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Frankie Says Relax!

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frankieSomeone asked on Facebook the other day about running out of breath and not breathing properly while running and during WoD’s.  As an endurance athlete, this is something that I think about quite a bit.  One solution that I found really surprised me.  When I am training for a race I do a lot of work at the Olive Branch track.  I can’t remember the article now to share with you, but I remember reading something (maybe about Yasso 800) one day before I went to the track.  It was a tough 800 workout.  I hate running 800’s.  It’s my least favorite distance.  Love 200’s, love 400’s, love marathons, 50k’s, 50 milers, but 800 meters is the toughest distance for me to get motivated for.  So on this one particular day I was looking for ways to make 800 meter sprints easier.  I came across this article talking about relaxing while you run.  In particular, it was about relaxing your feet/ankles and arms/hands.  Basically you want everything to be relaxed while keeping a stable and strong core.  So when I got to the track to run I decided I would focus on relaxing my feet and hands while I was running.  It was amazing!  My run times were much faster than the week before.  Keeping yourself calm and relaxed while running really does make a difference.

It is much harder to stay relaxed though if your form sucks.  If your arms are flailing about and you are heal striking it can be pretty difficult to relax and focus on breathing nice and deep.  Here are a couple of cues on running form that might help you breath a little easier:

  • Keep your head up
  • Keep your Shoulders Back
  • Arms bent at 90 degrees and hands relaxed
  • Pull your feet under your hips
  • Relax your foot

You want to look like this:



That’s just running though.  What can you do during a nasty WoD to help you control your breathing and keep from gassing out?  Again, stay relaxed.  It’s fun to get fired up listening to a crazy metal song, beating your chest, ready to crush a WoD.  However, sometimes all that pre workout firing up can waste valuable energy.  Stay calm before your WoD, relax and focus on what you have to do.  Treat every workout like it is a competition.  You have a job to do, focus on doing it.  It doesn’t matter what song is playing or who else is doing the WoD, just focus on doing your work.  Relax.  Get it done.

Another thing that I like to do during a tough workout is separate rounds of reps with breaths.  For instance, if a WoD calls for 10 Thrusters.  I might break those 10 Thrusters up into sets of 5.  Between those sets, I’ll take 5 deep breaths (with the bar in front rack position) and get right back on the bar after those 5 breaths.

Don’t be afraid to relax.  You can open a Wod with everything you have and end up gassing out early and maybe not even finishing the workout.  It’s the same with running.  Relax, breath deep.  Make sure your form is good and you are performing the movement properly.  Breathe deep.  Don’t worry about those around you or what song is playing.  Just relax and get the work done.  At my endurance cert, I found myself doing burpees next to Rich Froning, Jr.  I marveled at how calm and relaxed he was just doing the work.  Take a cue from the fittest man in the world and just relax.  Keep good form and you’ll be in good shape.


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