My husband started running recently and quickly realized that age and lack of exercise can make the process a bit more difficult.  Although a somewhat athletic guy up until his early twenties, he now struggles to run long distances and complains about the inability to sustain his breathing.  He’s not alone.  Problems breathing, plague most runners when they first get started.  Running requires a personal technique that develops with time and practice.  I found some really useful breathing tips provided by Judy Bruen at  Here’s a brief outline to get you started:

  1. Practice deep breathing– Often called diaphragm breathing, the runner prepares for a run by taking deep breaths, filling the lungs with air and dispelling carbon dioxide.
  2. Breathing Patterns– Some runners prefer to breathe in through the mouth or through the nose.  Others prefer a combination of the mouth and the nose.  Bruen suggests that the runner experiment with all three techniques to find their preferred pattern of breathing.
  3. Start Slowly– Ease your way into a running program. Run at a slow pace initially; your respiratory system will gain endurance and strength with each run.
  4. Practice Running to a Beat that Matches Your Intensity
  5. Stand Tall During Your Run– Hunching your shoulders forward, which many beginners do when they get tired, makes it harder to breathe efficiently.

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