• Geoff

Run Basics Series - 3. Listen to Your Breathing

Updated: Jun 10, 2021

Listen to your breath while running

In the last blog in this series, we talked about some of the impacts on your body. Although it's nice to know what's affecting your body, we actually don’t need to know what they are. Your body gets impacted and reacts. If you listen, it’ll tell you how hard it's working today. The best tool for hearing that is your breathing.

Related: Running and Breathing Video

Refining Your Listening

Just as when you were a child, your motor function for your limbs was unrefined and choppy. As you practiced using them, your movement became more accurate and fluid. This is the same process for learning any skill including listening to your breathing.

At first it will seem like there are only a couple different ways you breathe, but as you become more in tune with it, you’ll notice subtle differences. Differences like when you’re running and your body is in an anaerobic state (using more oxygen than you’re breathing) or aerobic state (breathing more oxygen than you’re consuming), essentially whether you’re going to burn out.

You may even get the point where you are able to tell from your breathing how far away that burnout is. Is your breathing going to last for 5K? 10K? Half marathon? Or does it feel like you can last forever? This gives you an idea of the benefits to developing your skill of listening to your breathing/body.

Types of Breathing

Let's start off with segmenting your breathing into four categories. As you become more in tune with your breathing you’ll refine these and create sub-categories.

These categories represent a spectrum for your breathing starting at your Resting Breathing Rate and going all the way to your All-Out or Sprinting Breathing. I like to think of your breathing spectrum like this: