Skip to content



"Master Your Breath: 9 Essential Tips for Optimal Running Performance"

by Sarbjeet Singh 07 Jul 2023
"Master Your Breath: 9 Essential Tips for Optimal Running Performance"

9 Tips for How to Breathe Better While Running


Running is a fantastic form of exercise that can improve cardiovascular health, boost endurance, and promote overall well-being. However, many runners struggle with their breath during a run, feeling short of breath or experiencing discomfort. The way you breathe while running can greatly impact your performance and enjoyment of the activity. In this blog, we will explore nine practical tips for breathing better while running, including techniques to optimize your breath, considerations for individuals with asthma, and when to seek medical advice. By implementing these tips, you can enhance your running experience and unlock your full potential.

Top Tips for Proper Breathing While Running. Breathing Techniques for  Runners

Why does it feel difficult? 

Engaging in strenuous activities like running requires your muscles and respiratory system to work harder than usual. During a run, you need more oxygen and must expel carbon dioxide buildup, which can make breathing challenging. Your breath quality serves as an indicator of your fitness level and how well your body responds to the pace and intensity of your run. When pushing beyond your capacity, you may experience shortness of breath, wheezing, or tightness in your chest.

Nose or mouth? 

The choice between nose or mouth breathing while running depends on the pace and intensity of your run. For casual runs at a slower pace, nasal breathing or a combination of nasal inhalation and mouth exhalation can be effective. However, during high-intensity runs or sprints, breathing solely through the mouth is recommended for greater efficiency. Mouth breathing allows for increased oxygen intake and can help relieve tension in your jaw, promoting overall relaxation.

Tips for breathing better while running 

  1. Diaphragmatic breathing 

Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing, strengthens the muscles involved in respiration and enables you to take in more air. By incorporating this technique, you can enhance oxygen utilization and reduce the likelihood of side stitches. To practice diaphragmatic breathing, lie on your back and inhale through your nose, allowing your belly to expand as your diaphragm moves downward and out. Lengthen your exhales so they are longer than your inhales. Start with short sessions and gradually incorporate it into your running routine.

  1. Breathing exercises 

Devoting time to focus solely on your breath can improve lung function, capacity, and breath awareness. Experiment with different breathing exercises to find those that resonate with you. Some popular techniques include alternate nostril breathing (nadi shodhana), equal breathing, rib-stretch breathing, numbered breathing, and pursed-lips breathing. Incorporate these exercises into your routine to enhance your breathing patterns and optimize your running performance.

  1. Focus on form 

Maintaining proper body alignment while running is essential for efficient and comfortable breathing. Ensure good posture with your head aligned with your spine, avoiding dropping or hunching forward. Relax your shoulders, keeping them away from your ears, and avoid slouching. These adjustments will support healthy breathing patterns and improve your overall running experience.

  1. Breathe rhythmically 

Breathing in a rhythmic pattern can enhance oxygen intake and reduce stress on your body. When your foot strikes the ground, it can cause additional stress on your body. To balance this impact and prevent muscular imbalances, alternate your exhales between your right and left foot. Aim for a 3:2 pattern—inhale for three foot strikes and exhale for two. Adjust the pattern to a 2:1 ratio for faster-paced runs. Alternatively, pay attention to your breath and find a comfortable rhythm that suits you.

  1. Inhale fresh air 

Running in an environment with clean air is advantageous for easier breathing. If you plan to run outdoors in an urban area with air pollution, choose the time of day when traffic is minimal and avoid congested roads. Consider covering your mouth and nose with a scarf in colder weather to warm and moisten the air you inhale. Be mindful of weather changes, hot days, and thunderstorms that can trigger asthma symptoms or discomfort while running.

Tips if you have asthma 

For individuals with asthma, running can still be a beneficial activity if managed appropriately. Here are some additional tips specifically for runners with asthma:

  1. Fair weather wins 

Certain weather conditions, such as cold air or high pollen counts, can trigger asthma symptoms. On days with unfavorable conditions, consider running indoors or choose the most suitable time of day to minimize exposure to triggers. If running in colder weather, cover your mouth and nose with a scarf to humidify the air you breathe.

  1. Ease your way in and out of running 

Warming up and cooling down are crucial for individuals with asthma. Gradually increase your running intensity during warm-up to allow your lungs sufficient time to adjust. Similarly, wind down slowly at the end of your run to give your lungs a chance to gradually cool down.

  1. Avoid pollen 

Check the pollen count before running outdoors and schedule your run during times when the count is lowest, typically in the morning or after rainfall. If unavoidable, consider wearing a pollen mask to minimize exposure. After your run, shower and wash your workout clothing to remove any lingering pollen.

  1. Breathing techniques 

Certain breathing techniques can benefit individuals with asthma. Experiment with techniques such as nasal breathing, the Papworth method, Buteyko breathing, or deep yogic breathing to discover which ones improve your breathing patterns and symptom management.

When to see a doctor 

If you have any pre-existing lung conditions, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), it is crucial to consult your doctor before starting a new exercise program. This is especially important if you are new to fitness or take medications. Seek medical attention if you experience difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, gasping, wheezing, dizziness, faintness, or disorientation during your runs. Your doctor can provide personalized advice and ensure your safety while engaging in physical activities.


3 ways to breathe while running to increase performance | The Times of India

Improving your breathing while running is essential for optimizing your performance and enjoyment. By implementing the nine tips discussed in this blog, you can develop better breathing habits, enhance oxygen utilization, and reduce discomfort during your runs. Remember to start slowly and gradually incorporate these techniques into your running routine, allowing yourself time to adapt. With practice and patience, you will be able to unlock your full potential and experience the benefits of effortless, efficient breathing during your runs.

Prev Post
Next Post

Thanks for subscribing!

This email has been registered!

Shop the look

Choose Options

Edit Option
Have Questions?
Back In Stock Notification
Product SKURatingDescription Collection Availability Product Type Other Details
this is just a warning
Shopping Cart
0 items