You want me to think about running and breathing all at the same time?
Many people heard from their high school football coaches that they needed to breathe through their noses when they ran, which makes for some very winded endurance athletes! I make sure to tell athletes that they need to breathe through their mouths as well as their noses. If you think about things logically your mouth can take in a much larger volume of oxygen than the little bitty nostrils. So logically you want to get in as much oxygen as possible.
Why is breathing so important? Well, there are a lot of really long fancy words that I could use but basically the oxygen you breathe in, enters your blood stream which then sends oxygen to your muscles- and we all know they need it! There are two types of aerobic activity- anaerobic and aerobic. Anaerobic is what you do with no oxygen- think quick bursts of energy or sprinting. What you will do as an endurance athlete is aerobic activity, meaning you need oxygen to perform at your best. You will perform best if you take in normal size breaths, not shallow breaths like you are having a baby or super deep breaths like the doctor is checking your lungs either- just right in the middle. Once you get some experience under your belt you will know what “right” feels like.
So, don’t be afraid of catching a bug in your teeth- open up that mouth and let the oxygen in!
Coach Claire Oliver has been involved with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society since 2003. She says, "I started with Team in Training in 2003 and have enjoyed every moment of it since then. I've been coaching for about 9 years now and have coached probably 700 people to their first, or 20th triathlon or marathon. I love endurance sports! I hope you can feel the same passion for the sport that I do. I've completed 3 Ironman races, and about 50 shorts triathlons as well as 17 marathon and countless other road races."