Rhythmic breathing plays a crucial role in keeping runners injury free if they know how to practice it regularly. It takes more time and effort to inhale air in the lungs than exhale since the diaphragm pushes the air out. Rhythmic breathing generates more awareness of the need for longer to inhale the oxygen required for high-intensity exercise. But to understand how that happens, first, understand what causes the stresses of running. When a runner’s foot hits the ground, the force of the impact equals two to three times its body weight. The effect of stress is also at its peak when the foot strikes the ground at the beginning of an exhalation. This occurs because when you exhale, the diaphragm and the muscles associated with it relax, creating less stability within your core body.
Rhythmic breathing coordinates foot strike with inhalation and exhalation in an odd-even pattern so that runners land alternately on their right and left foot at the beginning of every exhalation, which impacts the stress of running equally shared across both sides of the body. Renowned running coach Budd Coates in his book ‘Runner’s World Running on Air,’ explains a simple yet revolutionary training method based on rhythmic breathing to help all kinds and types of runners to improve their performance, prevent injury and put in their best performance. Coates validates this method with a mix of science, eastern philosophy, and evidence of test subjects where focusing on breath brought the mind and body of the runners together harmoniously, helping them to run better, faster, and more robustly. In the Runner’s World Running on Air book, readers can find reviews on the basics of rhythmic breathing and how to perform and apply it with week-long modules from different programs for any workout.