Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A side benefit, or am I just imagining things?

It seems that I have an easier time breathing in the last week or two. I can't explain it, but I feel like I can take fuller breaths. My body seems to want to take fuller breaths, and it is effortless. Could this be from the low hr training? Can't say. I am not sure if I am just imagining this as well.

Breathing, ironically, is something I know a lot about and am good at. I spent most of my youth and college days playing the.... you guessed it.... Tuba. I was actually a performance major for 2 years with the tuba. Getting a lot of air, quickly, in a relaxed manner was something I practiced for years. My professor, Rex Martin, was an under study to the late Arnold Jacobs, probably the best wind teacher of our time. Breathing was a big deal in the studio.

So, early on, I learned how to maximize breathing without thinking about it. I was even blessed with a 6 liter lung capacity. I am probably the only person you will ever meet who has had their lung capacity tested. In reality, contrary to conventional thinking, lung capacity does not have much to do with how well you play the tuba. (or any instrument for that manner). I am not sure it makes that big of a difference for running, either, if you don't have an efficient manner of getting that oxygen into your blood.

So, I digress.

In the Maffetone book he talks about stressing your body by overtraining through the adrenal glands. I am sure there is a link here with easier breathing, but I don't know. I mean, it was easy to breath before this. It is just "easier"

Just watch, I will get sick tomorrow.


keith said...

overtraining through the adrenal glands? Is that like adrenochrome in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?

There's only one place you can get that stuff, you know...the pineal gland of a LIVING, BREATHING HUMAN BEING.

SteveQ said...

Hey, I had my lung capacity measured once! 5.5 liters, 6.5 with buccal pumping (a diving technique). Ever learn circular breathing, to hold those notes a little longer?

Runner Brewer said...

Circular breathing was the pinnacle of what we were trying to do. In reality, it is only practical with certain instruments.

I have never met anybody who could truly circular breathe. I met a lot of people who claimed they could, but could not show me. Just like the tons of people I have met who claim they have perfect pitch. I have only met 1-2 who truly have that capability.

aharmer said...

What is it and how do I test to see if I can do it!

Runner Brewer said...

OK Mr. type A personality.

The concept is when playing a wind instrument (such as the trumpet), you are able to maintain a consistent stream of air while taking a breath.

The idea is to use the oral cavity to store are, and flush the air out through the mouth while inhaling through your nose. Then, without a break in the stream of air, you reverse the inhaling air from your nose and expel it through your mouth.

If done properly, a trumpet player will sound like he can endlessly play without taking a breath.

The bee bop trumpet players pioneered this (Dizzy Gillespe & Clark Terry).

As to measuring your lung capacity, you get this big bag and you blow it up like a balloon. It is similar to blowing in a breathalizer during a DUI stop, although I have not and will not ever experience that!

Like Steve said, you have to do some serious pumping of your air to get your real max.

Circular breathing will not help your running.