Breathing Comfortably while Running

A few weeks ago, I spent the weekend in Tampa, FL at the Gasparilla Distance Challenge: a 5K, 8K, 15K and half marathon over two days for a total of 30.4 miles. The weather was perfect (50’s, not too humid, and sunny!) and the course along Tampa Bay was beautiful. We also picked up 5 different medals, 4 different technical t-shirts (best for wicking away sweat while running), a windbreaker, and 4 gym-sized towels. The weekend had a pirate theme and we got quite a lot of booty!

While I was running the half marathon, I was thinking a lot about my breathing. I was speaking with someone about breathing just before the race. She told me that her breathing becomes irregular when she transitions from walking to running. Believe it or not, you can control your breathing.  How? Don’t let yourself only breathe in only shallow breaths. Consciously think about breathing in for at least a count of 5. A count of 8 is even better, if you can. Make a conscious effort to expand your rib cage and visualize filling your lungs with as much air as they can hold. And then exhale for the same number (5-8) of seconds. Keep repeating that process until your breathing gets under your control. That will help you run more comfortably. You can control your breathing.  Don’t let your breathing control you. 

If you have any challenges or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. There are no “dumb” questions. We have all had questions along our journey to become more comfortable with running and walking. The only way to find out what you want to know is to ask, so don’t be shy!

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