Sometimes while running there are days when you feel you are full with energy and you can keep running for a longer period of time. And there are days when your legs are heavy and you lack endurance.
What causes it?
Beside last night’s sleep, the stress level and adequate nutrition a very important element for your stamina is your breathing.
Learn how to breathe deeply
The lungs are just a little bit smaller than the chest, but many people use only one-third of them. One of the reasons is that the muscles between the ribs might be stiff and inflexible. That limits the lungs spread.
While taking a deep breath the lungs spread and by pressing the diaphragm the stomach spreads too, which fills the lungs with air.
Learning to breathe this way helps consuming more oxygen while training. And with little practice you could be able to breathe with your full potential, thus increasing your endurance.
Practicing Yoga or Pilates along with running may help you improve your diaphragm breathing.
Synchronize the breathing with your pace
For easier running you can synchronize your breathing with the pace. Inhale on every 3-4 steps and exhale for the same number of steps. Count the steps as long as you don’t adjust your breathing tempo.
If the activity is more intense you can increase the breathing tempo, inhale and exhale on every 1-2 steps.
If you cannot synchronize the tempo that means you are running to fast, and you have to slow down and get back your rhythm. The key is in the rhythm.
Breathing while running in cold weather
It is important to breathe through your nose while running in cold weather, because the cold air is dry and breathing through the mouth increases the dryness of the air, thus lowering its temperature even more.
This is not good for the lugs and it might cause symptoms similar to asthma, wheezing and coughing.
Nose breathing not only filters the air but also warms the cooled air adjusting it to the body temperature.
If you didn’t overcome the proper nose breathing, don’t give up. Keep running and work on your breathing until you master it and find a breathing tempo that suites you.
In the mean time you can use a scarf, or a sport jacket with high collar to keep the moisture and warmth of your breath.