Remember this guy - Dean Karnazes? Remember I read his book? See - Running Insanity.
He's freakin' totally ripped, obviously. Guy would run 50, 60, 100 miles straight!
His feet would blister so bad....they'd just shoot super-glue in-between his toes! For real.
Anyways when I run I try to think of his abs/bod. I have always hated distance running, going all the way back to childhood. It was just brutally painful. So I tried a Tony Robbins mind-over-matter thing while I jogged - you know, positive thoughts. If I kept going my abs would approximate his...
It didn't work for more than a minute or so.
But yesterday I joined a health club here in London and jumped on the treadmill. I hadn't run at all since at least Christmas or so - and probably not since Thanksgiving before that.
Nonetheless I got on the treadmill and promptly ran my personal longest (best) - a little over 5 miles!
Don't laugh. I could beat any of your a$$es in a dead sprint, or once around the track. But I always pooped out at about 1/4 of a mile.
So how'd I do it?
No, there wasn't some amazingly hot broad running on the machine next to me that I was trying to impress or anything. On the contrary, such a scenario would probably make me trip, over something.
The way this 39.5 year old set a personal best distance, despite running on ZERO ACLs, despite my botched, ill-advised back surgery, and despite being theoretically pretty out of shape....is that I finally figured out how to breathe, diaphramatically, through my nose.
It turns out I have "flimsy nostrils" - which I discovered on this website with this test:
Starting from the tip of your nose, the first thing you must do is to find out if you have flimsy nostrils. If you have a very narrow nose, or if your nostril openings are very narrow and slit-like, then you may be prone to having flimsy nostrils. Try this experiment: Take both index fingers and press them just besides your nostrils on your cheek. While firmly pressing on your cheeks, lift the cheek skin upwards and sideways, pointing towards the outer corners of your eyes. Take a deep breath in. Can you breathe much better through your nose?
I swear that when I manually lifted up the skin around my face....my nostrils flared open and I felt a gush of oxygen, instantly, like I've never felt before. Apparently, it's like throughout my entire life someone has been pinching my nose shut and depriving me of vast amounts of oxygen.
I would encourage y'all to read up on the benefits of "nasal breathing". Its advocates spare no exaggeration when touting it. According to them....it can bring about world peace and whatnot.
And I can attest that the effects of all this fresh, nasal oxygen were not only physical but mental too. I became far more relaxed with my flaring nostrils, immediately.
Now I've been (half-heartedly) trying to change my breathing, make it more nasal, for some time now. A few of you might even remember. Of course it's hard to break some of these deeply ingrained habits. I think it was just over the summer when I figured out how breathe a little better while running. I was quite happy to start doing 3+ miles here and there.
But yesterday I not only ran over 5 miles, but I wasn't even the slightest bit winded. I could have kept going if I wasn't worried about how my knees would react to this sudden "rudeness". (Indeed they did bitch and moan at me today!)
It's just like in golf...many hackers know what they are doing wrong, BUT they have no idea how to correct it.
Telling myself to breathe more through my nose wasn't doing anything....not with my flimsly nostrils shutting down my airways. Again, I had to manually open them in order to feel exactly how much air they could take in.
And I do disagree with the nostril opening suggestions on that website. I think that if one breathes diaphragmatically and probably does some sort of facial exercises they can open up their nostrils organically.
Can you say "Smile Therapy"???