Quick, do this test with me? Are you ready? Ok I will tell you how to do it, it is simple to follow and no you don’t need anything but a stopwatch, no pen or paper oh but you cannot do it whilst running.
The test. Just take a seat. And inhale normal breath through your nose, exhale through your nose. And upon the exhale pinch/ shut your nose with your thumb and finger. And or as soon as you have the first urge to take a breath, let go and resume breathing normally. Stop the clock with this first impulse. The sign might be diaphragm reacting, throat pulsing.
Note down the time. Keep it handy we will go into it later. First I want to share how this all comes together.
Actually the biggest run advice I found was when I was about 15. Never realized that this actually wasn’t discovered just for me, but Russian astronauts in the 70’s.
Let’s not jump the gun.
There were some or other summer games, or small Olympic games being held. And I remember it because it started on Friday, BUT also on Saturday. Come on, are you serious? I think I am still traumatized. I was devastated, Saturday school. Unbelievable.
And because the teachers must have sensed this reaction there was a stern letter that we had to return, SIGNED by our parents which contained a lot of words. I remember the crux of the message: Your child will attend.
You think this is bad, it got worse. For some or other reason we were divided into groups named after, wait for it, Planets.
I was in Venus and yes can it get worse we had to wear a yellow T-shirt with a V stuck to it. Oh maaaan I just wanted to curl up and get buried under a rock. Still just thinking about it.
Now I don’t know what was so bad about it. But I think it was the combination. The going to school on a Saturday, the Venus thing, plus the V on the t-shirt.
Things didn’t cheer up at home. My mom, being the super saver bargain finder, realized I didn’t have a yellow t-shirt. So she sent me to buy a die. You know the type you put in the washing machine. But really it never ever ends up like it blogs in the ad. It looked exactly like a former white t-shirt that had been relegated to “wear internal only” now given a new lease of life in the form of a bad first try dying of t-shirt.
Then the V. She found or had in one of her secret arsenals chambers a piece of black cloth. Two stripes were cut and stuck on the t-shirt.
I felt very stupid, with my faded t-shirt and the black lines held with safety pins to simulate a V didn’t brighten up my mood for one bit.
Gheez I think I am still annoyed. I felt like the whole world would see me as a loser. LOL just because of that t-shirt.
The teacher had me enter in swimming and running. So that was ok. I recall it was hot, and I enjoyed the swimming part. We were all outdoors the whole day. Lunch, a sandwich from home was eaten for a long time. Hunger. Water, in an orange water bottle, white cap. Was drunk already a looong time ago too. The stall selling hotdogs was out of reach for me, financially speaking.
And there were long boring spells in between where we had to sit and applaud the other kids participating in other events.
Ugh, what an Olympic game that was.
Don’t get fed up reading. I have a great message for you today. How often have you participated in a race, I mean I can think of a couple of examples where you realized perhaps even during the start of a marathon >>oh my goodness, this guy’s breathing, is he ok?<< and towards the end of the race you hear him again he is right behind you, still whistling like a life support machine.
How to get the oxygen into your body most efficiently to get that job done.
Running is very much a rhythmic exercise. Obviously, Heart, plus, steps Now this applies to regular runners and those that maybe just started running and might just be struggling with this.
Let’s first see what the text books teach us.
For low intensity a 3:3 breathing pattern. Means for every 3 strides you inhale, and the next three strides are for exhaling.
Benefit right away is that it will ensure you realize hey, I don’t overspeed anymore, or outpace myself. Because it is a breathing pattern for low intensity, aerobic run.
Then as the pace is increased maybe a 2:2, which means more oxygen is inhaled and more carbon dioxide expelled, for a slightly faster pace. Or for hard tempo effort.
If it is the end of a 5 K, or you just are heading down the applauding spectators of that marathon, lactose acid building up you are heading for the glamor girl or glamor boy marathon finisher photo a 1:1 high intensity pattern. Hard and fast breathing.
Research has some different ideas. 3:2 or 2:1. For me this one makes the most sense, your exhale is always on a different foot. Which CAN, it MIGHT lead to stress in one side of your body, obviously think about it.
Come to think of it, we are approaching this the wrong way, are we not? Well, if you use a 500ml plastic water bottle, what I think that 17 ounces? And you just emptied it. If like me I enjoy crushing them a bit so whilst running they are easier to hold.
Now, if you want to fill that crushed bottle, you are not going to get 17 ounces back inside.
Well obviously, because it is crushed, the volume has decreased.
What has this got to do with breathing?
Gave you an image to remember not wasting your time.
If you are prone to not standing straight, walking and your back is NOT straight all the time, or perhaps you sit In Front of a laptop the whole day, chances are your body posture is a lot like that rushed bottle. Means that your lung volume is not going to allow that maximum volume to enter. Even IF you bought those great new running socks, with a promise of more speed, or sorry was it those new shoes LOL, sorry I have to add that.
Honestly, people, please stop investing in shoes. Just use your brain’s logical thinking and then when you have improved on those obvious points, by engaging your brain, THEN by all means buy those sub 2:00 shoes.
OK back to the crushed bottle, what to do? Simply pull your shoulders back and open up your chest. Yes, in the beginning do it in an exaggerated way.
Oh and don’t fret too much about breathing in the beginning. It is quite normal that the first couple of meters the body needs some time to respond to the different demands. Walking from the car to the start of a race is different to walking once the start gun has been fired. (Unless you usually start right in front, then this doesn’t apply to you). But at some Marathons it takes quite a few minutes before you actually cross the line, in a shuffle shuffle walk, to actually start a slow weird out of sync step. And during this phase it is fully normal that the body needs time to understand what you want from it. Give yourself time to settle in. Some runners settle in quickly, others need a kilometer or two.
You know at some of the marathon events there is a podium with some or other elite runner doing. Q&A to the normal runners’ like me in the audience. Then runners’ love to ask: breathe through the nose or mouth.
I mean seriously. I know I can feel that breathing through my nose means the air passes right down pushing out the diaphragm. Usually this is a very efficient aerobic runner. Not often the breathing perhaps starts in or waits, sorry, through the nose, and then goes through the mouth too. The answer to this question foremost is not what speed or pace you want to run at.
It depends on how you are built, not not your frame but your face, nostril, all those cavities. If you snore at night, simply because of the features of your face, forget about trying to inhale through the nose. Don’t even waste a kilometer trying to do something your build won’t allow you to do.
Another strange thing that actually happens is, when you hold your breath, there is an automatic process that happens. And this is the same if there is not enough oxygen entering your nose, if you have a skull that is just not made for nasal breathing.
It is the ratio of carbon dioxide and oxygen. They are vital. Error in thinking is that if you are out of breath, you need to get more air inside.
That runner you hear struggling for breath, actually it is not oxygen it is carbon dioxide in his system that’s lacking.
You remember the Hemoglobin? The protein that holds onto oxygen and transports it to where your body needs it?
So there needs to be a chemical reaction where it can detach and deliver. Like an egg Great to peel if it has been boiled, you get what I want to say.
The carbon dioxide adds acidity to the blood which in turn allows the Hemoglobin to release the oxygen.
Now again stay with me here if the Carbon dioxide level is too low, the blood pH never drops, Hemoglobin never releases the oxygen. This results in you putting in the effort, but you don’t get the oxygen you need as fuel.
That’s usually when you are wheezing, see what I did there I built the wheezing guy into the blog right in the beginning of the story and now ok, sorry let me continue
OH and the solution to Hemoglobin is easy, just walk a couple of meters, let the carbon dioxide level increase, and you should be fine. See why this blog makes you a smarter runner too?
You recall the breath hold test we did in the beginning? It is a way to measure your tolerance for carbon dioxide and breathing volume. Ok you still with me on this one I said all in balance carbon dioxide oxygen needs to be in balance, yes? Which means if you hyperventilate, your oxygen level is too high and the CO is too low. No balance, huh. This means the threshold of CO2 level is going to drop. And as it is a cycle, the Hemoglobin never can release.
Body Oxygen Level Test BOLT. Nope this is not my terminology, was made famous by a smarter guy than me, Patrik Makeown. It will measure how soon you become breathless whilst doing physical exercise. As well as how breathless are you across a physical level of exercise. Imagine it is like measuring your relative breathlessness during physical exercise.
Ah, but give credit where credit is due, the technique was actually invented, guess so by Dr Konstantin Buteyko, who taught this to improve breathing for astronauts. Now if it is good enough for astronauts whow. But the other guy wrote a great book on it.
Now if your BOLT test was less than 25 seconds it can mean that you have some room to improve your breathing. And the test is really just measuring the onset and offset of breathlessness. If Bolt score increases your breathing is lighter. Both during rest and exercise.
Now here you have it this is the best advice, from an overweight gym teacher I ever got pertaining to increasing my run performance He came across the field, and ran with me, and he listened to my breathing, then
>>Heiko, do this inhale 1,2,3 and exhale 1,2,<<
Whow and I realized I am feeling a lot better.
And this guy -seduced me to this test, spoke to me about
>>Heiko, your breathing rate is determined by very sensitive sensors in your brain.<< and and and and and and and all about breath.
What this means for you is Practice light breathing. Consciously make your breathing smaller and more shallow for a few minutes at a time to create a slight hunger for air, return to normal nasal breathing, then repeat.
This conditions your carbon dioxide receptors to be less sensitive. If your BOLT score is more than 20 seconds, try ten to 15-second breath-holds during your exercise regimen.This forces the body to work anaerobically (that is, without oxygen) for short bursts.
Hey, what a story huh. You remember the Ex-Navy Seal Chad Wright blog where he explained that he does not believe in using foul language.
During a long run, he said to his friends, at every mile, they need to give thanks to God for something they appreciate. Here is a more important exercise than any Psalm 150:6 Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord.
Thanks for joining me today, share this with that runner that is wheezing and struggling. And if you haven’t yet gone for a run today, go now. No excuses, my name is Heiko, God Bless you & remember, take it easy.
Yup, clever isn’t it? Your 365 Day Run Streak, one whole year of running Why who or what would you want to do that? And if your first thought is “I couldn’t do that” then definitely you should get the book. The link to the video you know what.. just go to youtube, enter “heiko stribl” and concentrate or you will get sidetracked and end up somewhere you don’t want to be.
If you feel you could use some brain training, which will ensure that your story is a proud one, the check-out www.heikostribl.com , a comprehensive online course showing you step by step how you train your brain to get that running edge you secretly want. I know you do. Let us run with patience the race that is set before us 1 Corinthians.
Hey, I sincerely hope you enjoyed today’s blog. If you did, please do share it with someone who might just need readers to this type of content.
My name is Heiko, God bless you and remember, take it easy.