5 Tips on How to Control Your Breathing While Running

5 Tips on How to Control Your Breathing While Running

Authored by Audrey on September 24, 2020

How to Control Breath While Running: A Jack City Guide

Looking for information on how to breathe while running on a treadmill or outside? Your friends at Jack City Fitness are here to share their best breathing tips for running  — anytime, anywhere!


Wondering How to Control Breathing While Running?

For many athletes, the concept of breathing while running seems complicated. Feeling breathless while running on a treadmill or street can be both uncomfortable and discouraging. If you can’t separate the concepts of running and breathlessness, you’re not alone. Many athletes feel this way — and often blame themselves or their fitness levels for this very common problem. 


Give yourself a break. You’re a fine athlete, and should be proud of your achievements. You weren’t born knowing how to breathe when running long distances — nobody is! It’s a skill that is learned, practiced, and honed, just like any other feat of athleticism. 

Runners aren’t the only people who benefit from and practice breath control. Musicians like flutists and singers, or other athletes like swimmers or yogis all rely on breathing techniques. 


If you’re ready to learn the best breathing techniques for running, whether it’s through city streets, wooded paths, or at your favorite gym, we’re here to help you master the skill. Read on for our top tips on how to control breathing while running.


Breathing Exercises for Running

Looking for treadmill running tips? Maybe you prefer the open road. No matter where you’re getting your jog on, these techniques will allow you to control your breath while you’re on the move.



  • Breathe Through Your Mouth


A key to keeping control of your breath while running is good old oxygen. When you perform a physically strenuous activity like running, your body requires more oxygen than usual — and when you don’t fulfill that, it’s easy to get winded. 


Many of us tend to breathe primarily through our noses in daily life, but running is a different playing field. When you’re running, you might find that breathing in through your mouth helps your body take more oxygen in. This leads to less breathlessness. Some runners also like to employ a technique of breathing in through their nose and out through their mouths — see what works best for you.



  • Use Your Diaphragm


If you’ve ever taken a singing lesson, this tip will probably sound familiar to you. Your diaphragm is a crucial part of your body, especially when it comes to proper breath control. 


Not all breaths are alike. Take a deep breath now, as you read this. Did it come from your chest? Chest breathing is completely fine for everyday respiration, but when you run (or sing), you’re much better off going a bit deeper into your body. 


Try doing this now, while you aren’t running. Put a hand over your chest and another on your belly and take a deep, deep breath. You should feel your stomach expand beneath your hand, rather than your chest. Then,  give your belly a gentle push as you exhale. You want your exhale to be lengthier than your inhale. 


These deep breaths are referred to as “diaphramic breathing,” or “belly breathing.” They will allow you to breathe more deeply while you run. It’s also a fantastic singing technique — try hitting a high note on a diaphragmatic exhale!


A tip from us: This breathing technique can feel a bit funny if you’ve never tried it before. To get the hang of it, some people like to practice it for a while at home before bringing it to the treadmill or running path. Try giving it a whirl while lying on your back — it’s a good way to really feel your diaphragm move as you breathe. 



  • Give Yourself a Break


Let’s say you’re out for a run, and you find yourself getting more breathless than you’re comfortable with. Though your first inclination may be to just move through it, you may find yourself exhausted or nursing a painful side stitch. Trust us, you’ll make better time and feel much better if you listen to your body and give yourself the space and pace you need to catch your breath. Take a break from running if you need to!


When you’re completely winded, it’s nearly impossible to catch your breath while running. If you find yourself struggling to breathe, slow down to a brisk, comfortable walking pace for a couple of minutes. When you find your breath, you can take off again — and this time, remember to use that diaphragm! 



  • Pay Attention to Your Pace


We all want to run as fast as Usain, but when it comes to safely and productively engaging in athletics, it’s always best to work at your own pace. Don’t worry — the more you train and practice at a reasonable pace, the easier it will be for you to gain speed down the line. 


Want to know if you’re running at the right pace for your fitness level? Your breath is a great way to determine this. Most pros say that if you can carry on a conversation or comfortably sing “Happy Birthday” while running, then you’re at an appropriate pace for your fitness level. If you’re too winded to even imagine that, it’s time to slow down.


  • Stick to a Controlled Environment

Can’t stand the heat? Humidity getting you down? Rainy days causing slippery streets? Weather can certainly impact running conditions. Athletes often find that hot weather in particular can make a run more difficult and uncomfortable. That’s why lots of athletes prefer to run at a fitness center or a gym: there’s no muggy, sticky weather to contend with, nor is there ever poor air quality from busy, polluted streets. Plus, a good fitness center will have plenty of running-specific machinery for you to utilize. We especially recommend trying a Woodway treadmill; their unique curved design allows for better form and burns more calories than a traditional running machine. 


Where Can I Perfect My Running Skills Here in Boise?

For those lucky enough to live in Boise, we have great news. Jack City Fitness is the perfect spot for you to practice your breath control and put it into action. We’re the only gym in town with Woodway treadmills, so our partners can engage in a more dynamic running style that optimizes overall performance, burns more calories, and promotes better form. Combined with support from an experienced coach and a proper handle on breathing exercises for running, Jack City runners are at the top of their games.


Ready to see what’s up? Get in touch with our team! We’ll invite you to visit our Boise fitness center, where you can try our Woodway treadmills in person, meet some of our team members, and even undergo a FREE fitness consultation. If you like what you see, you can become one of our partners right away, so you’ll have instant access to our classes, 24/7 fitness facility, and coaching services. We even offer custom training options — we’re here to help you become the best athlete you can be. Come and see us! We can’t wait to see what you’re made of.




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