BVR Training Series Part 3 – Breathing and Technique

In the previous edition, club coach Lawrence Bookham covered training that’s aimed at improving your running fitness. In the final one of the series, he talks about breathing and technique…

Breathing and Breathing Rhythms

If you have asthma or any breathing related issues, you should discuss this with your GP before attending your first speed session due to the extra demand it places on your lungs.

The amount of air that you breathe each minute is the total of the size and number of breaths you take each minute. As you begin running, you will start to increase the number and size of these breaths and your breathing rate will synch with you stride rate. For most people jogging they would breathe in three steps and out for three steps. Often untrained runners will stay with this rate even when they feel the need to breathe harder, by increasing the size of each breath. Obviously as you run harder, you will feel the need to ventilate more, which is when you should switch to a faster breathing pattern. For runners, there is an optimum pattern which is taking two steps while breathing in and two steps while breathing out (this is referred to as a 2-2 breathing pattern). Continue reading

BVR Training Series Part 2 – Improve Your Fitness

In the last edition, club coach Lawrence Bookham introduced himself and gave some advice to those starting out. This time, it’s all about improving your fitness and busting some of that jargon…

There are lots of scientific, and some not so scientific terms and definitions to understand, so I thought I would try to help explain some of these.

Vo2 Max

 VO2Max (measured in ml of oxygen per Kg of bodyweight) represents an individual’s oxygen consumption.  It is a measure of the body’s ability to run fast for extended periods of time. Most runners are unaware of their VO2Max, however the principles for improving running speed, endurance and economy remain the same regardless of knowledge of personal VO2Max. Continue reading

BVR Training Series Part 1 – Introduction

In this popular series of posts, club coach Lawrence Bookham gives us an insight into training, technique and explains what all that running jargon actually means…

As I take the Tuesday night training sessions I thought I would write a few words for people who are attending or thinking of attending my sessions.

First off, a few words about myself:

I started running with Blackwater Valley Runners in 2008 as a 14 ½ stone 10 a day smoker. I had been running a little before I joined BVR however I was quite unfit and wanted to lose some weight. I often found myself at the back of the peer group I ran with on Wednesday and Sunday club runs. I struggled every week gasping as I tried to keep up. I wanted to improve, and become a better runner. A couple of years on and I had improved and my race times were getting better, but the gains were diminishing to a point where I was no longer improving. There were a few of us who would sometimes meet up and go and hammer out some intervals, but none of us really knew what we were doing, and as these meetings were on an ad hoc basis, there was no consistency and no real sense of commitment in what we were doing.

I needed some focus, so I joined another local running club who offered speed training sessions. This involved meeting at an Industrial Estate on a Friday night and thrashing out 18 x 400 meters as fast we could! There was consistency and these guys were committed, no question, but the workouts were brutal  and we would always end up racing each other…. And I picked up injuries left right and centre (quite literally!).Continue reading