I’ve been running on a regular basis for a month now and I feel so much better than I did around the holidays. Back then running more than a couple miles was a mental challenge I was not willing to try to overcome. I’m more focused now and have been able to use my breathing to get through all my runs.
This is my eighth half marathon training cycle, so why is my breathing something I say is making an impact now?
- I read an article on rhythmic breathing and have actively been trying to practice it, especially when I’m tired.
- Swimming. When doing activities on land, you can get away with poor breathing technique because at least your head is constantly surrounded by oxygen. When swimming, if you don’t figure out how to breathe in a steady pattern you’re going to be stopping at the end of each lap to take breaks. And that’s exactly what I was doing at the beginning. Over the last year I’ve read a lot of articles about swimming technique and spent time visualizing the timing of my arm movements with when my head should be in and out of the water. Then I just kept trying to do it, and eventually, it clicked. My breathing is a vital part of the process, and when I do it well, I move more efficiently. It happened first in water and now I feel like I’m using the same technique on land.
Doing a variety of activities has me feeling strong and excited about doing everything.
Last week was a planned reduction in running mileage to recover and get stronger; this week my long run will be back to 10 miles and I may increase the shorter runs too. Or I may not. With my short runs, long swim and long run on the weekend I feel like I’m getting enough cardio to run a half marathon right now. Note to self: next time I’m freaking out about being in a running rut, remember it only takes a good month of training to feel in shape again.