Breathe in, breathe out—simple right? Not so fast. When it comes to training, the art of inhaling and exhaling is of crucial importance. Whether the goal is running, cycling, swimming, or diving with ease, read on to discover the best breathing exercises to put optimal performance well within reach.
1 Become aware of your breathing, whether you’re walking up stairs, or running half way up a mountain during training. Try deepening each breath and slowing down your exhalation, which will help slow down your heart rate and increase your oxygen supply.
2 Think oxygen conservation. Are you moving with maximum efficiency?
3 Build proper recovery breathing into your training.
4 Explore your limits, expand your lung capacity and access oxygen you never knew you had with some simple breath-hold techniques. Breathe in as far as you can. Hold your breath for as long as possible, and gradually increase your hold time. Breath-hold in water is always risky and can lead to blackouts or serious injury. Always practise on dry land unless accompanied by an experienced free-diving instructor.
5 Relax and become aware of your breathing before each training session. A relaxed state of mind will help you focus on breathing and moving more efficiently.
6 Trust your body and believe in your abilities. Avoid thinking about the obstacles to achieving your goals. Focus instead on what you know your body can do.
7 Boost your metabolism and start your training feeling light and energised. Try eating a more plant-based diet, particularly 24 hours before a training session.