Friday, April 11, 2014

Breathe in, breathe out!

What’s more important than endurance when it comes to a 10-mile run like the Barber Beast on the Bay?

OK, OK, we can argue about whether staying hydrated, having comfy shoes and being in shape are as important or more important, but endurance is definitely something that will be needed come September 6.  Training, of course, will be fundamental to your success. But you may be overlooking one important thing that could help you out.

Your breathing.

You’re breathing in and out just fine, you think. But do you cramp up when you run? Are you huffing and puffing when you’re trying to talk while running? Chances are you’re not breathing right. Or, more correctly, as efficiently as you could be. Some tips:
If you feel like you're breathing through one of these while running, you're not breathing as deep as you should
          1. Breathe with your belly, not your chest. It’s all about getting deeper breaths. If your belly isn’t moving when you breathe, it means you probably aren’t breathing deep enough.
     2. Get oxygen to your muscles with longer breaths. Be smart about it, of course, but avoid those short, wispy breaths that many people take while running. It’s going to deplete your body of oxygen faster and result in fatigue and/or cramps.
        3. Remember to breathe through your mouth. Unless you’re Pinocchio and you just lied a bunch, the opening of your mouth is much larger than the openings in your nose. By keeping your mouth open, you can take in more air. Don’t stop breathing through your nose, though! Use both.
4. Breathe consistently throughout your running. Find a pattern that works for you. That way you can hone in on your breathing and ensure that you are bringing in enough oxygen. Plus, if you focus on breathing, there’s a chance the course might just breeze by!
This won't be you any more! You'll be cruising to the finish line.

We also have some general tips from Karle Lyons, a fitness instructor at Nautilus Fitness Center:

Work hard and you'll be celebrating, too!
This year for the Beast on the Bay I'm sure you're thinking about training. There are many aspects that go into getting ready for such an event. Motivation is key. First you must build a mental stamina. Every time you train, pretend that it’s the real thing. One thing I like to do whether it’s while I'm running, cross training, or just holding a plank, is to utilize my procrastination skills in a helpful way. I say to myself “I'll stop holding this plank in 10 seconds.” Then I say, “How about ten more?” If I'm running I say I'll walk when I get to that sidewalk, then I push it further until I have procrastinated so much that I forgot to stop at all!

Next let’s think about our surroundings. You're probably not used to running in the sand and it does make a difference, so get good at what you might not be used to. I would advise a series of "suicide runs." (They're not as bad as they sound.) On the beach choose a length of, say, 200 meters. Mark off every 50 meters in between. First start off by running to the first 50 yard mark and back...then to the 100 yard mark and back...etc. Time yourself and try to beat it!

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