3 Breathing Techniques For More Effective Running

By Terje Brooks

One of the most essential facets of running is the right way of breathing. Running isn’t just about the thighs, legs and feet. It’s also about the lungs and the way to bring greater quantities of oxygen into the system effectively.

Your Breathing Rhythms

At times, especially in long races a runner could lose focus and is thrown out of his breathing rhythm. It may be due to the simple forgetting to focus on the inhaling and exhaling or its pattern.

One way to avoid this is to time your breathing in rhythm along with your steps. This is much like the style of the swimmers who take in air at every third stroke.

Runners that get to this state are able to keep running just like a clock, with constant tempo and a lot of efficiency. This focus on breathing can also take his / her mind off from pain or tenderness that may have developed during this period and may trigger them to quit the actual race.

Deep breath

Another method you can use while running is deep breathing. It has many advantages when correctly done.

It will help the runner to keep calm, which consequently, helps to reduce exhaustion. To be able to relax reduces the likelihood of performance decline.

Runners who cannot relax end up generating inadvertent alterations in form until they experience the resulting pain. For example clinching of fists too firmly as well as running with the shoulders too high to be efficient. This kind of bad form usually results in muscle tiredness and tenderness.

Deep breathing helps promote relaxation when running. This is accomplished by taking a larger-than-normal inhale and exhaling all the way out.

During the exhale part, you need to focus on releasing all the tension in your arms by shaking them, opening up both hands and moving your head in circles.

Breath Like Swimmers

One exercising method is to breathe a bit slower than your body needs when you are not performing. This starves your system for oxygen and causes the heart to beat quicker.

After a period, your body learns to compensate for the lack of oxygen so that when this method is not in use, your system has already been more efficient in processing the breathed air. This is proven in swimming.

Swimmers do alternate breathing that is breathing every third stroke. This permits them to breathe on different sides without taking a breath with each heart stroke.

From the beginning, their body needs more oxygen, but will become familiar with adjusting to the reduction in oxygen. Over time, your body will become more efficient in processing the limited air. Runners who also swim usually have outstanding breathing efficiency.

Terje Brooks has been writing articles online as well as off-line for many years now. Terje is not only a specialist in health and fitness, you can also take a look at his website about Women’s Golf Shoes, which contains reviews of golf shoes for women and other female golf outfits.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Terje_Brooks



25 Running Tips

This article was posted on Maxim UK, it was an old article dating back from 2005 but the tips are not outdated.

25 running tips
Whatever your running ability, there’s something here for you
Text: Tarquin Cooper

If your arms go forward, your knees will go forward – that’s how our bodies are made

Whether you’re a trembly-kneed beginner or a foot-sore veteran, it’s never too late to learn more about the world’s oldest form of fitness.

1 Watch your footing
‘Make sure your heel strikes the ground first, rather than the ball of your foot,’ advises Sajjad Afzal, a podiatrist to UK athletes. ‘Run smoothly and rhythmically.’ If you hit the ground with the side or the ball of your foot, it will roll. This has a domino effect on the rest of the body and can cause common running injuries such as shin splints, ‘runner’s knee’ and back pain.

2 Be style conscious
See a specialist to improve your running style. It could be a coach or a podiatrist, but even a member of staff in a good running shop will be able to analyse the way you run and offer tips.

3 Get pumping
Move your arms more. ‘If your arms go forward, your knees will go forward – that’s how our bodies are made,’ says personal trainer John Munroe. ‘If you have a bigger range of movement with your arms, your legs will have a greater movement too. And if you move your arms really quickly, your legs will move really quickly!’

4 Judge your pace
It may sound obvious but if you want to run a fast marathon or 10k race, you first have to learn how to judge your speed and maintain consistency. ‘Paula Radcliffe knows by the way her foot strikes the ground how fast she is running and will hit that mile marker at five mins 15 secs, or three to four seconds either side of that, every time,’ says Munroe. ‘Start by running three eight-minute miles in a week. The next week try to beat that. If you do this you’ll get quicker.’ Over a period of time you will learn to work out your speed.

5 Be progressive
Don’t train too hard too soon. If you do you will increase your risk of injury or plain, simple fatigue. Many newcomers give up because they’ve tried to go too far, too fast and have failed.

6 Work it!
That’s no excuse to slack. Work hard and remember that you get out of running what you put in.

7 Test yourself
Compete in races as part of a plan to gauge fitness, progression and race pace. Putting races in your calendar will also force you to train harder.

8 See the bigger picture
Don’t ignore the rest of your body. Running doesn’t just require strong legs and a good pair of lungs. To hold your body in the right running posture over the distance requires strong core stability. Do a weekly session of circuit training to make sure the whole body is getting a workout. A session should include press-ups, crunches, jump squats, burpees, reverse curls, split jumps and running on the spot with high knees.

9 Lift weights
Do resistance training, too. Machine exercises that will help your running include leg extensions, leg presses, hamstring curls, shoulder press and abduction work. Do three sets of between ten and 12 reps.

10 Shake up your training
Try Fartlek training. Developed in the 1930s, this is a less structured form of interval training, and something you can easily do while out on your runs. The idea is to run flat out, jog for a while, then sprint again. If you want something a little more structured try this programme, devised by personal coach and ex-international long jumper John Munroe. Pick two trees about 30 metres apart. Run 60 per cent of your top speed or maximum heart rate and jog back. On the second go, run at 70 per cent and jog back and then at 80 per cent and then back to 60. Do this for ten minutes.

11 Go hill running
The only way to improve your running fitness is to stress the lungs and your muscles – and there’s no better way to achieve this than on an energy-sapping hill. Run up at three-quarter pace, jog down, run up at three-quarter pace, jog down… you get the idea.

12 Be careful out there
Do everything within your power to avoid injury. Start your sessions with a light jog or a few minutes on the treadmill. Then warm up gently. Run hard during your workout and cool down fully afterwards.

13 Raise those knees
Avoid injury too by practising ‘functional mobility exercises’. Examples are high knee walking, high knee cantering and lunging. These will help your ‘running muscles’.

14 Know your heart
Work out your true maximum heart rate (MHR). The standard way to work out the rate is to subtract your age from 220 but if you’re serious about training, there’s a much better way. After a warm-up, run for three minutes as hard and as consistently as you can, then rest for two minutes, and then run again for three minutes at your max. Count your heart rate. This is your true MHR. Unless you’re a beginner and you’re still building up your fitness levels, run at between 75 and 87 per cent. ‘This will give you the greatest fitness benefits,’ says Munroe.

15 Keep a record
Be anal – start a training log, whether it’s on a notepad or a computer. It’s a good way to boost confidence because it shows a series of quantifiable gains – or it will if you’re doing everything right.

16 Join a club
There’s nothing like peer pressure or the presence of a proper coach to bring out the best in you. There are running clubs all around the country from serious athletics clubs to those designed to help people get fit for the first time such as the Cannons and Reebok Running Club (08707 582333, www.cannons.co.uk). For a list of athletics clubs and tracks visit www.runtrackdir.com.

17 Partner up
Running becomes much easier when you have a friend to spur/nag you on.

18 Stay hydrated
Drink even if you’re not thirsty. ‘The body has a poor thirst mechanism,’ says Adam Mead, senior dietician at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London. ‘When you’re thirsty it’s already too late. If there’s even a five per cent drop in hydration levels your performance will tail off.’

19 Know your fluids
Hydrate with water if your run is less than 15 miles. Use a sports drink if it’s longer. Take on fluid every 15 minutes of exercise.

20 Get snacking
Don’t run on an empty stomach. ‘About 60 to 90 minutes before a run, have a sandwich, a sports drink or a glass of milk and a muffin,’ says Mead.

21 Eat right
Base your meals around carbs such as pasta, rice and potatoes. You should aim to eat about 70 per cent carbs, 15 per cent protein and 15 per cent fat. ‘During any physical activity you use a crucial fuel called glycogen, which comes from carbohydrates. You need to make sure you’re eating sufficient amounts. You need protein to build new cells and muscle,’ adds Mead.

22 Do your sums
Be scientific about it. You should aim to eat five grammes of carbohydrate and one gramme of protein per kilo of bodyweight per day.

23 Eat as soon as you’ve run
This will aid recovery. Something like a banana is ideal because it has a high glycaemic index (GI) and will give an immediate boost of energy. For your main meal, eat carbohydrates with a low GI – those that release energy slowly – such as sweet potatoes and brown or Basmati rice.

24 Chill out in the bath
Forget having a hot soak after a run. It’s the worst thing you can do because it encourages the micro-tears in your muscles to bleed out, which increases soreness. Have an ice bath instead. It’s what most top athletes do because it helps flush lactic acid out of the muscles and boosts the immune system. Unless you have half a tonne of ice to hand, run the tub with cold water and jump in for about five minutes.

25 Take a multivitamin…
Athletes require more minerals and vitamins than the average person thanks to the stresses of running. Each stride can cause tiny amounts of damage to the red blood cells in the feet, and running also produces damaging free radicals. Vitamins and minerals can help mop them up.

Thanks to:
Run & Become, 020 7222 1314.

Top TIPS For Marathon Survival

This article is long but a good read specially those who are serious in running a marathon.

Top TIPS For Marathon Survival
By Steve D.

The marathon itself is only a small part of the overall marathon story and effort. Success in the marathon is down to hours of specific marathon training of both the physical and mental aspects that the marathon bears. All of your work is during the months of this specific marathon training. The marathon run itself is the reward at the end of your marathon training program. The trick to completing the marathon or performing to your desired standard is to survive this specific marathon training program. To survive this marathon training means to be fully prepared, injury free, fresh, confident and to perform on the day and achieve what you set out to do.

TOP TIPS for Marathon Survival

* Plan Ahead
* Have & go for your Goal!
* Train as you mean to go on….
* Get Strong
* Consistency is Key
* Warm Up, Warm Down & Stretch
* Cross Train
* P.M.A.
* Fuel and Hydrate
* R&R (Rest & Recovery)

This article is long but a good read specially those who are serious in running a marathon.

Top TIPS For Marathon Survival
By Steve D.

The marathon itself is only a small part of the overall marathon story and effort. Success in the marathon is down to hours of specific marathon training of both the physical and mental aspects that the marathon bears. All of your work is during the months of this specific marathon training. The marathon run itself is the reward at the end of your marathon training program. The trick to completing the marathon or performing to your desired standard is to survive this specific marathon training program. To survive this marathon training means to be fully prepared, injury free, fresh, confident and to perform on the day and achieve what you set out to do.

TOP TIPS for Marathon Survival

  • Plan Ahead
  • Have & go for your Goal!
  • Train as you mean to go on….
  • Get Strong
  • Consistency is Key
  • Warm Up, Warm Down & Stretch
  • Cross Train
  • P.M.A.
  • Fuel and Hydrate
  • R&R (Rest & Recovery)

Plan ahead

There are so many reasons for forward planning. Use a Training Log to keep track of your progress and to keep you on course for the goal ahead. Planning ahead will serve as a great motivator, help identify milestones and allow you to compare and contrast your performance as you train. Use the data to keep tabs on how you are faring. As well as motivating you it will assist in leaving no stone unturned in your target setting and training. Ticking off your runs as completed or cross training sessions will inspire you and give you confidence. Work out when you will need to replace your running shoes and when a new pair will be at their best possible condition come what the day of the marathon itself. Do you really want to risk running in running shoes that are close to the end of their effectiveness? Do you want to be using brand new running shoes for the marathon? Record when you bought your shoes and how many miles you have run in them. Have a couple of pairs in use perhaps? This seems to be a favoured option for many experienced runners. What kit will you be wearing? Test it out to make sure that it is what you feel good in. It is likely that the training will start way ahead of the event itself so what will the weather conditions be like for the marathon? Can you replicate these at all? Is there a possibility that conditions could vary? Study the marathon course. Are there any aspects of the course you will need to be familiar with and train specifically for? Ultimately good planning will push you towards your marathon goal.

Have & Go for your Goal!

Let’smake no bones about this; the marathon is the big one and is a great feat; not for the faint hearted. It does not matter if you have run marathons before, if you are an experienced runner generally or you are just setting out; whatever your level or pace the marathon will take some considered planning and preparation. However in order to set the right plans and prepare correctly you do need to know what you want to achieve. Set yourself a goal and challenge yourself whilst remaining realistic. Think about what you want to achieve in the marathon. If you just want to get around the course then there is still a target for doing so; whether this is just to keep running or finish by a certain time. Having something to aim for like this allows you to set your training plan up to work towards. Milestones can also be cast in place to allow you to check your performance to date. If it is a specific time span you are looking to achieve or indeed better then once again this will (with some thought of course) set the scene for the pattern of your training. Think through previous experience and put a draft plan into place with the goal in mind. What would you do differently this time? How might you change things from before? What really worked out for you; what did not and what was difficult to achieve? Where do you need to be before tapering down?. Discuss this with running club members/coaches and work out your schedule accordingly. Then go for it!

Train as you mean to go on…

The marathon is not one thing. The marathon takes on many forms. You can get around and complete a marathon and this is a major achievement for the vast majority. To get around a marathon you can set out to run the distance or a run/walk combination. You can run for a specific target time and you can, of course, race the marathon. Whatever the marathon is to you, match your training to your goal. If you want to get around running all the way you will need to train this way or if building up as a complete newcomer to running you need to be aware that at some point walk/run combo has to be left behind. If you are running for a specific goal be sure to include a lot of goal pace running. Goal specific training will prepare you for the specific stresses of your marathon and help you avoid race day injuries. Specific goal training will also increase your confidence and help you prevent mental burn out.

Get Strong

  • 180 strides per minute is an average marathon rate.
  • This equates to 10,800 strides per hour.
  • 4 hours actual running training per week towards the marathon equals 43,200 strides
  • A typical marathon training programme of 20 weeks will mean a mighty effort of 864,000 strides during your marathon training!

The repetitive stress of all of these strides places great demands on your joints and muscles. Conditioned, stronger muscles provide more efficient movement, better support joints and are more resistant and therefore less prone to injury. For a better marathon performance at any level ensure that your training programme will give you a gradual increase in strength and conditioning.

Consistency is key

Ensure that your training schedule is planned over the whole term of your time from your official starting point and works gradually over the entire period. This will allow your training to evolve at a good natural pace in line with your planned efforts. Be consistent. Breaks in your training will mean that your fitness will fall back and the gradual training increases in mileage and intensity are a key factor if you are to realise your goals. Don’t be tempted to play catch up too quickly if returning from a break (for whatever the reason) as this can actually set you back. Seek advice and reset your training schedule to get back on track. Be realistic and whilst you should try and keep your original goals make sure that they are not out of reach completely; especially if you have had any significant time away from the plan. Big hikes up in your distances or intensity are a common cause of injury. So; ensure that your plan works gradually over the whole schedule to allow your training to evolve at a good natural pace in line with your efforts. Build in rest and recovery runs and try to stay with the plan. Be consistent.

Warm Up Warm Down & Stretch

Make a warm up, a warm down and a stretch part of your training regime. Set aside some time for this important feature of your marathon training. This will ensure that you are fully prepared for your training and that you recover quicker for your next session. Your performance can only improve and you will be less prone to injury if you dedicate some time to your warm up & warm down. Your body needs to be prepared for training just as a car engine needs to be warmed up before setting off for a drive; if suddenly pushed into action it can quite easily cough & splutter just as you can! As much as you need to be prepared for action you do need to slowly wind down from activity as well. The system can in effect back up when circulation racing around you suddenly then is no longer pumping. Make this part of your training log and make this practice as important as any mileage you put in or speed sessions you do. Use recovery days to dedicate more time to stretch routines and remember quality rather than quantity. Don’t over stretch. Nice easy, unrushed stretches on main areas are better than a blast of over-stretching covering everywhere!. Seek advice from fellow club members or visit a professional to gain a better understanding of stretching to build your own regime.

Cross Train

Set yourself a programme that will help you work towards your marathon goal. Seek assistance to build yourself a training plan to suit. Ask around the running club. Most likely that there will be a coach or an old hand who will help you devise one. Check this alongside an online resource. Don’t make the mistake of running the same type of long slow distance running for nearly every workout. Running the same pace every day will become tedious and if nothing else will tire you mentally. Ensure you have a variety in your training schedule and mix up your workouts. Do some up-tempo training; high intensity interval training; hill running even. Gradually build distances week on week and add in some speed sessions. Ensure that you fit in some core stability and stretching routines. Make sure that you have some low impact recovery runs after heavier workouts. Frequently changing workouts (not forgetting that you need a plan) will keep you mentally stimulated so you can avoid burn out. Multi-paced training will also help you to increase your fitness and overall running performance.Look at mixing up your training routes and add in somehills. Hill running can provide a great, functional way to improve your strength, power and running efficiency. Look at making your running action smoother, easier and more fluid. Practice breathing and strengthening your core stability. A smooth, easy stride will conserve energy and help you to avoid running injuries.


The mantra we have all heard PMA/Positive Mental Attitude and it is true that those that run with a smile on their face and a positive outlook can affect how they perform mentally and physically to their training/running. This is especially true in endurance events and a mind over matter, forward thinking outlook can get you through tough times in training and marathon day itself; to achieve your goals. Happy runners run with a more fluid, relaxed stride and as before this all adds up to overall performance enhancement and injury avoidance. Happy runners are able to run further, faster and easier than their more unhappy counterparts. So look on the positive side of your training plan and learn to love your daily run. Enjoy your running Top Tips. Don’t force yourself to train.

Fuel and Hydrate

A lot of energy is used up during marathon training. To support your training you need a steady supply of high quality complex carbohydrates, sufficient protein and healthy fats. Marathon training is not a time to go on a diet in the sense that the word diet is associated. Your diet should reflect the effort you are putting in and what you eat should be matched to your training needs. As with all other aspects of your marathon training what you need to take on board food-wise should be researched and you should have a general idea of what you need to be eating and when. Seek the advice of club members (again) or other runners who have completed the marathon. Start an eating/fuelling routine that serves your running/training. You will need to be comfortable with what you eat and when you eat for the marathon day itself so the long training schedule is the time for experimentation. Doing this at the outset will allow more time to get settled with your eating early on in your programme. Log down your food intake, food types and chart these against your performance. Make changes as and when you learn more about yourself and your running. If you don’t get enough nutrition, the right foods and especially enough high quality carbohydrates, your training workouts will suffer, your muscles will become weaker and you will increase your risk of burning out or injury. In the same vein study the rules of hydration.

R&R (Rest & Recovery)

Training for a marathon is not easy. Whilst it should be fun there is an underlying reality here of the fact that whatever your experience or goal you will be working on the limit during the marathon. Therefore your preparation is vital. Rest days are a must during your gruelling marathon training programme and are as important as the actual running itself and should never be overlooked. Recovery runs or walks should also feature as a way of winding down after a particularly intense training run or effort and this actually assists in your conditioning. R&R (Rest and Recovery) will also assist you in avoiding injury or burn out. Entering set rest days or low intensity recovery runs or walks into your programme via your training log will ensure that you maintain a balanced programme and some consistency when working towards your marathon. Long runs put stress on muscles and joints and they need time to recuperate; conditioning improves with R&R. Muscles build in strength during these periods. Use rest days wisely however and schedule in a Sports Massage or some nice long easy stretching sessions, a swim or walk or perhaps even nothing but a good old break mentally and physically!

Good luck in your marathon from sportsinjuryclinic.net

http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net is a leading sports injury information site, containing articles on over 100 sporting injuries, as well as rehabilitation and treatment guides.

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