Grandma Running and Learning to Breathe

There are so many great books out there on running; most of which have some great advice. What I find, however, is that words written, often differ greatly from what I can put into practice. Who knew even the simple act of breathing, which sounds so natural in the book – can be quite the challenge when faced with the reality of running.

Is it breathe in twice and exhale out twice or inhale three times and two out? I’m not really sure. What I do know is that I’ve never paid so much attention to breathing in my entire life. One thing I did learn about myself is that in stressful situations, I tend to hold my breath. It’s not that running is stressful, it’s learning to breathe that actually adds the stress. As a result of attempting to concentrate on so many areas – where to hold my arms, not landing so hard on my heels – that I tend to forget one of the most important aspects of running – breathing.

For the past two nights, and yes that’s two in a row, I’ve spent most of my time concentrating on a breathing technique I read in my recent copy of Runner’s World magazine. I inhale for three counts and then exhale two. The problem is that I never actually get to completely exhale or inhale which leads to near hyper-ventilation as I’m chugging along. It’s almost like learning to breathe all over again.

The reality of the situation is that I’ve determined that this “learning to breathe” thing will not happen overnight. In fact, like everything else – it takes time and practice. I’ve thought it weird that my struggle actually occurs, not in sore legs, but simply trying to catch my breath.


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