Springbak Springsoles Running Tips For Beginners – Running and Breathing Properly: From Hall of Fame Track Coach Jim Bush


One of the biggest deterrents for beginner runners in not knowing how to breath properly. If you are just starting out in the sport of running you will know how discouraging it feels to be out of breath after exercising for a fairly short amount of time. So what’s the solution?  First of all it helps to understand why we start breathing hard after exerting ourselves.

Why we get out of breath

If non-scientific terms we are simply using up more oxygen to perform an exercise that we are supplying through our breathing. When you first start running you don’t notice your breathing(depending on how fast you go), but after a while you’ll start to feel out of breath. This point of needing more oxygen is called our anaerobic threshold.

How Training Helps
If you are just beginning an exercise program, your anaerobic level will be quite low, compared to that of a more experienced athlete. Your goal is to gradually increase that level through training until you can run long distances comfortably without getting out of breath. People who run marathons are a great example of this, their bodies tire out long before thay are ever out of breath.  As a beginner runner you have to focus on increasing your anaerobic threshold without being discouraged before you get there. Don’t go out with more experienced runners, you’ll be really struggling to try and keep up. Don’t try to run every day either, your body needs time to recover.

Run – Walk Combination
It’s best to start with a run-walk routine. A good place to start is with a 3-4 minute slow jog, followed by a 3-4 minute walk. Every other day or so, gradually increase the running time while decreasing the walking time until you reach 12 minutes running to 3 minutes walking. At this point you shopuld notice a marked difference in your ability to run without getting out of breath. If you still are a little breathless, chances are you are running too fast. Slow down!
You should soon reach the stage where you can run 20-30 minutes without needing a break. Your anaerobic threshold in increasing! How long will this take? Depending on your current fitness level, age, weight, ect. it could be anywhere from 2 weeks to two months to reach this point. Don’t give up, it will happen and you will be proud it has, you have earned it!

Nose or Mouth?
Many people ask whether you should breath through your nose or mouth whan you are running. As you start out you will be trying to get as much oxygen as possible and most people at this level breath with both their nose and mouth. As you get fitter you’ll find that you will naturally inhale mostly through your nose and exhale through your mouth.

Deep Breathing?
Don’t try to breath too deeply as you run or you’ll run out of oxygen. Ther’s a general rule of thumb that says you should be able to carry on a conversation while you are running. Again, as you get in better shape this will happen naturally.


Your fitness level and breathing pattern are closely related. It takes time before you’ll be able to run consistently without getting out of breath. Simple be patient and monitor your progress, keep a log of your progress and have fun!


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Categories : Running Tips

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