Did you know four legged animals don’t have total control over their breathing? When animals like horses or dogs take off on a run their breathing rate is automatically dictated for them. As they extend their legs they have to breath in and when their legs come together they breath out. Their lungs and diaphragm are forced to expand and contract in unison with their strides. Simply put the faster their gait is the faster their respiratory rate will be.
Why does this matter for your athletic performance? Because by switching to running on two feet you have gained a huge advantage you should make sure to use. Your lungs and diaphragm are not compressed or opened with each stride. That means you are able to completely take control of your breathing rate. It is independent of how fast or slow you are running. Many of us when we are running don’t think about breathing at all and just focus on the pace of the run. This leaves the breathing rate to get set by happen stance.
Instead of allowing your breathing to be all over the place take back control. I talked in the past about how to time up your breathing with your running pace, but today I just want you to be cognizant of how your breathing feels while you run. Make up your own rhythm and pace that is comfortable. You can even play around with breathing faster and slower than “normal” to feel what happens to your breathlessness, mindset, and running pace as you do so. All of this information will help you become more in tune with your fitness and a better runner overall.