Train your breathing for better race results

Last week I gave you some insights into why how you breathe really does matter if you want to take your endurance performance to the next level.
If you missed it, you can read it here

This week I am going to give you some practical tips and exercises to help you develop and maintain that regular breathing pattern.

1)Rhythmic Breathing:
Practice inhaling for a specific count (e.g., 3 or 4) and exhaling for the same count, syncing the breath with your movement patterns.

2)Nasal Breathing:
Breathe through your nose as much as possible during low-intensity activities to promote diaphragmatic breathing.

3)Breath Counting:
Simply count your breaths (e.g., 1-2-3-4 inhale, 1-2-3-4 exhale) to reinforce a consistent rhythm.

3)Use a Metronome or Music
Set a metronome or select music with a consistent beat per minute (BPM) that matches the desired breathing rate. Try to synchronise your inhalations and exhalations with the metronome or music beats.

4)Breathing Ladders
Start with a short breathing pattern (e.g., 2 steps per inhalation, 2 steps per exhalation) and gradually increase the length (e.g., 3 steps per inhalation, 3 steps per exhalation).
Alternate between shorter and longer patterns to challenge breathing control.

5)Straw Breathing:
Breathe through a small straw during low-intensity activities to promote controlled, diaphragmatic breathing.
This can help you become more aware of your breathing patterns and maintain a consistent rhythm.

6)Visualisation and Cue Words:
Visualize and mentally rehearse your desired breathing patterns before and during activities.
Use cue words or phrases (e.g., “inhale, exhale,” “rhythm,” “control”) to reinforce consistent breathing.

8) Focused Breathing During Warmups and Cooldowns:
Dedicate specific segments of your warmup and cooldown routines to focus solely on controlled breathing exercises.
This can help you establish a consistent breathing pattern before and after intense efforts.

The key thing when practising any of these methods is to start with shorter durations and gradually increase the time and intensity as you become more comfortable with maintaining a regular breathing pattern.

Consistency and regular practice are key to developing this important skill.

About Liza Smith

Liza: The Endurance Expert – Unlock Your Peak Athletic Potential!

Dedicated to endurance, particularly in extreme events like Ironman, OCR and Ultras, Liza stands out not just as a coach but as an emblem of determination and tenacity.

With a reputation for moulding winners and transforming raw potential into prowess, Liza is the top pick for those aspiring to reign supreme in their sport.

Liza’s coaching philosophy centres on the power of the mind. Her five pillars – Control the Controllable, Find the Positive, Focus on You, 100% Effort, and Extreme Ownership – guide athletes to both mental and physical excellence.

Whether you're just starting out or vying for the gold, Liza ensures your hard work delivers results. Train with Liza and unleash the ultimate athlete within you.