How To Improve Your Breathing Technique While Running

Looking to improve your breathing technique while running? Then you’re in the right place.

Breathing is unconscious and automatic, just like blinking your eyes—not something you usually think about. Unfortunately, optimal breathing while running takes more effort.

Fret no more.

In this post, I’ll share with you the few essentials for improving your breathing technique while running so you can reach your full athletic performance.

Sounds great?

Let’s get started.

Essential Tips For A Proper Breathing Technique While Running

  1. Beginners – Slow Down

Getting out of breath while running often means that you’re out of shape.

It has nothing to do with your form or lung health. All you have to do here to gradually increase your mileage over time, which helps build your stamina.

The Right Pace

Early on, keep it to a conversational pace—a pace in which you can hold a conversation or recite the pledge of allegiance without panting for air.

If you find it hard to talk, then you’re pushing it too hard. Slow down and get your pace under control.

Regulating your training intensity helps you have some control over your breathing rate.

  1. Synchronized Breathing

Once you’re past the beginner stage—two to three months of training— practice synchronizing your breathing to your cadence. This means breathing rhythmically by timing your breaths to your foot strikes.

This method may seem daunting, but it’s exactly what you need to master your breathing technique while running.

Just remember to slow your pace down for a few weeks to master the technique.

Finding The Ideal Breathing Ratio

Most experts recommend the 3:2 for beginner runners. This means that you inhale on the RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT foot strikes, then exhale fully on the LEFT, RIGHT foot strikes.

Over time, try a 2:2 or 2:1 ratio, especially for faster training sessions, such as interval training or tempo running.

That said, for full-speed—think the final burst at the end of a race—a 1:1 ratio is the way to go.

Overweight woman running in countryside
Weight loss, outdoor activity, exercising, healthy lifestyle, jogging. Overweight woman running in countryside
  1. Deep Breathing

Deep breathing, or breathing with your core, engages the entire capacity of the lungs, increasing the length of time you breathe in and breathe out.

This contrasts drastically with the quick and shallow chest breaths we do while at rest.

Taking deep breaths has a lot to offer. It helps your muscles stay relaxed, boost oxygenation, and reduce fatigue—all of which are crucial for efficient training.

To make sure you’re doing right, you should be able to feel the movement of your rib cage and belly sideways and forward.

Check this awesome YouTube tutorial on how to practice deep breathing in the comfort of your home.

  1. Nose and Mouth

Most people naturally breathe nasally at rest. But what’s natural might not be most efficient when it comes to breathing technique during a run.

As a matter of fact, oxygen needs increase as you up the intensity.

As this happens, you might no longer be able to get in enough oxygen via your nose. In fact, once the nasal breathing rate exceeds two to three times the resting breathing rate, you’ll naturally switch to mouth breathing.

As a result, to ensure maximum oxygen intake, you’d want to inhale through the nose AND mouth. In fact, efficient breathing should be a combination of the two.

By using both pathways, you’ll deliver maximum oxygen to your body. And the more oxygen you can provide it, the better you’ll perform.


There you have it!

If you’re serious about improving your breathing technique while running, then today’s post should get you started on the right foot. The rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep training strong.

David D.