Breathing right while you run can help increase your stamina

 

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Rain jogs are nice because you’re sweaty anyway. Having a few drops cool your face as you huff towards a checkpoint can be nice rather than annoying. The main pain is going against the wind.

Today it was rainy again, and I was almost persuaded to stay in. But I took a second look at the clouds, which didn’t seem too aggressive, and gave myself a safety: I was doing a neighborhood run, so if at any point the weather felt like too much to handle, I was close enough to easily head home.

With that net in mind, I set out on my slow jog.

My latest run is nothing to write home about in the scope of things. But sometimes when it comes to personal goals, scope is your worst enemy. So right now, I’m going to focus on the fact that I did it, and that my time is not too bad considering I’m just getting started again.

Plus, 45 minutes of moving time for 3.2 miles is a pretty good time for me. Especially since I’ve been trying a new breathing method. I’ve been running a local trail in my neighborhood, and for the past few runs, I’ve noticed that I was getting out of breath quicker than usual. I’m an asthmatic, and my lungs, rather than anything bodily (besides some past back problems) are what have generally held me back from excelling in physical exercise.

So, I did what I usually do when I want to try to improve. I scoured the internets far and wide. I decided to go with Youtube as my primary knowledge source, since I’ve been seeing many good running vloggers lately, and searched for something along the lines of “running with asthma.” That brought me to a few potato camera quality videos. But clicking further into the video void, I found a positive runner and fitness coach named Matt Cama who had made a few videos that demonstrated exactly the sort of technique I was looking for.

This video is about 8 minutes long and focuses on breathing techniques.

My main takeaways, which I had never thought of before, were

  • Breathing from my diaphragm
  • Breathing in rhythm, going in through my nose and out through my mouth

On Tuesday, the day I felt completely out of breath on my exercise route, I was practicing what Matt called shallow breathing. I was trying to expand the lungs from my upper body and rib cage by breathing in deep there, with the added help of putting my shoulders back. But breathing up there still really wasn’t working. I was getting out of breath faster than I liked, and so I had to stop and walk more frequently than I already was. It’s really such a bummer when your body can do more, but your lungs won’t comply.

After that is when I did the research, and found that video. On Thursday, and today, I put breathing from your diaphragm into practice. It seemed to help! My main problem now was that my body was tired. I think I’ve been working it out pretty hard this past week. I’ve gone a distance of at least 3 miles every day this week, and my body may need to rest. Maybe once I’ve had a bit of time to recuperate, I can try to practice the breathing technique more methodically.

Once I got such great tips from the video above, I checked out another of Matt’s videos hoping to get a bit more knowledge to improve my running efforts. I’ve never been coached, and I’ve always just sort of exercised like a renegade on my own terms, since my asthma has always dictated that I walk part of the way during runs.

So I watched this. It’s a long 15 minutes, but it’s worth it to get his insight (I swear I’m not being sponsored by him, ha ha. I’m just happy to find a helpful channel.)

My best take aways from this one were

  • Use gravity to propel you forward by leaning to get started
  • Positively reinforce that you’ll meet your goals using visualization

I did employ the leaning technique on my current run, and it did seem to help. Since I’ve only done it once, I’ll probably have to do a few more trials before I automatically take on this form. But it seems like a good start to improving my running experience. I also imagined myself on the route I would take, and imagined myself completing it. That did help today, since the rain was a possible hindrance to completing the run.

Overall, today was a dreary day, but I’m glad I still pushed past that and went for a run. I am super sore now and I think it will do me good to maybe give it a few days before my next endeavor. I know I said I didn’t want to push myself too hard, but I think that’s my way of easing back into exercise. Once I get comfortable with my routine, maybe it will do me good to set some goals. Since I have been running 3 miles a day, I think I should sign up for a 5k at some point. I mean, that potentially also might get me down, since I know I won’t be fast. So I’ll have to think about that. What I do eventually want to work up to is a 10-miler. I always leave my house and come back with still enough energy in tact. Granted, I’m still not able to run an entire way. But it’s something I’d like to work up to.

And that’s my update. I was also really inspired by how Matt ends his videos. I think he says something like, “Remember, love all living things, and most importantly, love yourself.” I don’t think I’m quite that positive, but I like receiving that positive energy, and I do want others to feel good about their efforts. So go watch his videos and get yourself a bit of a spirit boost.

Take care everyone. ‘Til next time – this person.

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