Rehearsal for Race for Life

As I posted on the C25K "quest" page, today I did a practice run on the course for my "Race for life" next Saturday. I signed up for 10k (why? why??) so I wanted to be sure I could go the distance.

I did two laps of the course where the race will be held, using the C25K+ "stamina" podcast. The first lap took 35 mins and the second lap was 40 mins. I was a bit sore to find out that the total distance I ran was 8.85k, not the full 10 - but at least now I know what to expect.

This was also my chance to try a new breathing technique. I had been having trouble with gasping for air and my nose and airways seizing up. I did a "chi running" workshop last week and the teacher recommended always breathing through the nose when running.

My gremlins thought this was very funny. "HAHA U WILL DIEEE" was the message. (Gremlins are rubbish at spelling.) I also thought this made no sense - surely you have to take in more air when you are pushing yourself? But I bought a book called "The Oxygen Advantage", which says the important thing is not the amount of air you take in but the balance between oxygen and CO2 in your body.

I tried it - and it worked! I was aware of making an effort as I ran, but I wasn't getting exhausted and running out of steam. I managed the full 35 mins of the podcast, then 10 minutes of walking, and the rest of the way I did walk-run (with more running than walking).

I'll keep practising the breathing and chi running techniques, but I feel so much more confident now I know they work!

16 Replies

  • Good work! If you've done 8.85k alone, 10k + Race for Life atmosphere should be a blast! Look forwards to reading about it.

    I think I'd have to run with tape over my nose to breathe through my nose while running. But I always did love Adam Ant...

  • Ridicule is nothing to be scared of! ;-)

  • Well done,now you know you can do it. I did Race for Life recently and signed up for 10k but as I was running, was so tempted to go on the shorter 5k route but I decided to slog it out for 10! So pleased I did, after I settled into running and kept plodding and can even say I got into a stride too plus managed a sprint finish! It is an amazing atmosphere there with different abilities, so I even plodded past some women half my age which really boosted my confidence that I am a real runner. If you need to take a walk break on Race for Life, it is fine, no one minds or notices and then you can go again with more strength until you find your pace

  • Thanks for your encouraging words, Joolie - it's great to hear from someone who has already done it! Well done for slogging through the whole 10K!

  • That's fab Katie. If you can run 8.85 then the 10K will be doable. Hats off to you about the breathing thing as I've never been able to breathe through my nose. I've read that the body uses oxygen more efficiently when doing it your way so it's obviously the way to go. Good luck for your race. You'll be awesome.

  • Thanks, Irishprincess!

  • Haha! @ the Gremlins. :)

    Interesting info about the breathing, though. It seems like there are so many little things we can do to subtly (or greatly) improve our running technique.

    I still confuse myself if I try to measure/control my breathing, but that's something for me to practice on.

    Glad that your reconnaissance run went well- you'll have no problems on Saturday. :)

  • Hi 90ldfinch - it was a relief to know that it was (vaguely) do-able. I also had a chance to work out where the loos were and important stuff like that.

    Regarding the breathing, the book I'm reading says to breathe gently through your nose, with your mouth closed, and every so often to hold your breath for a few paces, to train your body to be less sensitive to CO2. Apparently breathing through your mouth and gasping for air actually sets up a physical stress reaction where your airways get narrower, and you actually need more CO2 to re-set everything. I guess it's similar to when someone has a panic attack and you put a paper bag over their nose and mouth so they can re-breathe their own air and get more CO2 back in their system.

  • I'm intrigued by that Katie204 & IP. I'll have a little experiment with it tomorrow morning.

    I see (by reading on Amazon) that the author has controlled his asthma through nasal breathing. Really interesting. Ta :)

  • If you want to find out more before buying the book, I have found some videos by this guy on YouTube:

  • That's ace, thanks. Plenty of learning ahead :)

  • Just back from my 2nd post-grad 5k. I tried the breathing as you described- WOW! The 1st 1 or 2k, it felt a bit weird, but when I realised it wasn't doing me any harm <roll eyes>, I think I just relaxed and went with it.

    I am truly amazed. I was only out for a gentle run (gotta save myself for a Parkrun), but I got a new 5k PB. I definitely wasn't trying for it.

    I also knew for sure that I could have kept going and done at least 1 or 2k more, but I erred on the side of caution.

    I felt like I'd got so much more energy left in the tank. At the end of the run, I felt like I hadn't even broken a sweat.

    Another running epiphany, Katie204 - thanks.

    Now I know you will cruise through your Race For Life. :)

  • That's amazing, I'm going to try next time I go out xx

  • Hi - that's brilliant news! I know what you mean - it makes no sense at all and you think you're going to suffocate, but in fact it really works!

    Very well done on your new PB!

  • Ta- I bought the book this afternoon- I'm amazed at what a difference it made to my running.

    Have a fantastic RFL 🏃☺

  • Well done , with the atmosphere on the day and the crowd 10k will be no problem , all you have to do is enjoy it and take it all in ☺

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