As a runner, the efficient use of your body will increase your respiratory volume and improve your stamina and endurance.
While resting, every breath your take measures approximately 500ml. Multiplying that by 15 times per minute equals 7.5 Liters per minute. In contrast you can breath in about 60 Liters a minute when you are running fast.
Deep breathing exercises, such as “Heart Breathing” exercises are an easy way to improve your posture and train the muscles of respiration to work more economically for you.
Heart Breathing exercises are a (4) part breathing sequence that take seconds to do.
1. Put one hand behind your head and breathe into the side of your heart 2 times, and repeat on the other side.
2. Cross your arms in front, push your elbows out and breathe into the back of your heart 2 times, then cross your arms the other way and repeat.
3. Fold your hands behind your back, pinch your shoulders back, straighten your arms and look up. Then breathe into the front of your heart 2 times.
4. Put your hands together and put them behind your head, straighten your body up a bit and breathe into the bottom of your heart 2 times.
Another extremely effective method of improving lung capacity is to incorporate some short high intensity training sections into your training week. These intervals will improve your VO2-max (the maximum amount of inhalation) which over time will improve your endurance and ability to run.
Tilman von der Linde, RMT
Muscles in Motion – Vancouver