Category Archives: Training

How To Inhale and Exhale To Run Faster

Learning how to breathe (inhale and exhale) properly has benefits such as improving a runners performance.

A good description of a breathing technique on how to breathe and boost performance is from Military.com

Many experts will say that to fully oxygenate the muscles and clear the body of carbon dioxide you should breathe a 3:2 inhale-to-exhale ratio; full inhales and full exhales. This means you INHALE on the LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT foot strikes and EXHALE fully on the RIGHT, LEFT foot strikes. This pattern is not that hard to turn into a habit, but it may require you to slow your pace down for a few runs to master the technique. You will notice a lower heart rate as you are able to get more oxygen in and more importantly push all the carbon dioxide out of your body. You may notice that you naturally drop to a 2:1 ratio when you are really pushing it to the finish. That is OK. But realize it is difficult to maintain a pace that requires you to breathe at a 2:1 ratio.

There are many techniques on how to breathe, the best way to find a method that works for you is to try them all. If a method you tried does not work, try another method, when you find a method that works stick to it.

The following breathing tips have worked for me.

Breath more from your diaphragm (belly) than your chest (chest breathing is more shallow).

Focus on exhaling more fully. This will remove more CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and allow for deeper inhalations of O2 (Oxygen), I do this when I reach a hill and slow my pace.

How Tyson Gay Can Beat Usain Bolt

We know Jamaican Usain Bolt is faster than American Tyson.

A BBC article titled Why Bolt is special analyses the performance of Bolt and Gay at the 100 metres IAAf finals 2009 Berlin Germany.

According to the article Both athletes strides

Bolt needed 41 strides to win gold on Sunday while Tyson Gay, who claimed silver with a magnificent time of 9.71, took 44½ strides.

On How Tyson Gay can Beat Usain Bolt

The article adds If Gay is to challenge Bolt’s world record it would appear he needs to improve his stride length while maintaining his stride frequency – which is easier said than done when travelling upwards of 27mph.

Bolts biggest advantage is that he has legs longer than his fellow athletes, the Jamaican is 6.5fts, which means he has longer stride.

If Gay cannot run faster by improving his stride length then he may consider undergoing surgery to have longer legs? That may work!!!!

Runner Problem : Cant Sleep & Wake up at Night

Waking up at the middle of the night is a problem I have whenever I start training for a marathon. I no longer consider it a sleeping problem but an effect of marathon training.

For the last two months since i started training for October Nairobi Marathon, every night my sleep is interrupted, it is usually a case of a full bladder. After emptying it I get back to bed and get back sleeping within no time.

Waking up at night is a good sign for a runner.

The full bladder that wakes me up at night is because of my hydration. To run properly a runner must drink plenty of water to remain hydrated. I always make sure am drinking a minimum of two litres a day to replace lost fluid during running.

While it is inconveniecing to wake up in the middle of the night, I think it is a small price to pay. The most important thing for me is to run properly and that means staying hydrated.

Waking up at night is a sign my hydration is up to standard.

Breathing Exercise : How To Get More Oxygen Into Your Lungs

The biggest dilemma in running is, you try to run faster but your lungs always let you down. Running is a cardiovascular exercise, if you can improve on your breathing and how to get more oxygen into your lungs you are guaranteed to run faster.

Runners World January 2009 Issue had a great article on how you can improve on how you get more oxygen into your lungs by doing a couple of simple exercises.

To quote from the article “Just as we strength-train our hamstrings and calves to improve our ability to power over hills, we can tone the muscles used for breathing. “Exercise improves the conditioning of the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen, and the intercostal muscles, which lie between the ribs and enable you to inhale and exhale,” says Everett Murphy, M.D., a runner and pulmonologist at Olathe Medical Center in Olathe, Kansas. “When you take a breath, 80 percent of the work is done by the diaphragm. If you strengthen your diaphragm, you may improve your endurance and be less likely to become fatigued.”

Any exercise that works on your core area such as sit ups will improve the muscles around the diaphragm.

Best breathing method : The mouth or the nose?

The experts interviewed for the article swore by the mouth, the wider is your mouth open while running the better your breathing. I once tried running with my mouth shut and I swear it was horrible.

The chest breathing or the belly breathing.

I was a little bit surprised to learn belly breathing is the recommended method of breathing for runners. When you chest breathe, your shoulders get tense and move up and down. That’s wasted energy-energy you should conserve for running.

Great stuff!!

Video on How to Remove Body Toxins By Paula Radcliffe

Paula Radcliffe is the one of the best female long distance runners. In this video she recommends easy runs to remove toxins from the body.

Cause of toxins in your body.

If you are feeling sore after running exercise it is because toxins (lactic acid) has built up in your muscles. An easy run can go a long way in flushing it out of your body.

Watch video on how to remove / flush out toxins from your body

How To Build Leg Strength

I was checking out videos on you tube when I came across a video on how to build leg strength.

This video was impressive because the presenter demonstrated how you can build leg strength without gaining unnecessary leg muscle. If you are a runner and you engage in resistance training that adds muscle, the extra muscle will make you add weight that will slow your running speed.

Best Exercises To Get a Flat Stomach

My sister she is always asking me what are the best exercise she can do to get a flat stomach. I have recommended my favourite exercise, running but she refused, she wanted an exercise she can do indoors.

I researched around the internet and these were what I found

1. Good old sit ups

2. Bicycle exercise

3. Exercise Ball Crunch

4. Full vertical crunch

5. Plank on elbows and trunk, it won’t trim your tummy but it will give you a strong tummy

Other tips for a flat stomach

1. A good diet, cut on those calories

2. Stay hydrated.

Benefit Of Running Exercise During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant and you love running, you might be wondering “Is it safe to run while pregnant?” Worry not because according to an article running during pregnancy it is okay!

The article also has a list of benefits of running exercise during pregnancy.

  • Running exercise while pregnant helps limit excess weight gain.
  • Running exercise while pregnant keeps your mood up.
  • Running while pregnant can ward off pregnancy-induced hypertension and other prenatal problems.

A word of caution for pregnant runners : Be very cautious when running on uneven surfaces. Your center of gravity changes as your abdomen expands. Some experts suggest running on a treadmill at a gym after the second trimester to avoid potentially harmful falls.

London Marathon : Training Plan

If you are training for the london marathon you should keep in mind the following marathon training principles:

When to start training for london marathon

The early you start your marathon training the better. 4 months prior to the marathon is a good idea. Training early has advantages, you get enough time to train and most importantly you have time to recover from inevitable running injuries.

The 10% rule of marathon training.

Never increase your weekly mileage, by more than 10 percent a week. If you do you will drastically increase the risk of running injury.

The long runs for london marathon

The long runs can be upto 20-23 miles (for the experienced runner) for the inexperienced runner this can be 5 – 15 miles depending on your level of experience. The long run should be done at least once a week.

Easy weeks

We love going  full speed on our training but it is a good Idea to slow things down between your training weeks. This will allow you to stay fresh as you build on your overall workload.

Rest.

Taking a complete break from running is as important as running itself. Two to three days of complete rest will allow you body to recover from the stress of marathon running. Don’t take a long rest as you will lose all the gains from your training.

Hydration for london marathon

Keep drinking enough water. Water helps in preventing running injuries.

Nutrition for london marathon

Eating the right foods is important! You need to eat plenty of carbohydrates to give you energy. Eating foods rich in protein will help your body repair small tears that happen during training.

Taper for london marathon

Avoid overtraining by reducing your weekly mileage during the final two weeks before london marathon. This will ensure you arrive at the starting line feeling fresh and energised.

Good luck with your training!!

How To Stretch Safely And avoid Injury

A brief stretching session done regularly will help improve your performance and reduce your risk of injury.

Daily Running Tips For How to stretch safely and avoid injury

  1. The total routine need not last for more than 15 minutes.
  2. Stretch according to need, depending on soreness, tightness or the upcoming workout.
  3. Warm-up for at least 5 minutes with light jogging
  4. Perform stretches in a controlled and smooth manner.
  5. Hold each stretch for at least 15-25 seconds
  6. and the most important thing about stretching, don’t strain, bounce or force a stretch.

Good luck