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7 Tips on How to Breathe during Running ...

By Jennifer

When I first started running, it was a struggle to finish a quarter-mile… I was gasping and panting like I’d run a marathon! But I quickly learned how to breathe during running, and I noticed the difference right away… I was able to finish my first mile without feeling like I was going to collapse. If you’re a new runner, and you’re struggling too, I can help! Here are 7 tips on how to breathe during running. Lace up your trainers and let’s go!

Table of contents:

  1. Breathe through your nose and mouth
  2. Set a rhythm
  3. Exhale hard
  4. Exhale fully
  5. Breathe deep!
  6. Music can help and hurt
  7. Use the “talk test”

1 Breathe through Your Nose and Mouth

When I first started running, another runner at the track told me that she only breathes in through her nose, and only out through her mouth… but according to my personal trainer, and every other runner I ever talked to, this won’t work. To get all the air you need, you have to breathe in and out through your nose and mouth.

2 Set a Rhythm

I was shocked to learn that for me, breathing in the “right” rhythm actually came quite naturally. I breathe in for three counts (or steps), then hold it for a count (step), then huff out for two counts (steps). Breathing during running using a specific rhythm sounds complicated, but it’s really not… after a few weeks, it became completely natural, and in fact, it feels right, right away!

3 Exhale Hard

Another tip on how to breathe during running: when you exhale, push out the air hard! The word I use to describe how I exhale is “huff.” I push the air out through my mouth, hard, pushing all the air out of my lungs… at least that’s how it feels!

4 Exhale Fully

Like I mentioned above, before I inhale deeply, I exhale fully… I do everything I can in two counts to get all the “old” air out of my lungs. I’ve already sucked all the oxygen I need from the air, so it’s time to get rid of it! No gasping me for me!

5 Breathe Deep!

For most of us, when we run, it’s almost impossible not to gasp, taking shallow breaths and exhaling sharply. But to breathe while running, especially for the long haul, you’ll need to breathe deeply… almost like breathing into your belly. Breathe as deeply as you can for three counts.

6 Music Can Help and Hurt

If you’re having a hard time setting a rhythm or pacing yourself when you’re running, you might want to try listening to music while you run… or if you already do, you might want ot stop. For some runners, the beat of the music can encourage a steady breathing rhythm, but for others (like me), it’s a distraction that can actually wreck your rhythm.

7 Use the “talk Test”

Here’s a simple test to see if you’re breathing right while running… can you talk? If you can carry on a conversation without collapsing, you’re breathing right… if you can’t, then you’re probably not getting enough air… it might be a good idea to slow your pace a little, and breathe a little deeper.

If you’ve been struggling with your breathing while running, hopefully these tips will help… I know they made a world of difference for me! Give them a try and let me know which of these ideas helped the most for you… and if you’re already a veteran runner, chime in and share some of your tips for breathing while running… I’d love to hear them!

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