What Fails First When You Run? Legs or Breathing?

If you notice that when you go running your legs fail, it may be because you didn't stretch enough, among other reasons. On the contrary, if your breathing fails, it may be due to a bad body posture. In the following article, we'll tell you what you should do to prevent your legs and breathing from failing when you run.
What Fails First When You Run? Legs or Breathing?

Last update: 08 October, 2018

You may notice that when you run, your legs fail first? Or maybe your legs feel great, but breathing problems are your biggest obstacle? This article will analyze the causes of this, and give you some tips so that you can avoid any imbalances when you go running.

To be in a better physical form and prevent your legs from failing, the most import factor is to progressively adjust to the work out. This means, you must run several times a week, and increase the difficulty of your training sessions gradually. You can also include leg workouts in the gym to strengthen your lower limbs.

As far as breathing is concerned, you must know that breathing correctly is crucial to a successful work out. Because of this, you need to correct any issues. We recommend that you complete a good warm up to increase your resistance and practice breathing through your mouth. This will also help you to improve your posture and in turn, help with your respiratory problems.

What can you do to prevent your legs from failing when you run?

1. Stretches

Stretching your muscles before a workout can help you to squeeze the very last drop of energy from your legs. This is because stretching, along with warm up exercises, promotes efficient blood flow to your muscles, which allows them to contract better.

In the same way, stretches also promote a better supply of nutrients to your muscles, and prevent lactic acid from building up. So, don’t forget to stretch and warm up your muscles for at least ten minutes before you start running.

2. Start slowly

Starting off your run with light, and short steps is the best way. You can pick up the pace gradually until you reach your desired speed. You should know that if you start off too fast, you may run out of energy or produce too much lactic acid. This may cause pain in your legs.

Man using a light pace to run.

3. Hydration

Moreover, you should remember that staying hydrated can help you to reduce lactic acid build up and prevent your legs from contracting, particularly when it’s hot. Therefore, make sure that you replenish the fluid that you lost during your workout.

4. Eat before and after you work out

Running with enough nutrients in your body and staying hydrated is of vital importance. Keep in mind that you must feed your muscles with the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats and salt.

Likewise, the next two meals that you eat after intense training, should include proteins to help your muscles recover. We also recommend that you eat a large green salad and some vegetables to replenish your body with valuable minerals.

Usain Bolt after winning a race.

“Anything is possible. I don’t think limits”

-Usain Bolt-

What can you do to improve your breathing?

1. Improve your posture

In the first instance, we recommend that you work on your posture when you are running. This means that you must make sure your head is held up high, and your shoulders are back. This will open up your chest to achieve a more comfortable breathing posture.

Likewise, your arms should be relaxed and your elbows should be behind your body. Also, the swinging movement that your arms make, should be forwards and backwards. This, along with your posture, will promote good breathing.

2. Breathe through your mouth

You should always inhale and exhale through your mouth when you run. Remember, when you run, it’s very important to provide your muscles with the oxygen that they need.

Certainly, breathing through your mouth is the most effective way to inhale and exhale oxygen. To take full advantage of your breathing, avoid thoracic breathing, in favor of abdominal breathing.

Man sweating after a run.

3. Complete a good warm up

Without a doubt, warming up is one of the most important factors in improving your breathing and performance. It’s not only useful to warm up your muscles, it also prepares your lungs for a gradual increase in intensity.

Likewise, a warm up is an opportunity to initiate your cardio respiratory system. This is where your heart rate and breathing increase, because of the demand in blood, nutrients and oxygen.

4. Increase your resistance

The last tip we’ll suggest is connected to the need for a good warm up. In fact, you must know that on many occasions, resistance is the main problem that causes a runner to have trouble breathing.

Because of this, it’s important to work on increasing your resistance progressively. You can achieve this by running at different paces. This way, you can gradually build up your resistance to avoid any respiratory problems.

Finally, don’t forget that to keep your legs and lungs from failing, we recommend that you complete strength training, eat a healthy diet and use low impact activities to prepare your body to run. You must also keep in mind that the less weight your body has to carry, the less work your legs and joints will have to do. Thus, the risk of injuries will significantly decrease.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.