Another Reason to Try Nasal Breathing?

bnasal1

One of the commenters on the first part of why I tried nasal breathing (read it here) said she did it to make sure she ran her easy runs easy. This is even sort of ties into the actual topic this week — my thoughts on rest days — I write about that a lot! Yes, I’m a big fan of rest days. They’re important to let all your hard work be assimilated by your body.

bnasal2

Run your easy runs easy
Okay, that was a bit of a reach. This post is not so much about rest days, but it is about whether or not you’re running too hard on your easy runs. You probably are. Most runners do. Because if the secret to running faster is to, well, run faster — the more the better, right?

Nooooo! You will quickly find that breathing in and out only through your nose will quickly let you know when you’re running too hard. You’ll probably want to start breathing through your mouth — a sure sign that you’re pushing too hard.

This article here explains how to slowly master nasal breathing and some of the benefits

By dramatically increasing the amount and intensity of work you’re able to do while nose breathing, you will reconfigure both your body and your brain to change what they think your endurance, power, and speed thresholds are. You won’t be tiring out secondary respiratory muscles (lats, intercostals and obliques) that fatigue quickly and start to signal the brain that you’re almost out of puff! You’ll be able to keep going faster for longer without tiring, and will avoid utter crashes and collapses that we see when people allow their breathing patterns to go haywire during a race or intense workout.

Matt Frazier, of No Meat Athlete, has another great post on nasal breathing here. The book he mentions is one that I have read. My experience with nasal breathing was just different from his — my heart rate could still get up relatively high, by which I presume that I was still just running too fast while trying to unlearn mouth breathing.

Even if fewer breaths, lower heart rate, and less perceived exertion didn’t translate into performance gains — and as far as I’m concerned, the jury is still out — it’s a worthwhile experiment for anyone interested in meditation, relaxation, and spending more time in the mysterious, elusive Zone.

It all comes back to can you tell if you’re running easy rather “easily” by tuning into your breath — whether you’re nose breathing or mouth breathing. It’s not the only way to tell if you’re truly running easy, but it’s a good tool to have. You always have it with you.

Final Thoughts
Reading these articles makes me feel that maybe I didn’t really ease into nasal breathing as much as I should have. Or maybe I threw in the towel too early, and really just needed to go back to basics. I’m still not sure I want to revisit it, but I want what Matt has! That feeling of ease, while breathing through your nose, even while running hard, but most especially while running easy.

Whether nasal breathing has intrigued you or not, the advice to run your easy runs easy is always important. Your body works hard for you and it deserves to be taken care of. — Chocolaterunsjudy

Do you care if you’re running easy or hard for easy runs?

Has running easy runs too hard ever led to problems for you? 

What are some signs that you need a rest day? 

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

Runners_Roundup_Logo-640x640

Why Should You Try Nasal Breathing?

bnasal1

I am always striving to learn, to experiment, to try new things. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t, but you always learn something.

Last Spring I decided to try nasal breathing in my running (breathing in and out through my nose). As a Yoga teacher, I know the power of breath. Ancient Yogis thought that we only have so many breaths in our lifetime — slowing down our breath so that we took fewer breaths per minute was partially an attempt to live longer.

Paying attention to our breath gives us clues to how we’re feeling. How often do you hold your breath as you go about your daily lives? You might be surprised. If you’re scared or excited, your breath will speed up — it helps to invoke the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), our fight or flight response.

That worked great when we were living in caves and suddenly encountered a saber tooth tiger. Once we got away from the tiger, though, we would calm down and eventually shift back into our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), our rest and digest system.

We’re not as evolved as we like to think we are. The problem today is that we are often being pushed into our SNS by modern day stressors — almost constatnly — but we’re not facing a real tiger and we’re going from one stress to the next and not spending enough time in our PNS.

bnasal2

Why breath through your nose?
One of the main reasons I decided to give nasal breathing such a long trial (almost 6 months!) was the fact that it is supposed to help you engage your PNS, and thus supposedly get into the flow state immediately.

Nasal breathing can (supposedly) help you increase the amount of oxygen to get to you hard working muscles, and perhaps boost athletic performance. This post from the Washington post (read it here) says:

It can allow for more oxygen to get to active tissues. That is because breathing through the nose releases nitric oxide, which is necessary to increase carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood, which, in turn, is what releases oxygen. Mouth breathing does not effectively release nitric oxide, which means the cells are not getting as much oxygen as through nasal breathing, which could lead to fatigue and stress.

Who doesn’t want to boost their performance? And hey, it’s free! Nasal breathing may actually help boost your immune system, too — who doesn’t want that right now? Check out this post here for more information.

Our nasal passages are able to filter bacteria and viruses in the air. We have little hair follicles in our nose (in fact, we have as many hair follicles inside our nose as we do on our head, according to Mackenzie) that are able to filter the air as you inhale, which can block dust and bacteria from reaching your lungs. Our mouths, on the other hand, don’t have the same knack for filtering out particles.

It all sounds good, doesn’t it?

So what went wrong?
I knew going into this experiment that it could take time. Up to three months, in fact, to switch over. I knew that it would mean slower running, but with no races in sight, no big deal.

At first I couldn’t seem to maintain nasal breathing. Which mostly meant I was running too fast. You really do have to slow way down. Then I decided to go back to run/walk intervals, and that helped a lot. I was beginning to see a little progress . . . then Summer came along.

I found it extremely difficult to breathe through my nose in the heat and humidity of Summer. I wasn’t feeling in the flow, either. My runs didn’t leave me feeling good. So I finally stopped nasal breathing while running.

Final Thoughts
I still believe that mastering nasal breathing could be helpful. Even though it’s cooler now, and should be easier, I’m not sure I want to go back and try. On the other hand, it still might be good to work on it just in daily life — I believe with everything going on right now, it may be helpful.

Trying new things is never a bad thing. That’s how we grow and learn. It’s a form of self study. But sometimes you need to know when to fold up. — Chocolaterunsjudy

What do you do to keep your immune system strong?

Have you ever even heard of nasal breathing before? 

What things have you tried and had to let go? 

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

Runners_Roundup_Logo-640x640

Zooming around: 5/11 – 17 WRD

Finally Spring has arrived! Although in typical Northeast fashion, it looks like we’re going to skip right over Spring and go into Summer. I am not complaining about that at all!

bwrd

Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and sharing what little movement there was this week.

Workouts update

  • Monday:  Dogwalk
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, Yoga (30 min)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min)
  • Thursday: 3 miles easy
  • Friday: Dogwalk, SB (15 min), Bodyweight + Kettlebells (20 min), Yoga (20 min)
  • Saturday:  Dogwalk, Yoga (60 min)
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, 6 miles easy, Yoga later maybe, maybe some ST, maybe both . . .

Mileage: 9 (-3)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Update

Kind of a rainbow . . . 

Thursday
Body wanted lots of extra rest again this week. The good news is that after all that rest, my runs felt better than any of  last week’s runs. Maybe that was also because I decided to bring back structured run/walk intervals as I continue to struggle|work on nasal breathing. The weather was again perfection, so worth the wait!

Even a pandemic can’t stop Memorial Day prep

Sunday
Running in  skirt. Living in a skirt. I’ve missed that! Cloudy, but great running weather. This run felt hard at times, but that may have been due to the incessant hills. I did both roads that lay on either side of my neighborhood, and they’re both hilly. I think run/walk is the way to go for now.

Not sure why he looked so sad, he loves his walks!

Favorites of the week
I don’t Zoom as much as a lot of people — it’s totally a verb now, right? There was more zooming for me this week than usual. My brother’s 60th birthday call (we did get my Mom on it), blogger Zoom, the Yoga Zoom with friends last weekend. I did miss the Zoom with my local running friends, but what can I say? Evening doesn’t work well for me and I was just especially tired this week.

I made an ecard for my brother’s 60th with a collage of family, too (it was my third in about a week!) but it was fun.

img_7874-1
Auto balancing my chakras below me as I practice Yoga on the deck

There’s been quite a bit of deck Yoga, which has been lovely, especially with the rainbow chimes chiming below me.

Other than that, not a whole lot going on. Although I may be teaching my private Yoga student again in the near future — outside in my backyard. Let’s hope I can find all the dog poop. 🙂

Is it Spring or Summer where you live (or worse, not even Spring yet)?

Any Memorial Day plans?  Not here. Unless we can work out the bathroom situation going to my Moms.

Do you think your furkids will be upset when things get back to normal? Although we’ve both gone out, not at the same time and not as often. I had already said to Mr. Judy that we’ll have to recondition them to us being gone longer eventually.

Coming up on Tuesday: What I can’t wait to experience at a real race (which probably isn’t going to happen for me this year). Friday I’ll talk about the pros of running near to home. Gotta try to stay positive here! Don’t forget that Skirt Sports is selling off its inventory, so check out the sale here.

S is for . . . : 5/4 – 10 WRD

. . . Spring or . . . Snow????

Yeah baby, it snowed yesterday. Multiple times. No real accumulation, thankfully.

bwrd

Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and sharing staying cool. Literally!

Workouts update

  • Monday:  3 miles easy, Dogwalk, Bodyweight/Kettlebells (20 min)
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, SB (10 min), Bodyweight/Kettlebells (30 min), Yoga (20 min)
  • Thursday: 3 miles easy with 5 x 20ish strides, Dogwalk
  • Friday: Dogwalk
  • Saturday:  Dogwalk, Taught Yoga on Zoom (30 min)
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, 6 miles easy, Yoga later (maybe, if time between Zooms)

Mileage: 12 (+2)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Update

The Magnolias survived

Monday
I may often miss a Monday, but glad I managed to get out there this morning before the weather went South (or is that North?). It was a beautiful morning, but the clouds moved in, the wind picked up, and the temps dropped. Thankfully it was nice during my run, which was slow, but I knew that’s what my body needed today.

Are you EVER coming back (before I’ve even left)

Thursday
Today was a beautiful day. A bit windy, but nothing too bad. I wasn’t quite sure how strides would work with nasal breathing, which still seems hard. I do my strides at the end of my run, sprinting from my mailbox to a neighbor’s fence, then pausing my watch and walking back to my starting point.

More neighborhood rainbows

That walk back gave me enough time to recover from the harder effort — while still continuing to breath through my nose. Without the strides this run would have been on the slower side, but glad to see I could still incorporate some strides. A girl’s gotta run fast sometimes.

A rainbow AND a letter for Liz @ Librofulltime

Sunday
I was really optimistic about this run. I just had a feeling it would go well. Unfortunately, it was a slog. I think my body was saying no thank you to running long today, but I still finished 6. Not sure why. I spent the last couple of miles in a sort-of fartlek. Maybe I need to go back to run/walk intervals until (if?) nasal breathing feels easier.

Quite a few takes to get a decent photo

Favorites of the week
We mugged for the camera to get the photo above to use in the ecard I made for my mom today. Happy Mother’s Day to all who celebrate! Let’s just say it took multiple takes over two days, but since we don’t have any photos of all of us, glad we persevered.

Not quite as happy? I thought my mom could phone into my brother’s 60th Zoom birthday call tomorrow. Turns out you only get dial in numbers on a paid account — as far as I can tell. Let’s just say Zoom’s support docs leave a bit to be desired.

By the way, Zoom is also now requiring passwords for all meetings.

We haven’t given up, though. She does have a laptop. I’m going to try another test and see if she can actually manage to click through. She’s not tech savvy, it’s hard when you can’t see her computer while trying to help, plus she has a significant hand palsy. If she could manage it, then she could even see us!

bsnowmay20
There have been a lot of times over the years we’ve lived here when I’ve wondered if somehow we got transported to VT. Yesterday was on of those times!

Almost forgot to share our snow yesterday. I mean, it was just a dusting — although we had flurries twice more during the day. I have never seen snow here this late in the year. The good news is it’s slowly going to warm up next week — and it looks like maybe Spring will arrive — and stay.

To end on a happier note, I also taught a Yoga class to Running Buddies D&J yesterday on Zoom. They gave two thumbs up to the Airpods, which stayed connected well the whole time. Zoom also let us chat after for a long time, so win-win! I will probably offer to teach a donation based Yoga class for the Humane Society now that I can communicate effectively. I still need to test them out on FB Live, so I may be starting back there, too!

Real cards or ecards? I hate to slaughter trees for cards

Are you parents hopping on the Zoom craze? 

How often to you go grocery shopping now? Every week I’ve been saying I really need to physically go to a grocery store. Every week I decide not to. Well, this week it was finally time. In fact, I went to two. I should be good for another month or so. Grocery deliveries are always an adventure — let’s just say substitutions can be interesting, and sometimes there are substitutions for no apparent reason.

Coming up on Tuesday: The topic is your worst race experience, but I went with my biggest race pet peeve. Any guesses? Friday I’ll a surprising benefit from good hydration. Don’t forget that Skirt Sports is selling off its inventory, so check out the sale here.

Springing into . . . Snow?: 4/6 – 12 WRD

Yes indeed, we got just a tiny bit of the white stuff yesterday — nothing sticking, just a brief snow shower. Thankfully I chose to run today, a much nicer day. Yesterday the wind was insane. Today it was just windy.

bwrd

Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and sharing still more doggy cuteness again. Which is what happens when we’re at home and Mr. Judy is bored.

Workouts update

  • Monday:  SB (15 mn), 4 miles easy, Dogwalk
  • Tuesday: SB (18 min), Dogwalk, PB Cardio + Weights (30 min)
  • Wednesday: Cardio (10 min), SB (5 min), 4 miles easy, Yin Yoga (30 min)
  • Thursday: Rainy Dogwalk, Rest Day
  • Friday: SB (20 min), Dogwalk, Yoga (15 min)
  • Saturday: Dogwalk, Rest Day
  • Sunday: 8 miles LSD, Yoga later

Mileage: 16 (NC)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Update

Blurry daffodils, still most welcome

Monday
Finally a nice running day; I was even a little overdressed due to getting out later than planned (I got caught up working on my spare room). Still nose breathing, still slow, but a lovely day to run.

I don’t normally do runfies, but this was part of stuff I was working on for Tuesday’s post

Wednesday
Not so nice, but not too bad either. I got excited because this run was just a little faster. Then I remembered I came up with an idea for Tuesday’s post and there were a lot of photo stops in the beginning.

I’ve been talking about grounding a lot lately. Notice the trees roots rising out of the muck — that’s grounding!

Sunday
You may or may not have noticed I took a lot of rest this week. I was feeling pretty run down by the end of the week. The weather wasn’t bad today. I chose the other side of the neighborhood, which is still hilly, but not as steep. 

Still can’t figure out why a much slower pace still feels really hard simply by breathing through your nose. A glimmer of hope, though, this was slightly faster than last week’s 8 miler, and the pace was very consistent — whether I was going uphill or downhill. I was tiring towards the end, and walking a bit more, and really wondering why I had to run into that headwind at the end.

Now that’s partner Yoga!

Favorites of the week
Lola tries to get Mr. Judy to go to bed earlier than he wants to. And Bandit gets very clingy and/or antsy until I’m in bed at night.

So far, so good. That’s how I usually respond when people ask how we’re doing. Another week, getting groceries delivered from the store, did curbside pickup from the pet store for dog food and Frontline (talk about sticker shock!). This week we really threw caution to the wind and got sushi delivered — mainly because it’s Passover. Sushi isn’t exactly considered kosher for Passover but I say it’s in the spirit of the holiday.

I wanted to share some other stuff from YouTube; a couple of videos I watched this morning.  Oh my goodness, this YouTube video here is so inspirational (watch til the end, it even ties in a bit with running!).

Ishvara pranidhana is a concept that I love — basically that there is a higher power that has a plan for us. I believe in that. Watch this YouTube video here if you want to see how that concept could help you right now.

How are you doing?

Are you in a new normal? 

If you celebrate Easter today, how has that changed for you? 

Coming up on Tuesday: I have a fun little challenge for those of you who are stuck running in your neighborhoods. Stayed tuned.

ICYMI: Well, nothing new on YouTube or Facebook today. I suggest pairing my new grounding Yin Yoga practice here with the grounding meditation here.

Be the first to know when I release new videos: sign up for my newsletter here to find out when I add new videos, and you’ll receive a free Self Love Affirmation PDF and a bonus audio-only version of this self love meditation.

Trying Something New: 3/30-4/5 WRD

Of course. Cause if you get to know me, you know I’m almost always trying something new. I crave variety in most things in life.

bwrd

Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and sharing still more doggy cuteness, because why not?

Workouts update

  • Monday:  Dogwalk, SB 15 min, PB Cardio Toning (25 min), Yoga (30 min)
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, SB 10 min, 4 miles easy, Yoga (30 min)
  • Wednesday: SB (15 min), Dogwalk, Filmed Yoga Video (50 min), Soul Stroll (20 min)
  • Thursday: SB (10 min), 4 miles easy, Dogwalk, PB Barre + Foam Rolling, Yoga (30 min)
  • Friday: Soul Stroll (30 min), FB Live Yoga (30 min), Dogwalk
  • Saturday: 8 mile LSD, Dogwalk, FilmedYoga Video (23 min oops, was supposed to be 10-15)
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, PB Cardio + Weights (25 min), Yoga (30 min)

Mileage: 16 (+1)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Update

Pepperoni wanted out from social distancing

Tuesday
Kind of a raw, chilly day. At least I didn’t get rained on. Of course Wednesday was beautiful, but I got other stuff done then. Started working on nasal breathing while running. I’ll write about that — eventually. Basically it made my run much slower, and felt really hard — even though slower.

I’ve also never struggled with my nose running while running until today. Who knew mouth breathing was the answer?

Finally Daffodils

Thursday
Still breathing in & out through my nose. Felt a bit easier today. Still very slow but it’s supposed to be in the beginning. It’s kind of like beginning HR training. I tried a few things and nose wasn’t running as much.

I didn’t run up that hill, but lots of others

Sunday
Back to nose running (literally & figuratively). Have to admit I couldn’t imagine nasal breathing for 8 miles, and it was tough, but I mostly did it. This run was 12 minutes slower than my very hilly run last week. Same distance. That wasn’t completely due to nasal breathing, though, I just wasn’t feeling the hills on the way back so I did a lot of walking.

Mr. Judy & I debated me calling him to come pick me up so I didn’t have to come back up the hills, but in the end, I nixed that idea. Kinda sorry about that.

Dogs. The silly things they do.

Favorites of the week
Lola is definitely showing her age, sleeping a great deal, and sleeping later in the mornings. I told Mr. Judy to just put the bolster on top of her when he got up, so he did.

Not liking? Got an email update from my mom’s senior living community. They have their first case. In assisted living, and my mom does not live in assisted living, but it’s still part of the building. Thinking good thoughts. She’s tough.

Ending on a lighter note. It’s not just Lola. Although Bandit did this on his own.

No doubt you’ve probably heard about the Blogger Zoom call yesterday by now. I’m sure it will have even more people next week. And hilarity will ensue.

Are you doing all the cooking?

Are you afraid of going live on Facebook? I know I’ve been resisting it!

#teamtraining or #teammaintenance? For now I am still training, at least until I find out if the half end of June is a go or not. If it’s cancelled, I’ll be back to maintenance.

Coming up on Tuesday: There are three things you need for a bad weather run. Then on Friday I’ll go more into Karma vs Dharma which I talked a little bit about in my vlog here.

No Worries Meditation

 

ICYMI: I’ve got a new meditation to help you let go of your worries here. I went live on Facebook yesterday Friday with a great Yin post run stretch that hits all those tight spots — you can catch the replay hereIf you do like these meditations and videos, please press the like button — it helps me continue to bring everyone free videos.

Be the first to know when I release new videos: sign up for my newsletter here to find out when I add new videos, and you’ll receive a free Self Love Affirmation PDF and a bonus audio-only version of this self love meditation.