Sunday, January 24, 2010

Breathing deeper by breathing shallower

Mountain mahogany on a crisp highland morning
Today is one week of Buteyko breathing. I clearly see the benefits, and also the price of getting toward them. Today's run (I'm keeping them to three miles for now as I adjust) was amazing -- a taste of what i't like to run along smoothly primal style while breathing slow and gentle. Transcendent and yet utterly present int he moment. Beautiful. It sure is wild to be running along as fast as I used to run the same trail, yet breathing a fraction as hard, and feeling far better -- knowing I have a reserve and I could run even harder, especially as I get closer to the goal of a control pause of 40 (I'm at a measly 16 now, up from a start of 6).

I wonder what role altitude plays with making the transition? I spend an hour yesterday in my hyperbaric chamber. While in it I really pushed myself with the breathing exercises, and the effects seem to have helped me reach a new level. I wonder if living at 8000 feet makes the transition harder/slower? Using the chamber really seems to make a difference. I've used it today also. Usually I wait 12 days, to allow my brain to keep up with the changes -- but I'm testing out if it's actually my O2 and CO2 levels that got out of whack and it takes 12 days for my body to recover. I imagine the chamber magnifies any mistakes or benefits of our breathing.

Plus 9 miles (3 miles over three days)
Total milage: 418.8

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