WHAT IS THE RIGHT WAY TO BREATHE?
The right way to breathe is so-called "abdominal" breathing: the abdomen fills first as you breathe in, followed by the lower thorax and finally the upper thorax. You breathe out by pulling in the abdomen. This way of breathing will displace a greater volume of air with each breath, making it more efficient and reducing tension in the upper body. As for the breathing rhythm, you should take longer to breathe out than breathe in. This method will be more effective at emptying the lungs, thereby renewing the air more effectively when you next breathe in. For example, breathe in over the space of 2 strides and breathe out over the space of 3 to 5 strides depending on your pace and how you feel.
BREATHING, THE PRIMARY TOOL FOR ANALYSING YOUR EFFORT
When running, there are 4 easily observable effort zones associated with your breathing:
- the "talking" zone: a pace at which you can keep up a conversation with the people running with you.
- the "questions/answers" zone: your running and breathing pace
- speed up. You can ask brief questions and give brief answers.
- the "silent" zone: as you accelerate further there is no way that you can speak.
- the "fast breathing" zone: at this pace, you are approaching your top endurance running speed and your breathing reaches its maximum pace and amplitude.
HOW SHOULD YOU USE YOUR BREATHING TO HELP YOU TRAIN?
Your breathing should already give you a good idea of your running pace and you can use it to help you control your training speeds. The basis of a good training session relies on a significant amount of endurance training: you should therefore seek to spend 80 to 85% of your training time in the so-called "talking" zone. this means running at a jogging pace with a very comfortable breathing pattern. The rest of your training time (15 to 20%) should be done at the 3 more intensive levels.