Aug 9, 2006

Willow's Pass

On my runs around Muirwood, I go through what I lovingly call Willow's Pass. It is a beautiful section of Willow trees that form an arch on the sidewalk. It is very pretty.

I like looking out at nature when I run, because your thoughts can drift, and you start thinking about randomness. It is during this time that I can formulate some of my best ideas, thoughts, and dreams.

I love this time out on the trails/roads/etc. because I can feel how much stronger my body is getting, I can experiment with my breathing to find out what rhythm is best for me. I *heart* Willow's Pass, the lake, the ducks, the forever-pooping geese, and the people that I meet along the way.

Speaking of breathing - in the book by Coach GP (Run Taller...) a big point he makes is breathing. After meeting him and hearing his speech at a conference a few years ago, I took this to heart and studied my breathing.

Over the past few years I have been altering this breathing to see how it impacts my pace and/or endurance. This is what I found:

When I run slowly (12:00 or slower) I breathe 4 steps in 4 steps out. This really keep smy heart rate down and allows me to warm up and get into a groove. I also try 3 in 3 out, and a combination of 2 in 3 rhythmatic out. I alternate my breathing patterns to help me in different running situations, e.g. warm up, endurance, hills, sprinting, cool-down.

Does anyone else out there notice how their breathing effects their running? If you have a hard time keeping pace or running the distance, try alternating your breathing, moving to more breaths in and out, and then trying a combination. Breathe steady and consistent, and you will find that your running will naturally become more efficient.

Fuel that body with water and air!


ShoreTurtle said...

Right on. It's interesting how inter related breathing and running are. It's a good indicator of running intensity too. My breathing changes up on the track.

I've also found that timing exhales to push off on a particular foot helps aleviate pain/soreness in the other side.

TNTcoach Ken said...

Good points, we tend to forget about breathing and concentrate on just the running aspect. Hey, now you’re coaching!!

Anonymous said...

breathing is crucial. in addition to counting 4 in, 4 out (sometimes it's 5 or 6 in/out, someimes 4), i also attempt to fully extend my diaphragm to allow for complete opening of my lungs and maximum air in. then i blow out slowly and forcefully, to expel all the air back out of my lungs, and I push it out. feels good and helps so much!