How To Breathe While Running

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Beginner Runner
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Written by :

David Dack

Whether you’re a beginner runner, a 5K fanatic, or a marathon junkie, the way you breathe while running matters.

To most runners, learning to breathe may seem like an exercise in triviality. But what if mastering proper breathing techniques could improve your performance?

Research has shown that endurance athletes—including runners, cyclists, rowers, etc.—can experience small but important improvement in performance.

Would you like to learn how to take your running breathing to the next level? Then you’re in the right place.

How To Breathe While Running

In this article, I’ll dive into:

  • The importance of proper breathing while running
  • How to master deep breathing
  • Is rhythmic breathing worth it?
  • Nose Vs. Mouth breathing – Which one is better?
  • And so much more

Sounds great?

Let’s get started.

Enter The Right Pace

The best way to keep your breathing under control while running is to stick to a conversational pace—a pace in which you can hold a conversation or recite the pledge of allegiance without panting for air.

As a rule, beginner runners should perform their workouts at this conversational and relaxed pace.

If you find it hard to talk, you’re pushing it too hard.

Slow down and get your pace under control. By controlling your exercise intensity, you’ll be able to regulate the rate at which you breathe.

Beginners – Slow Down

Let’s start with the crucial step on your journey to breathing like a pro while you hit the trails – Beginners, Slow Down!

Now, before you start beating yourself up for feeling out of breath, take a deep breath and relax! Trust me, it’s not about your lung capacity or your running form. It’s just that you’re taking off like a racehorse right out of the gate!

So, what’s the secret to conquering this pesky breathlessness? Easy peasy! Gradually build up your mileage over time, and you’ll witness your stamina skyrocketing.

But hold your horses, speedy sprinters! At the beginning of your running adventure, let’s keep it chill and cozy. Picture this: you and your buddies having a laid-back chat, casually reciting the pledge of allegiance without gasping for air.

That’s the perfect conversational pace you need to embrace!

Now, if you’re huffing and puffing like a steam engine on steroids, it’s time to ease off the gas pedal. Slow down, my friend, and regain control of your pace. By keeping your training intensity in check, you’ll have a magic wand to control your breathing rate.

Synchronized Breathing

Once you’ve graduated from the beginner stage and have a few months of running under your belt, it’s time to upgrade your breathing technique. Picture this: with every footstrike, your breath flows rhythmically, like a symphony playing in perfect harmony.

Sure, it might sound a bit daunting at first, like mastering a powerful incantation, but trust me, it’s the secret potion to becoming a breathing maestro while you run. And don’t worry, we’ll take it step by step.

First things first, slow down the pace a bit to give yourself some breathing room (pun intended). Practice synchronizing your breath to your foot strikes like a dance partner in perfect sync.

Finding The Ideal Breathing Ratio

Now, let’s talk about the golden ratio – the key to unlocking your breathing mastery. Most running experts, recommend the 3:2 ratio for beginners. Here’s the magic formula: inhale on the RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT foot strikes, then exhale like a dragon releasing fire on the LEFT, RIGHT foot strikes.

But hey, as you gain confidence and unleash your inner roadrunner, you can experiment with different ratios. Try a 2:2 or 2:1 ratio for those lightning-fast training sessions like interval training or tempo runs.

And when it’s time to cast that final spell of speed and power in a race, go all out with a 1:1 ratio! It’s like unlocking the ultimate power-up to rocket towards the finish line.

Deep Breathing While Running

Let’s unravel the secret to Deep Breathing, a magical technique that unlocks the full potential of your lungs, like a treasure chest filled with pure energy!

In this enchanting art, you’ll be tapping into the depths of your core, engaging every inch of your lungs to breathe like never before. Say farewell to those quick, shallow breaths we take when at rest, and embrace the power of deep breaths that fuel your body with pure vitality.

As you inhale, your rib cage and belly gently expand sideways and forward, like a graceful dance of air within your very being. With each exhale, you release any tension and fatigue, as if you’re casting away negative spells.

But wait, there’s more magic in store! Deep breathing isn’t just a charming display; it brings real benefits to your running journey. It keeps your muscles relaxed and nimble, ensures a steady flow of oxygen, and banishes the weariness that may try to hinder your progress.

And fret not, brave souls, for mastering this art isn’t reserved for the wizards alone. I’ve got a delightful surprise for you! An awesome YouTube tutorial awaits, guiding you on a journey to practice deep breathing right in the comfort of your home.

Nose Vs. Mouth Breathing

The Nose Vs. Mouth breathing is a topic that’s old as running itself. But when it comes down to it, it’s really up to the individual and the pace.

If you’re sticking to an easy and relaxed pace, breathing in through the nose should be enough to meet your oxygen needs. But as you pick up the pace, you might find doing so harder because you simply can’t get enough oxygen to your working muscles. When it’s the case, you’ll have to breathe in from both your nose and mouth.

But what about the exhale?

In my experience, inhaling through the nose and exhaling out of the mouth is much more efficient for running.

Inhaling through the nose allows for deeper breaths and warms the air on its way to the lungs, whereas breathing out from the mouth helps eliminate as much carbon dioxide as possible. It also relaxes the body.

How to put this into practice? Simple.

During your run, the mouth should be held slightly open in what’s known as the “dead fish” (the name speaks for itself).

Here’s how to breathe properly in cold weather.

How To Breathe While Running – The Conclusion

Breathing is key part of every movement—running is an exception. How to breathe while running is a must skill for every runner who is serious about optimizing their performance and comfort. There’s no way around that.

I hope this blog post was helpful.

It covers all you need to know about how to breathe while running.

Please feel free to leave any comments below or send me any questions you may have.

I’ll be happy to answer ASAP.

Thanks for reading my post.

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11 thoughts on “How To Breathe While Running”

  1. Great info which I intend to use. I belong to a work out group where running for 8-10 minutes is our warm up. I struggle to run the entire time but have challenged myself to improve and become one of the runners in our group. Hopefully your tips will work fir me!

  2. Thank you so much for your advice on breathing. Diaphramic breathing has saved my life! I am training for a half marathon ( I’ve never really run before), and my breathing was killing me. I’m in my 4th week of training, and now I feel like I’ll actually make it! Thank you again.

  3. Having ran for year I do change my breathing patterns but have never given it this much thought, very useful begginers try 3:3 till your knackered then 2:2 for sprint finish always worked for me. Great article

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