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Sprinting has incredible benefits for your heart, weight, muscle strength and endurance. One of the most important considerations for sprinters is breathing. You need to be aware of the rate, technique and frequency of your breathing during sprinting exercises. Employing certain breathing techniques while sprinting can prevent dangers, such dizziness or hyperventilation during running.
Breathing Through Your Mouth
Using correct inhaling and exhaling techniques is beneficial for sprinters. A mistake sprinters often make is breathing through their nose. Breathing through your mouth is more effective than breathing through your nose for two reasons. First, you are able to bring more oxygen into your body through your mouth. Second, you are able to have a more relaxed posture with your mouth slightly open. If your mouth is closed and you're breathing through your nose while running, you jaw will be clenched, tightening those muscles and possibly causing a headache.
If you find yourself out of breath, feeling faint or having side stitches while sprinting, it could be because your breathing is too shallow. To prevent these side effects, employ a technique called belly breathing. Lie down on your back and begin to inhale and exhale normally. When you exhale, tighten your stomach muscles to help get all of the air out of your lungs. Relax your stomach muscles and your lungs will automatically fill back up with fresh air. Once you've mastered this technique, try implementing it during your sprints.
Breathing with the Beat
The easiest way to control your breathing rate is to align it with the steps you take while sprinting. A general rule of thumb is to breathe at a 2:2 ratio, which means inhaling over two steps and exhaling over two steps. During harder runs and sprints during races, you may need to change the ratio to 1:2 or 2:1, meaning you inhale over one step and exhale over two steps and vice versa. If you experience side stitches while running, slow your breathing rate to a 3:3 ratio, inhaling over three steps and exhaling over three steps. Side stitches are often caused by shallow breathing, which are remedied by taking longer and deeper breaths.
Be careful to have a steady breathing rhythm. If you breathe at a 1:1 ratio or faster, you risk hyperventilating. If you run at a ratio slower than 3:3, you risk not bringing enough oxygen into your body. While this might be unavoidable, try to run in areas with low air pollution. Running in polluted areas can cause shortness of breath and can eventually lead to other health conditions.