In through the nose, out through the mouth. Or is it the other way around? Coach Joe breaks down how to breathe to up your running game.
Hi, I’m Coach Joe here on behalf of Road Runner Sports. I’m here to tell you how your breathing can improve your performance while you run. First, let’s talk about how you currently breathe.
Check Your Breathing!
You might be breathing in through your mouth, out through your mouth. Or in through your nose, out through your mouth. Maybe you’re not breathing much at all! Or perhaps you think breathing isn’t important to focus on while you run. Which way do you typically breathe when running?
I breathe in through my mouth, out through my mouth
I focus on breathing in through my nose, out through my mouth
I’m probably not breathing much at all (yikes!)
I haven’t given much thought to this
How the Brain Plays a Pivotal Role in How Long You Can Run
We’re wired to breathe in through our nose, out through our nose with a tongue position that is very specific toward increasing signals to the brain. The resting tongue position is pressed to the roof of the mouth with the tip of the tongue just off the front teeth, the middle and the back of the tongue press lightly as well. When you’re nose-breathing in and out, you have the most activation into what is called the insular cortex. The insular cortex is supposed to take all of those signals happening inside that you don’t want to think about – heart rate, blood pressure, how your oxygen is being used, how co2 is being released – and connect them to what you’re doing.
So if you want to run longer, your physiology needs to maintain a level that can sustain your running without injury and at the performance you desire.
How to Use This Information to Become a Better Runner
So how do you put this information into action during your next run?
Step 1: First, start with nose-breathing in and out with that resting tongue position for as long as you can.
Step 2: As soon as that starts to get too challenging, then regress to nose-in, mouth-out-breathing.
Step 3: When Step 2 becomes challenging, you’re going into mouth-in, mouth-out-breathing knowing that you can switch between that spectrum as much as you need to during your run.
Now you have some drills to practice on your next run!
Need a Visual? Check out Coach Joe’s Proper Breathing Video Below
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Author bio: Coach Joe LoCascio is a San Diego-based performance coach and running expert