Breathe

October 26th 2016

Today I ran five kilometres in a personal best time. Yesterday, I also ran five kilometres in a personal best time but I had to take a break half way through, so that doesn’t really count.

My time today was 22:48, which is actually slower than my all time personal best which is 21:38, so I guess I lied in that first sentence.

This post is already a shambles.

That 21:38 5km was done 18 months ago, when I started running. Back then, I ran infrequently and didn’t really know what I was doing. Now, I run frequently but still don’t really know what I’m doing. But it’s weird to me that now that I run consistently, I’m somehow slower than I was when I ran inconsistently. That’s part of the reason I don’t actually trust the legitimacy of that 21:38.

The difference between yesterday’s failed Personal Best attempt and today’s successful Personal Best attempt was that I didn’t stop. Which is always handy. I had to stop yesterday after three and a bit KMs because, well… I don’t know why I had to stop. It happens a lot, especially when I’m running alone. My legs didn’t hurt, I wasn’t out of breath, my smart watch told me that my heart rate was no higher than 140bpm (which is probably too low, if anything), I just got to that fated fourth K and had to pause.

Today I just… didn’t pause. I hit the wall and went through it, and sped up for the fifth and final K.

I think the problem is with my breathing. My heart is fine. My legs are fine. It’s gotta be the lungs. I don’t really know how you’re supposed to breathe, so I just kind of do it however. I can’t breathe through my nose particularly well so all of my breaths are in through the mouth and out through the mouth, but that shouldn’t matter too much.

When I try to concentrate on breathing properly during a run I end up doing this ‘he he ha ha’ routine wherein I breathe in twice, then out twice in rhythm with my feet pounding the pavement. This seems to make things better but I’m fairly sure that that’s only because keeping rhythm is giving my mind something else to focus on, thus distracting me from wanting to stop.

I think if I figure out how to breathe then I’ll start to see improvements in my time.

For the past few months all I’ve focused on is distance, preferring to complete a longer run at whatever pace than a shorter run quickly. Now, I want to improve my 5km time and a big part of that will be breathing properly.

Until tomorrow, as well as, you know, running fast.

Jacn

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