Thursday, October 11, 2012

3-3, 2-2, 4-4, Breathing Methods...

One would think that something as simple as running can just easily be done but it is not. Running is something that has to be built up to and there are a few techniques that beginning runners will or should learn along the way to make running slightly easier and more enjoy able.

In having Exercise Induced Asthma my breathing was often labored during running now lets throw in the fact that I had no clue how to breathe properly when I ran. Yeah, I figured taking large puffs of air in and breathing in and out at a heavy rate (the huffing and puffing method) would be enough to get the oxygen flowing through my body but, I was wrong. :-/

It was not until one of my BGR group mates posted this article, now some people do a 2-2, 3-3 or 4-4. What does all that mean? The controlled breathing method allows for you to control your rate of breathing and overall heart rate which effects your over all exertion rate while running. If you are a long distance runner then this will come in handy to help you control how much energy you exert during your run or can place you into what is known as the "Zone" where you can run efficiently at a consistent pace. Proper breathing also allows for the proper flow of oxygen through the blood to the muscles which can help reduce the occurrence of cramps and running induced injuries. 

How the method is executed. It is simple in theory but in practice it will take some work. For example I use the 3-3 method of breathing, I inhale and exhale every three strides. So, I inhale (through my nose when it is cool out) 3 strides, exhale 3 strides and continue this until I'm done with my run. This is rather difficult at first but with practice it gets easier. To make this technique easier for me I would practice while walking to and from places. So as I would walk I would inhale 3 steps and then exhale 3 steps and I would be mindful to apply it when I would go out on my runs. 

One other thing that can help with breathing is Yoga. Yoga is a very good cross training activity for runners and I discussed this previously in an older post about cross training. Yoga can help you not only strengthen your muscles, elongate your muscles, improve balance in the body and build your endurance but it can help with controlling your breathing as well so in away you are getting the benefits of strength training and breathing control all in one work out, which is especially good for people that cannot perform traditional strength training activities due to physical constraints or minor injuries. 

I hope this helps someone have a better running experience. Until then be blessed!

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