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Breathing Correctly When Running and Preventing Side Stitches

You've heard the term "as easy as breathing"? Well, for runners, you need to learn to breathe correctly for your best performance. Once you learn the correct technique - then it is "easy". Here are some tips for breathing correctly when running.

Many people think that when you run, you should inhale through your nose and out through your mouth. This is not correct. You want air to enter through your mouth and your nose. Your muscles need a large amount of oxygen to perform and keep moving. Breathing only through your nose does not allow enough air in.You also want to make sure that you are not "chest breathing". Breathing just in your chest and not any deeper. That is breathing too shallow for adequate oxygen intake. You want to make sure that you are "belly breathing". Deep breaths from your diaphragm allows you to take more air in. This also will help prevent side stitches while you are running.

A side stitch is a sharp pain just under the lower edge of the ribcage. All runners have had them at one time or another - and can make your run pretty uncomfortable. If you do by chance get a side stitch - it can be dealt with on the run. Gently push your fingers into the area where you are feeling the stitch. This should relieve most of the pain. As you running and "digging" into your stitch, take in deep breaths, hold the breath and exhale deeply. After just a little bit - this should relieve your side stitch.

For exhaling - make sure that you are doing it through your mouth and fully. This will help you remove more carbon dioxide. Exhaling deeply and fully will also help you inhale more deeply.

A good rule of thumb for breathing during your runs is this. Take 3 foot strikes for each inhale and 2 foot strikes for each exhale. This will help you get the proper amount of oxygen. You may have to think about it at first - but after a while, you're start doing it without thinking.

Just remember to run at your best (and to prevent those dreaded side stitches) you want to inhale as deeply as you can and exhale deeply.I know that it may seem weird to have rules for breathing. But, after a little practice it will come naturally. And, it will be "as easy as breathing"!


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