How to control your breathing when running
Breathing is something we all take for granted. Most of the time we are not even aware of the breaths that we take. When we are running, though, it can be another matter entirely. It is bad enough when you get the feeling of breathlessness in the middle of a run. With intervals you have the double whammy of feeling breathless running, and out of breath during the all too brief recovery between repetitions. So how do you control your breathing when running?
Breathing during the run has been covered before. Back in the summer we were counting breaths to focus on slowing down the breathing rate. Last month we were relaxing into the wind, nor fighting it. This also had elements of relaxed breathing. Two weeks ago we also worked on focus as a distraction. This distraction also directs your attention away from the breathing so anyone that tends to notice feeling very out of breath won’t be as aware of the breathless sensation.
Today was breathing of a different sort all together. We were working on relaxing and getting your breath back under control during the recovery phase of the interval.
How do you control that breathlessness?
By paying attention. You can practice this at home. Place one hand on your belly and become aware of where you are breathing. Is it in your throat? Chest? Belly? You want to be breathing from your belly. Deep breaths to fill your lungs with oxygen. Deep breaths are slower which can also help control the sensation of breathlessness. A slow, deep, breath in through the nose, hold, hold that breath, and now relax, allowing the air to fall out of your mouth. Like everything, it takes practice to get really good, yet even today it was evident that the breathing exercise was helping
The interval session itself is 8 x 400m split into 2 sets.
The first 4 are at 5k pace (to get used to being a bit out of breath but in control)
the second 4 were at close to 1 mile pace so you had to relax and recovery quickly if you had any hope of completing all 4 without slowing down.
My run is here and for those of you who like to watch the session on a flyby afterwards please note that you need to adjust your privacy settings or you will not be shown (I appreciate that many of you prefer it this way, and that is fine too).
great times, lots of consistency, especially so from Nicky, Mark & Kathryn. Some of you are still getting used to how much more capable you are than you realised. Kathryn and Nicola, you can all definitely run quicker. David and Gareth, your times were all progressively quicker, so there is definitely the ability to run quicker overall. Debra, great first session, just a smidge too quick on the second set, hence the slight drop off.
Probably the most consistent running from a group as a whole this year. Over half of the sets had a deviation of 1 second or under, indicating that all of you had great control over your speed across the sets. Chris, I must apologise, I thought your times were a bit slow because I calculated in my head incorrectly. Great progress. Rob & Jason both of you were very accurate. Really pleasing to see this on your first session. Claire, you are getting faster, keep on pushing, this proves you can do it. Andy, sensible to stop when you did. Possibly a bit too quick? You had already done the right thing by slowing down in the first set. Ellen, I wonder how fast you can go? You certainly looked comfortably in control, and your first set was at the same average you managed over the entire session last time. David, your recent times show you are getting faster (even from Tuesday when you had 2:03/1:48). Sanny, you might have started off too quick?! Consistent times, we just need to swap them over – the first set should have been the slower one. Sheila, same as David you can see your times are dropping as you get more comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. Hilary, your ‘easier’ first set was faster than recent performances, and then you knocked a further 3 seconds of it. (equivalent to 1:15 over a 5k) I told you you could run faster. brilliant, keep it up.
you will find my Strava run here, not that I did anything today, taking it easy ready for the New York Marathon this Saturday 🙂