Basics to running (2): Posture, breathing, pacing


Basics to running (2): Posture, breathing, pacing

11 November, 2013   Gloria Lin

image credit: VOXSPORTS

Having covered warm-ups in our previous Running 101, we now take a look at during the run itself, where there are three key aspects to be considered in order to get a more effective workout and to reduce the risk of injuries: namely posture, breathing, and pacing.  


During the run, the first thing to keep in mind is the posture when running. Many people make the mistake of hunching or dragging their feet when tired, but this only serves to make one even more tired as hunching hinders proper breathing and slows one down and dragging of the feet requires more energy from the runner. Instead, runners should keep a relaxed, upright posture and maintain light steps even in the later part of the run when lethargy starts kicking in. 


Breathing is another essential point to note as a common misconception is that one should breathe in through the nose and exhale through the mouth. However, during a run, the body needs more energy thus more respiration occurs in the muscles used. This results in more oxygen being needed and therefore, it makes sense for one to inhale through both the nose and mouth. 


The last aspect is pacing, especially so during long runs. Beginners may try to exert at the start as they still have much energy, but this would cause a lot of lactic acid build-up in the muscles and they would get tired much faster. Many times, runners get discouraged because of this and have no more motivation to continue running long distances. The key is to just start off the long distance slow and stay at a comfortable pace in order to know how long you are able to finish that specific distance while not exerting yourself. After gaining some experience, runners are then encouraged to push their own limits a little bit at a time by aiming for faster timings.