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Staggered miles and breathing

19 March, 2010

Last night at the track, we did four repeats of 600m hard, 200 easy, 800 hard, with 400m jogs between each repeat. This is only the second time I’ve done this particular workout (the first time at the end of January, I was just glad to be running a bit faster again, and didn’t notice the time), so I don’t really know what these numbers mean: 5:46, 5:52, 5:56, 5:52. They are the total time for each 1600m repeat (including the 200m recovery). I could have been a bit more consistent, but the final 800m was 2:35, so at least I finished strong.

Often, when I’m tired, I consciously direct my attention towards my breathing, and almost invariably I find that either I’m not fully exhaling or that I’m not fully inhaling, deeply into the belly and up into the shoulders. Today, I wasn’t feeling too bad during my easy-paced run, but decided to devote some running time to this anyway. Intuitively, it seems to me that mastering this, more than any other aspect of running form, will have a direct payoff in performance. Not only that, but paradoxically, focussing on the breath also seems to lead to greater awareness of tension in other parts of the body.

Yesterday: 7 miles.
Today: 8.5 miles.

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