-five miler and a half-decent cross country runner. I found that slow, deep rhythmic breathing led to my best running. It turned out that was how I breathed when I wasn't thinking about breathing.

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Peter Sbirakos

Forget about it. Literally. Forget about how you're breathing. As both a runner and a medical care provider I have observed that the body will do whatever it takes to get the respiration it needs (baring some sort of catastrophic physiological problem). 

 

The longer I've spent in the running world the less I think I know. There was a time when I coached my athletes on how to breath. I rarely say anything about my athlete's breath anymore.

 

Just do what comes naturally. When I ran longer distances my breathing cadence was four steps per breath (two during inhalation, two during exhalation). During hurdling the breathing pattern was markedly different and even included brief moments of apnea (no breathing at all) during the hurdle clearances.

 

The body will not let you breath too fast or too slow for very long. That's why hyperventilation isn't really a medical emergency... it's a self-limiting problem (the person will pass out before any serious damage is done... it's the body's way of saying "enough of this BS").

 

So it is with running. If your body wants more respiration, it will turn up the rate. Let it happen.

 

For most athletes, the less one thinks, the faster one runs. There are much better runners on this forum, but I was for a a while a sub-five miler and a half-decent cross country runner. I found that slow, deep rhythmic breathing led to my best running. It turned out that was how I breathed when I wasn't thinking about breathing.

Exactly!  There is no one right answer.  Even in professional sport like Rugby, the players are not trained how to breath but rather it happens naturally.

 

I remember a time in 2006 while getting ready to compete in the WASO as well as coaching the State Squad, on occasion we would run with a mouth guard on.  Too this day, I'm not sure if it helped or not but at a minimum, you got used to having the mouth guard on under laboured breathing.

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Brian Li

I been told to inhale from the nose and exhale from the mouth by my coach back then in track. I think that applies to both sprinting and long distance running, but I usually just breathe with my mouth like I normally do (I heard breathing through mouth is bad).

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Karri Kytömaa

Now that a breathing thread came up, I'll link this:

 

http://www.normalbreathing.com/

 

I have glanced through the site and there is some stuff that makes sense and then there is something resembling more of a parascience. 

I intend to dig up researches it's based on but haven't put in the time yet. Maybe some all around genius (aka Josh :P ) will come and tell straight away this is total bullsh*t. 

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Larry Roseman

Now that a breathing thread came up, I'll link this:

 

http://www.normalbreathing.com/

 

I have glanced through the site and there is some stuff that makes sense and then there is something resembling more of a parascience. 

I intend to dig up researches it's based on but haven't put in the time yet. Maybe some all around genius (aka Josh :P ) will come and tell straight away this is total bullsh*t. 

TMI.

 

Don't need to be a genius - though I do sleep at a holiday inn express from time to time. 

 

In general, breathing is hugely important and a lot of people do not breathe and exhale enough to operate at their best, even when not exercising. Diaphramatic breathing fills the lungs better, and also require less energy than chest breathing which has to expand the rib cage.  It's what singers use to carry those huge notes and martial artists use to break boards.  Yoga and meditation practitioners do it: it creates a sense of peace and  power - and may be responsible for some of the benefits of these arts. And possibly their health benefits as it reduces stress.

 

If you do this during the day, carry it over into running. When one is highly fatigued or straining, it's natural to take shorter panting breaths. Perhaps this can be overcome - not sure. However, in any event breathing usually matches pace, from like 1 breath to 4 steps all the way to 1 breath for each step. It generally goes with what zone you are running in, fro easy aerobic to highly anaerobic. Generally I breathe when the foot lifts off but I don't even remember when I breathe to be honest. It's just something that happens naturally as 'mmm' stated. I honestly believe that a lot of the sense of well being that comes from running and other aerobic exercises comes from breathing close to our innate potential.

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FREDERIC DUPONT

(...) in professional sport like Rugby, the players are not trained how to breath but rather it happens naturally. (...)

 

hehehe... yes, however that doesn't mean their breathing is optimal.

 

(...) breathing is hugely important and a lot of people do not breathe and exhale enough to operate at their best, even when not exercising. Diaphramatic breathing fills the lungs better, and also require less energy than chest breathing which has to expand the rib cage.  It's what singers use to carry those huge notes and martial artists use to break boards.  Yoga and meditation practitioners do it: it creates a sense of peace and  power - and may be responsible for some of the benefits of these arts. And possibly their health benefits as it reduces stress.

 

 

Yes, I tend to agree with what you wrote FutureIsNow. In martial arts, we spend a lot of time teaching and practicing proper breathing, this is very important. :)

 

 

[edit] Argh! the quote function, and especially the multi quote is a real pain in the back side to use properly! :(

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Peter Sbirakos

 hehehe... yes, however that doesn't mean their breathing is optimal.   Yes, I tend to agree with what you wrote FutureIsNow. In martial arts, we spend a lot of time teaching and practicing proper breathing, this is very important. :)  [edit] Argh! the quote function, and especially the multi quote is a real pain in the back side to use properly! :(

Eh? The players are at a professional level, things move very quickly at a professional level, they are extremely well conditioned, they are breathing correctly.

Diaphragmatic breathing is all that's required and you move on. Nothing mysterious about it.

MMM in his (her?) post earlier in this thread summed it up nicely.

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Tristan Curtis

I used to date an opera singer who was all about breathing techniques. There's a great exercise dubbed "the best breath you'll ever take". Breathe out and empty your lungs as much as you can. Hold it, and hiss out the extra bit of air that is left by clenching your abs. By now there will be lots of tension in the stomach. Now, simply relax. Your lungs will swell with air from the bottom to the top more purely than ever. Doing this regularly will train the diaphragm to take deeper, more satisfying breaths.

It introduces the fact that breathing can be an automatic movement, powered by the transfer of air pressure. Breathe in to the stomach to capacity, relax until the air is out, relax until the air is in...

The nose filters the air by warming it and humidifying it, which is apparently more lung friendly. But I find its easier if you let the inhale happen, rather than consciously suck the air in.

I find when running, the key for me is on relaxing as much as possible, the breathing as well as the stride. This will lead to more nasal, deep breathing which means you can absorb a greater percentage of your breathing rate. When I'm just below my anaerobic threshold I tend to find myself breathing 50/50 through nose and mouth.

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