I'm running my first half marathon next week and as part of my training i keep being told to cross train. I’m semi fit and strong from my other gym workouts, but i think i mostly need to increase lung capacity, so that i can breathe better while running faster or at longer distances. do you know of any particular workouts that would increase lung capacity? I did a quick google search but the results all seem pretty generic.
As a fellow runner I can say that this is not only a great question but very common runner’s issue. Increasing your lung capacity is not only important and necessary for running but in all exercise. I have found over the years in my own workouts as well as with clients that including some breathing techniques during your running helps you improve distance and speed.
Coordinating your inhales and exhales with your steps develops diaphragmatic strength. Start with a 2 breathes in while stepping left, right; 2 breathes out while stepping left, right. Advance to 3-3 (breathe in, step left, right, left; breathe out, step right, left, right), and then a 4-4 pattern. Focus on full inhales and strong full exhales.
I have been an Athletic Pilates Instructor for almost 11 years. Pilates exercises reduce the huffing and puffing. The Pilates 5 series strengthen the diaphragm, stretch tight muscles, and improve posture-all of which help you run longer with less effort. Practice each exercise two or three times a week before you run.
The Pilates -5 Series
The exercises in the Pilates 5 Series will stretch the intercostal muscles (which lie between the ribs), relax the shoulders, engage the diaphragm and pelvic floor, and balance breathing between the left and right lungs.
For more Pilates exercises that can benefit your running, go torunnersworld.com/pilates