Take a nice deep breath, and run! / by Thomas Nguyen

Tonight I was talking with my TT sister Chloe about running and endurance.  She's been running for about 3 weeks now, and noticed if she runs two days in a row, the second day is very tough for her.  It reminded me when I started to run on a regular basis.  I would run consistently, but my endurance didn't improve that much either.

Before I would run 1.5 miles to 2miles max.  I would be tired, and definitely out of breath if I attempted to run even more then my limit. However, as I picked up running again recently, my endurance has dramatically improved. Here are the 2 key factors that helped me, and maybe it will help you too.

1. Run Slow

I think with anything new you do, take it slow.  If you try to go all out, you'll just burn out!  Build up your running skills.  Your muscles will learn to adjust, your lung capacity will adjust, and even your mental strength will adjust.  After you have improved, jump up the intensity slowly and repeat!  I use to run 10-12 minute pace miles, but I was able to run longer distances.  Instead of dying after 1.5-2miles, I started to run 2-3 miles at ease!  Nowadays I run around 2.5-3.5 miles at a 8:48 pace.  I know I'll eventually improve my timing and distance as I keep going.

2. Breathe slow, and through the nose.
In direct correlation with running slower, take longer deeper breaths in from the nose, and out through the mouth.  When you breath in through your mouth, they tend to be shorter, shallow, and from the chest. Not the best thing you want to do when running. That's why you'll notice yourself huffing and puffing from the mouth eventually.

There are tons of articles on why breathing through the nose is so much better for you. Here are some key pointers that I've found.

  • It filters air impurities and moistens the air your breath in.  Because of that, it regulates body temperature a lot better.  Breathing cold air through your mouth will just go directly to the lungs.

  • When breathing through your nose, it lowers your breath rate, which in turns lowers your heart rate. You'll run even more relaxed, and you'll have more energy reserved for a longer run.

  • Longer deeper breaths through the nose provides more oxygen to your blood stream. The more oxygen you have, there will be less fatigue and you'll be stronger mentally.

For me, when taking longer breaths and lowering my heart rate, I feel so much more relaxed.  I feel like I can run on forever.  It's completely a 180 compared to huffing and puffing with my heart pounding while running too fast.  It almost feels like I'm breathing like a yoga master while running.  If you have ever done Yoga, you'll know how relaxing it is when you take those deep breaths in through the nose and out of the mouth.

Those 2 tips made me start to love running.  The end of my nightly runs, I feel so relaxed.  And that's probably due to breathing correctly. I even apply this to my boxing and kickboxing classes and noticed how my endurance has changed as well. I hope they help you on your journey of running.  Let me know if it has made a difference in your runs!

And now for the updates!

Week 1 Data Average:
Weight: 153.75lbs
Body Fat: 18.3%
Body Water: 55.75%

Week 2  Data Average:
Weight: 153.64lbs
Body Fat: 17.68%
Body Water: 56.36%

Week 3  Data Average:
Weight: 153.04lbs
Body Fat: 17.32%
Body Water: 56.66%

Week 4 (Last Week)  Data Average:
Weight: 151.45lbs
Body Fat: 17.08%
Body Water: 56.88%

Today’s Data
Weight: 150.8lbs
Body Fat: 16.5%
Body Water: 57.4%