Monday, September 7, 2009

Running At a Higher Altitude

I ran 3 miles in Pinetop, AZ on Sunday. Mark warned me that the altitude might make it harder so I purposefully kept it a little slower. Most of my repetitions were to run for one minute and then walk just long enough to recover. Overall, my time was no slower than usual.

I continued to concentrate on my breathing cadence. I exhale on every fifth step which means it's on the opposite foot every time. I read that the most impact, and therefore the most opportunity for injury, occurs with the exhale, so by alternating the foot that is striking at the time of each exhale, I'm limiting the potential for injury to any particular side.

The other thing that cadence helps me with is keeping track of how long I'm running each cycle. I don't have to keep track with my watch because I know that if I'm exhaling every fifth step, I will exhale about 30 times each minute, so I just count the exhales. That is dependent on the music and tempo I have set which is about 160-180 beats per minute.

When I explained this breathing-cadence to Bernadette and she tried it, she said she got dizzy. I think the key is to ONLY concentrate on the exhale. If you concentrate on exhaling every fifth step, but then you also inhale for a few steps, I think you will get dizzy and the overall ventilation will be all wrong. By only concentrating on the exhale, the natural reflex will be to quickly recover with an inhalation.

The thing I did notice in Pinetop was that the temperature makes a HUGE difference. I thought it made a difference, but didn't know how much. My run on Sunday was MUCH easier than any three miles I've done in Phoenix in a very long time.

Hopefully soon, I'll be able to work on improving speed!

Here's the link for Sunday's run.


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