This is my life. Sometimes shown through the eye of my camera phone, and sometimes not. I'll talk running, gadgets, music, and whatever else I stumble on to

Saturday, May 22, 2010

That lovin' feelin'

I'd forgotten what it's like to be tired after a long run.

Today I completed my longest run since the Chicago Marathon last October, and my longest since recovering from my hip flexor injury- eight miles.

Breathing was good, pace was great, weather was great... couldn't of asked for a better run. I decided to run on the Lakeshore Path, near Independence Grove, but had to go around flooded underpasses and muddy areas. A little mud on the shoes never hurt anyone.

The Madison-Chicago 200M Relay is still a few weeks away, but this run instilled some confidence in being able to run the bigger miles. Next Saturday, I'll shoot for ten miles, and then start to rest up for the relay. I'm looking forward to meeting the other 11 members of the team.

I'm going to be careful to not overtrain, especially since I'm not using a set training schedule for this first race. It's a bit liberating, actually, to be on my own schedule. I'll get back on track when I start my training for the Chicago Marathon next month.

Thins are really looking up!

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Monday, May 03, 2010

Beating the Belly Breathing Blahs

Wow. A total of seven miles run over two days. That's something I haven't done in quite a while. Five miles on Sunday, two miles today. It felt great to get out there.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I can tell I've lost a bit of my endurance. One way I can tell, is that my breathing has been quite labored toward the tail end of my runs. It's taken me a long time to reach a 3x3 breathing pattern- one breath in for every three steps, one breath out for another three steps. This isn't an easy thing to achieve, mind you. It takes a little bit of work.

I think proper breathing, along with proper nutrition of course, during runs is vital to make sure I'm feeding my muscles with plenty of oxygen to go long. This gets critical on warmer days, when getting the proper dose of c02 means the difference in finishing, or tiring too quickly.

Right now, I've lost my ability to breathe 3x3 all the way through five miles, which was a piece of cake before. Not only that, but having to concentrate on breathing from the diaphragm, instead of my lungs, is a challenge. It takes practice. Kind of like taking the air out of a balloon, and then breathing it back out, over and over again.

Things get even MORE complicated since I'm a "breathe in through the mouth, out the nose" breather when I run. This can get messy, folks, even more so when I have a sinus infection, like a do now!

Fortunately, I know exactly what to do to get it back. I find myself focusing so much, that I can tell when I need to drop down to a 2x2 pattern to take in more air. So for a five mile run, for example, I will do 2.5 miles in a 3x3 pattern, and the rest in 2x2. Then I work myself up to the point when I can breathe normally and be relaxed all the way through.

And THEN, there is a different breathing pattern when I hit miles in the 8:30 to 8:45 per-minute range (marathon pace), but I'll leave that for another post.

This sounds kinda silly, but it's probably the most importance piece to get right, I think. Practice, practice, practice.

My body will remember.