Home > Running Technique > Every Breath You Take

Every Breath You Take

By: Mike Kiely BA (hons) - Updated: 4 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Over Ambition Technique Tension

There are a number of warning signs that a runner is struggling in terms of distance or speed over the ground. Perhaps the calf muscles are aching or the arms are beginning to feel like lead weights. But the most audible signal is the heavy breathing, even panting, as the chest heaves up and down in a vain attempt to suck in yet greater amounts of oxygen into the body.Why is this happening? Well, it's either over ambition, or tension, or even a combination of the two. The bottom line is that if you in effect are fighting for breath, then it is simply not an indication that you are giving your all in pursuit of sporting excellence; rather it is the classic symptom that you are not doing it right. Breathing is natural, running is natural - being out of breath is definitely not.

Classic Method

Over ambition is not a sin, rather a mistake that all too many runners make at the beginning of their schedule. Yes, you're going to feel the odd ache or pain as the muscles and tendons begin to get back into shape. And making progress up a steep gradient is going to put some strain on the lungs as they learn the joys of expanding again. But don't overdo it. Make things easy on yourself and your body, and take the road back to fitness one step at a time. The classic method to ensure you are doing this is to talk while you are running. Of course this is best achieved with a running partner and not only provides an accurate gauge of performance but also makes exercise time an enlightening and more pleasant experience.

Even when running solo, you can still talk over the challenges of the day to yourself, although it might be an idea to keep the volume down as passers-by or fellow gym users may think you're losing it. Talk from start to finish and if at any point conversation is becoming a little difficult, simply slow down; on the other hand, if you're nattering away ten to the dozen, it may be an idea to speed up slightly before your partner loses the will to live, or puts on a half-mile spurt to give their ears a rest.

Inhale Deeply

Tension can restrict breathing, so always ensure that your posture is right and that your arms and shoulders are nice and loose. They are there to provide equilibrium and rhythm rather than do the hard work. In terms of breathing technique, the shallower your breath, the less air will make it into the lungs, the less efficient your body will function and the more tense in the chest area you will be. Aim to exhale from and inhale deeply into the stomach for maximum benefit. And restricting intake to either the nose or the mouth has no advantages at all. Using the latter will not mean you are in danger of gulping down too much air - if that's happening you are not running efficiently and need to slow down and regain your breathing rhythm. Get that right and the rest of the elements should fall back into place.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Tammy
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi, also trying to find out if Swansea groups still going? Thanks.
    7 October 2018
  • Rach
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi I live in the Wolverhampton WV8 area and wondered if you have any activities running close to me please? Thank you Rachel.
    3 September 2018
  • Ali
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi Vic. Try Potters Trotters. They used to meet at Northwood years ago, but now meet at Staffs Uni on Tuesday and Thursday. They…
    30 August 2018
  • Cathryn
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Is there a beginners club in Torquay for women over 50
    31 July 2018
  • VikingMermaid
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Is there still a group in Dawlish (S Devon)? I used to run with WRN ca 10 yrs ago here (leader was Sarah, who was a real…
    26 June 2018
  • Vic
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi, Any running clubs in stoke on trent? Northwood area? Trying to rehab and lose weight after slipped disc surgery last year.
    13 June 2018
  • Bigsare
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Is there. A group in Exeter still and when and where do they meet please
    2 May 2018
  • Verity
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi. I ran with WRN over 10 years ago and was registered with UKA. I am now trying to join another club. Can my link to WRN be…
    22 April 2018
  • JanieN
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Ha, ha - predictive text! Passing my message on - thanks
    7 April 2018
  • JanieN
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi there I’m looking to reconnect with the Swansea group but can’t find the details. Any chance of either padding my message on or…
    7 April 2018