Breathing Capacity

The physical ability to run a 5k, marathon or even moving around from place to place improves in relation to your level of breathing capacity. Producing of fruit doesn’t stop there, higher oxygen capacity increases cardio health which reduces the risk of perishing health. Folks, there is no mystery on how to improve breathing capacity, we need interval training. The purpose of interval training or speed work is to improve your VO-2max, which is accompanied by stride frequency turn over, resulting in a faster and more comfortable race pace.

The specific endurance movement called “speed work” is responsible for increasing aerobic endurance and improving pace while yielding a faster finish time at a more relaxed state of the run. The goal of speed work is to increase VO-2 max performance. VO-2 max is simply the body’s ability to convert oxygen into energy more efficiently, or in simple terms to increase the body’s breathing capacity. Increasing VO-2 max strengthens the heart’s ability to deliver more oxygen while improving the leg muscle’s efficiency in converting oxygen into energy.  VO-2 max is measured in millimeters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute. The more oxygen your muscles are able to consume while engaged in the run, the stronger the energy levels are put into the muscles allowing the body to move faster and longer in distance.

Through years of imperical study involving the VO-2 max, the shining structure of training reveals that we need to perform very hard exercise for 3-8 minutes with a slow recovery movement in-between multiple sets. For best results perform these sessions (speed work) twice a week. To determine your speed work pace take your 5K pace per mile minus 10-seconds. For example if you’re 5K pace is 8:00 then run your speed work at 7:50. The speed work structure is short runs of high intensity training. Let’s take a look at some example work-outs

Speed work examples

Yasso 800’s– perform on a quarter mile track (preferred) or measure out a half-mile length on trail or road. 800 meters is a half-mile distance. Take your 5K pace per mile and divide in half minus 05 seconds that is your 800 meter repeat finish time. Run a mile warm-up then three to ten sets of 800’s. Start out at three repeats and work your way up weekly to eventually 10 sets. Place a two–three minute recovery jog in-between the sets with a mile easy cool down after the work out.

200 Meter repeats-Perform these repeats at a faster pace (sprinting) or close to it. Again on a quarter mile track the 200 meter is half the distance of the track. Warm-up first, then sprint the 200 meter followed by a one-lap cool down. Repeat 3-12 times according to your work-out and training level.

One Mile Repeats- Just what it says; this is a one-mile repeat at the same pace stated above. Perform this work-out when you have at least six yasso sessions under your belt. The one-mile repeat is an advance speed work session that WILL (if performed correctly) get you ready for a PR. I call this the magic speed work, because this workout if done correctly is the best way to accomplish your race goal. Again track preferred, but a measured one-mile stretch is ok. Begin with a one-mile warm-up then perform three to six one-mile repeats with a two to three minute slow jog or walk recovery in between ending with a half mile cool down. Warning this workout will put you to bed early! Please stretch and eat your recovery meal immediately after this workout.

The party pack work-out- mix all these routines together in a ladder formation. Start with the longest movement and work your way down to the shorter distance. Increasing the speed in the shorter movements completing two sets of each. Proper recovery jog/run in-between sets.

ALWAYS drink your WATER at least a gallon a day when training heavily.

There you have it folks, increase your breathing capacity! Love you all!

Happy Running!

John K Carlson
Coach RRCW

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