Here’s a picture I took of myself today in the locker room (with my horrible Blackberry camera)…
…icky and sweaty but happy and excited because I ran for 30 minutes, side stitch free! I attribute this accomplishment to:
- A trick Kendra told me about – apparently you should try exhaling when your left foot strikes if you’re prone to side stitches.
- I breathed in slowly through my nose and purse my lips when I exhaled through my mouth.
- I gave myself permission to stop running in order to catch my breath as I needed. While I don’t have asthma, sometimes it’s hard for me to catch my breath, even during normal daily activities. Sometimes I have to stop and adjust my posture in order to get a full, satisfying breath, and that’s what I did today while I ran.
- I employed deep yogic breathing as best I could (though I sometimes resorted to the flailing, gasping fish method I’m so accustomed to), and if I felt my breathing was too shallow, I walked a few seconds until I could satisfy a breath to the bottom of my lungs.
Rambling possibilities aside, the take-home message here is that today I concentrated on my breathing instead of my speed or my distance, and my lungs carried me as far as my legs could take me. I probably could’ve kept going, but I set my goal for 30 minutes (the longest I’ve ever run is about 25 minutes, and that was in the spring!) and quit while I was ahead. My legs felt like jell-o afterward…they’ve got some catching up to do!
Have you had to re-adjust your breathing during a certain type of exercise? Did you find it hard to concentrate on something that habitual? After awhile, did your new breathing patterns become second nature?