I don’t know how to breathe. My husband, Jonah, thinks I’m absolutely crazy when I say this, but it’s true.

Whenever I do a workout class or video, most of the time when they are  telling me to breathe out, I’m breathing in…. or holding my breath.  (Which is a big no-no, by the way.)
I had a really hard time with lamaze… because it’s all about controlling your breathing. Breathing feels like something too natural to control, and when I start to think about controlling it, I feel like I’m suffocating. It’s as if I’m scared that if I try to control my brain, it will stop working like my brain should, and I’ll stop knowing how to breathe… and then, I’ll die.
That was a little overdramatic, but that’s totally what it’s like.

To further illustrate how crazy I am about this: I am primarily a nose-breather, and my husband thinks it is hilarious to plug my nose and watch me freak out, screaming, “I can’t breathe!” He laughs at me and says, “yes, you can! I’m not covering your mouth!” For the explanation I gave above, it doesn’t feel that way. I start to breathe in and out of my mouth and it doesn’t feel like I’m getting any air.

Yeah, I have issues.

Yoga has sort of helped with this. I looooooove yoga. I have horrible balance and I’m not especially flexible, but yoga really helps with that. I wish I did yoga more often.
When I *did* do yoga more often, I had to figure out how to breathe through stretches, and I did surprisingly well with it. I’d still find that I’d be breathing out as they were telling me to breathe in, but at least I was breathing and not holding my breath. I think this set me up pretty well for learning how to breathe while running.

This is perhaps the most helpful thing I’ve learned with learning to run: how to breathe properly. I can thank my dear husband for this- he accompanied me on my very first run and taught me to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth.

In my earlier attempts at learning to run, I never focused on my breathing and my throat would be sore because I’d find that I completely breathed through my mouth. I wouldn’t be breathing deep, and I was elevating my heart rate so much, that I’d become a mouth-breather and as a result, my throat would get raw and I’d get tired a lot faster.
I had no idea correct breathing would fix that!

Jonah noticed when I wasn’t doing it right, too. On that first run, he constantly told me, “in through your nose, out through your mouth.” He also taught me that when I felt that pain in my sides, to walk, elevate my arms, and breathe deep– again, in through the nose and out through the mouth.
In those first few weeks of running, this is what I focused on, and it made the process of learning to run a lot easier. It gave me something to focus on, rather than how tired I was, and this really surprised me. I didn’t feel like I was suffocating. I felt like I was breathing.

{It probably helped that I was in Hawaii, and I just feel like I can breathe better, and more deeply, there in general.}

All that to say: breathing is important. And in case anyone hasn’t already told you: IN through your nose, OUT through your mouth.

Here are some other articles and tips I’ve found about breathing while running:


Breathe on, friends.


One thought on “Breathing.

  1. […] The first week, last week, I ran twice. I did Days 1 & 2 early in the week but didn’t end up doing Day 3… a whirlwind of sickness hit my little family. My little one had an unexplained rash and fever that landed us in the ER and the awful cold that my husband and son were passing around finally took me down for a few days. My head felt like it was 20 pounds and I couldn’t breathe through my nose– which, of course, is a big deal for me… see previous post. […]

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