NIKE+ RUN CLUB

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THE PERFORMANCE
BENEFITS
OF BREATHING

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Inhale, exhale and repeat. We all (thankfully, automatically) do this on a daily basis. Easy enough, right? But learning how to consciously control your breathing while you exercise could impact your performance as well. Regardless of whether you're trying to lose fat, gain muscle, develop strength or build speed, you should not underestimate the power that breathing properly has on the way you execute every activity.

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Simply, breathing provides the oxygen needed in the muscles for them to work efficiently. But the better your breathing, the lower your heart rate, which is a massive performance benefit." Dan Stepney. British Athletics and NRC Coach "There isn't one breathing pattern that is best for running. Everyone has their own bespoke breathing rhythm and what works for one person does not necessarily work for everyone.

However, what could be said is that poor breathing (input) can cause poor motor output - which can result in muscle overcompensating and possible overuse injuries. This stresses how important breathing is to performance and how vital it is to work out your own breathing pattern."
Tip to try: Try breathing through your mouth, as apposed to your nose. This can relax your jaw, which can then relax tension throughout your body, potentially making you run more fluidly. Breathing sporadically will only make running harder. Instead, aim for a relaxed, rhythmical breathing pattern which will help promote relaxed, rhythmical running and improve your bodies efficiency. BEFORE (AND/OR AFTER) YOUR NEXT RUN, complete 5 full (6-to 8-seconds long) exhales as part of your warm-up and/or cool-down. And when you start to pick up your pace, try to stay calm and slow your breathing down. "Taking more breaths isn't better. Faster often means they're increasingly smaller, too," says NRC Global Head Coach Chris Bennett. "The good news is that the more you run and the better shape you get in, the easier breathing while you work out becomes."