Sunday, July 19, 2009

Breathe for Power

When you are going to race and you want to perform at your best there are a few tips to give you an edge. I know everyone has heard start slower so you don't burn yourself out during the first mile. Well if you warm up properly you can start right out at your planned race pace.

Warm up done right takes a good half hour. Start with brisk walking for 10 to 15 min till you are feeling loose and moving smoothly. Then add short bursts of speed walking (or running if you are a runner), bursts of 25 to 100 meters. Alternate brisk and speed for another 10 min. Once you start sweating then relax with some gentle stretching for a few minutes. No hard stretching just do the stretches gently and get your whole body not just your calves. Throwing your leg up on a picnic table and bending into it is not a stretching routine.

Take your last potty break about 15 min before the race starts unless there is a big group and few porta-potties, then go earlier so your not standing in line and losing the effect of your warm up. What I usually do is while I'm doing my warm up walk I'll be scouting for a gas station with a bathroom or an out of the way porta-potty or building with a restroom at a park. Then I can use it just prior to going to the start.

When you are standing at the starting line. Breathe as deeply as possible and at the end of the exhale push with your diaphragm to get that last bit of stale air out of your lungs. Repeat slow deep breaths and exhales with a push right up to the starting gun. What your doing is getting your blood oxygen level as high as possible. I do this during a race also when I've gotten into a grove and I'm getting ready to make a move on a racer I want to pass. When your blood oxygen level is charged with the deep breaths you sort of turbo charge your muscles so you can get a little extra from them. It's short lived but it's enough to move up on someone.

You do not want to start panting like a dog with short shallow breaths, your re-breathing the same air since your not completely emptying your lungs and refilling with fresh oxygen. Your muscles are like engines they burn sugar but just like any burning if you take away the oxygen the fire goes out, but if you increase the oxygen the fire burns hotter.

Doing the right pre race warmup and breathing can give you a much stronger race.

Thanks for reading.

Racing Panda

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