I got behind on my training (quel suprise!) for the upcoming Warrior Dash so my friend, Claire has been helping me make up for lost time. She’s one of these smart, responsible people who actually makes a lifestyle out of healthy choices; go exercise, eat vegetables, get up. (I think she wants to live a long time or set a good example for her kids or something like that.) Believe it or not, I’ve actually been getting up early (in the morning!) to go running with her.*

On a good day, I can do a little over 5k in an hour on a treadmill, but I’m in a bit of denial about what a different beast running outside can be. A treadmill is great, but it keeps up a lot of the momentum for you; the cold, hard, ground however, does not. So while Claire’s trotting away, somehow still able to hold a conversation and pause here and there for a few sets of hop-squats; I’m slogging along behind her, wheezing like an asthmatic ferret and turning purple. But I am improving!** Whatever it is that makes running outside so much tougher, seems to have that effect. Evidentially there’s some kind of correlation between working harder and getting better. Who knew?!

The hardest part for me isn’t so much in building the muscles, (I expected to be sore, but so far it’s not that bad)  it’s that I run out of breath way too fast. But, Claire taught me this really great trick I wanted to share. She’s a very musical person, so what she suggested was to focus on matching my breathing to the rhythm of the music I was listening to.

“Breathe in… 2… 3… 4… breathe out… 2… 3… 4.”

It’s so simple but it works brilliantly for me! I don’t know if it has more to do with something scientific, like keeping the oxygen in your system regulated, or if it’s just that I’m better motivated by thinking more about breathing and less about dying.

 

* The minute one of my parents sees that sentence, I’m going to get a call telling me that my site’s been hacked.
** Nothing’s wrong, Mum. I really wrote that.