Additional Running Tips — Breathing Techniques and Increasing Lung Capacity
Jennifer Heiner has served as the retail director of a running company in New Jersey since 2019. Active within the New York City running community, Jennifer Heiner has helped organize a number of training runs for the New York City Marathon, including the 20-mile Three Bridges Run, where she was also a pace group leader.
Training for a 26.2-mile marathon requires organization, persistence, and discipline. The first training element is base mileage, which requires running three to five times per week and gradually increasing weekly mileage. Over the course of 10 to 20 weeks of training, runners should plan to build their mileage up to around 50 miles per week. Avoid increasing mileage by more than 10 percent per week.
Every 7 to 10 days, runners should plan on a long run to help the body adjust to long distances. This distance should increase over time, then drop back down in order to let the body recover. These long runs should be taken at a slower pace in order to help the body adjust and learn to utilize fat for fuel. A peak run, such as the 20-mile Three Bridges Run, ensures the runner is prepared for marathon day. A marathon training schedule should also include rest days, which are essential for muscle recovery and injury prevention.
There are also many other recovery techniques that one should follow or utilize during recovery to stay as healthy and injury free as possible. There are some things that we as runners can do both before we lace up and after we are done with a run or workout to aid in the recovery process. Many physical therapists, trainers, and coaches will agree that routine foam rolling can lead to improved range of motion, flexibility and movement, increased blood flow, and will assist in returning your muscles to normal function. Foam rolling can even aid in the removal of scar tissue or muscle adhesions that limit mobility.
One thing that we can also work on as runners is our breathing technique, which can increase lung capacity and function, which actually makes our effort during our workout days easier, which, in the long run (no pun intended) leads to easier recovery. Recently, the 6 Minute Mile blog posted on this very topic.
Minute 1: Runners can improve their lungs with these tips
Running on scenic trails can leave you breathless — in every sense of the word. Nothing wrong with being awestruck, but we could all do without gasping for air during a punishing hill or alpine interval workout. To avoid that, you can train your lungs, according to this new piece: “8 Ways to Increase Lung Capacity For Running.” Lung stretches and pursed lip breathing (inhaling through your nose and exhaling slowly through pursed lips) can strengthen the muscles involved in breathing. This technique has also been shown to improve your oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange. Another step is to make sure you’re performing some workouts that push your lungs to their limit. Interval runs and hill sprints are a good place to start, and in fact, those are also recommended in: “How to Improve VO2 Max: The Only 2 Workouts You Need.” VO2 max is essentially a measure of how well your body can use oxygen, so a higher VO2 max will make things easier on your lungs. The most effective way to improve your VO2 max is by spending time at your maximal aerobic speed, which is the minimum pace which requires your body to use its max oxygen intake. You could try a workout based on 1000 meter interval repeats to hit this goal. Beyond that, other breathing exercises can increase your lung’s efficiency and capacity: “Breathing Exercises to Increase Lung Capacity.” The first technique is diaphragmatic breathing, aka “belly breathing,” which is performed by expanding your belly while you inhale slowly to move the muscles responsible for breathing through their full range of motion.