Whether a walker, jogger or runner, you must follow this advice – don't forget to breathe. Here are some tips on breathing that can be incorporated into training in the lead up to the Flora Women's Mini Marathon.
Focus on the exhale, as you will always remember to breathe in. Exhaling will empty your lungs and create a vacuum for air to rush back into the lungs. This is an excellent technique to use if you get short of breath while training or find it hard to maintain a steady rhythm.
Take deep breaths ("tummy-breathe") with the aim being to draw your breath into the lower part of your lungs. Oxygen delivery to the blood is optimal here, meaning improved performance.
Good posture will make breathing easier, as it allows your chest cavity to expand and retract as required. Maintaining an upright posture and avoiding slouching or hunching forward is best. If you struggle to do this on a daily basis, I recommend performing pilates to strengthen core and stabilising muscles. Drop your shoulders back and down, away from your ears, to automatically relax your upper body. Do this several times a day – at work, in the car, at training.
One of the other essentials to life (and training), is water and we cannot survive without it. Performance can be adversely affected by complaints, such as stomach pains, bloating and diarrhoea, which can be avoided with good hydration. Water is the best fluid choice for events lasting under 90 minutes.
Maintaining a hydrated state allows nutrients to circulate, wastes to be effectively removed and temperature to be regulated.
During exercise, sip on water by carrying a sports bottle when running/walking or bring a water bottle to your place of training. A pinch of sodium (i.e salt) can be added to your drink to assist in replacing electrolytes lost in sweat and improve fluid retention in the body. Slices of citrus fruits or frozen berries can improve taste.
Once you are breathing and your body is hydrated, it is time to turn your attention to fuel. Most importantly, remember you can never out-exercise a bad diet.
Without adequate nutrition, exercise will actually weaken the body and can lead to fatigue and injury. A well balanced diet of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals will restore the body and allow you to reap the benefits of the hard work done in training.
As training load increases so too do the demands from your nutrition so be prepared to alter and review your diet. Nutritional supplements are available at Elverys Sports to help combat fatigue, allow ultimate repair and regeneration and ensure performance is unaffected. Expert staff in store will help you choose. > Sabrina Carey, Elverys Power Team