PACING – BODY ALIGNMENT- BREATHING
The hardest part of running is breathing and pacing. You will want to take off from the start. Your mind will be a little nervous but also excited. You have embarked on something new. This brings a little adrenaline, which can work in your favor or against you.
If you can not make it through the scheduled running time allocated it will most likely be due to your pace. If I give you 1-min to run and towards the last few secs of that minute you are really feeling the effects – ex: tired, breathing heavier, heart rate up, legs feel tired – that is perfect. If by halfway through that minute you are feeling those effects and you are not sure how you will make it to the end of that minute. Your pace is too fast! The goal is to be able to talk at the end of that run, not to be so tired you could not continue. If you find after the minute you are hardly exhausted and it was too easy, you may slowly speed up BUT do keep in mind you have many more run times coming and slowly building up will make you enjoy the running process more.
Each time you practice, your homework you may get slightly faster. Remember with running that 5-secs is a huge deal and that your time to finish a 5km does not matter. As long as you feel like you got one great workout, you made it through and you feel great, who gives a shit what the time actually is! Be damn proud you accomplished that run and weeks down the road you can work on getting faster if you choose BUT you never have to. It will naturally happen as you become a runner 🙂
P.S. every time you run, you are now a runner
When you feel you are running at a snail’s pace, remember that is perfect, because that means you will make it through. You are learning to put ego aside and you see an end goal in sight. If I can teach you anything, it is that the mind and ego are your enemies sometimes. We need to pump ourselves up not talk ourselves out of accomplishing great things.
Now let’s talk proper form, your body needs to be tall and relaxed. Good posture will be the key to breathing right and not putting extra weight/pressure on your joints. We tend to pump our arms a lot when running and when we get tired we start to lean forward. We wonder why our knees hurt, but we never look at how much extra pressure running can be, let alone when we lean forward and place more bodyweight onto these joints.
Runners that usually look the “weirdest” are usually the ones doing things correctly. The ones people judge are often the ones we trainers are the proudest of. If you can relax your arms at your sides (which is very hard to do) you will lighten your load and relax your body. This will help you run more freely, easily, and breathe well. Something to work towards 🙂
Remember to ask yourself, “if I am tired, look, and see if I am moving my arms too much? I may be wasting precious energy.” We mentally think if we pump our arms they will somehow make us get there faster. Unfortunately, it can slow us down.
Also remember to stand tall, shoulders back and down, relax and be as loose as you can. It does not take much pressure to place harm on the body, especially if we are already tense. Think always squeeze the core, land every step lightly, and have control over our bodies. I know this is easier said than done, but we are a work in progress. Take it slow and just think about why something is happening. A lot of the time we can solve these issues if we brainstorm for a minute
- do I have good form?
- am I landing lightly every time I take a step?
- am I holding my breath?
- am I running too fast?
- am I swinging my arms too much?
- are my shoulders relaxed?
- am I leaning forward?
Next up breathing, this is no easy task. Your breathing should go with your pace. When I perform a fast pace movement my breathing should be short and fast. If I am going at a slower pace my breathing will be more slow and controlled. I am breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. A lot of people start gasping, taking into much extra, and then get more “stitches” aka gas.
When we get tired we start taking in extra bad air and we need to calm that body, maybe burp it out (running ain’t pretty lol) or slowly start to regain our breath.
I always say for the first few runs nobody focuses on breathing. They’re trying to remember so many things that this usually doesn’t click for a couple of weeks. It will come I promise.
If you are finding your nose is causing you problems, such as it’s running constantly, feel free to spit… YES, I SAID IT! Running is not about looking beautiful and pretending we don’t burp, spit, and sweat. We don’t just run like a gazelle, this is why people say “running ain’t pretty” lol. I am a very realistic trainer and I am not here to skip these key points because they are not ladylike. They will help you I promise 😉