Ever sang while you where running? This sounds really funny…but, it appears that I can lower my heart rate by singing! Ok….so that will get some pretty funny looks at the gym, but it isn’t so bad when you are running outside! All kidding aside, in the last few weeks I have consistently monitored my heart rate and learned some interesting things. How much sleep did I get? How much water did I drink the night before or the morning of? What did I eat and when? Where are my arms hanging? How loose am I keeping my body? Am I leaning slightly forward? How can I send more energy to my legs? Is this starting to sound obsessive?!?! The crazy thing is that all of these things seem to effect my heart rate.
Things that appear to effect heart rate:
1. Drink lots of water! I am drinking more water the night before and right when I get up in the morning. This seems to be more effective than drinking water as I am getting ready to run or during a run.
2. Food matters A LOT! I won’t get into too big of a discussion on nutrition; that could be a whole blog post! Simply said, it helps me to eat a balance meal the night before and raw foods before a run. Raw foods seem to give me lots of energy, and they don’t feel heavy on my tummy.
3. Good sleep makes it easier! Admittedly, I am a bit of a night owl. But, I have noticed that a sound sleep the night before is a huge bonus. It improves my energy to run and keeps the heart rate down.
4. Think about your body posture! While I generally think of myself as having good form, I have been paying attention to little nuances…opening up my chest, focusing my energy into my legs (I can thank yoga instructors for that terminology!), and keeping my shoulders and arms loose.
5. Work on steady breathing! I am either breathing in through my nose and out my mouth, or I am keeping my mouth closed and only breathing through my nose. Both of these strategies appear to help regulate my breath.
For now I am simply making observations and keeping track of what seems to be working and what isn’t. I will be digging into the reading on some of these things to learn more about them. I have found that using these strategies, I am sometimes able to drop my heart hate as much as 5-10 beats. It is amazing what focus, concentration, and persistence can do!
Until later, happy running!!!