In the past two days I took a Vinyasa flow yoga class and showed up for a coached swim workout. Both are, sadly, rare occurrences in recent weeks. I’m glad I did make the time, because I remembered how much I enjoy and learn from both things.
While we were swimming fast 100s, my coach, Gerardo from fortiuscoaching, asked what I was thinking about while I was swimming. I didn’t have an answer, because I thought that my mind was pretty blank. But, after another rep or two, I realized that the only thing I was thinking about was the sound of the bubbles as I exhaled. I paid attention to my breath and used it to moderate my effort across the series of fast 100s.
That is the same thing that I had been focusing on the night before at a class at TruYogaLA. In a Vinyasa class, the instructor focuses on helping students sync movement with breath, and learn to breathe through discomfort as it arises. It also gives the student something to focus on throughout the series. I know that there are lots of endurance athletes who don’t incorporate yoga into a training plan, but because of the benefits related to the mental aspect of training, I’ll try never to let it fall by the wayside.
Breathing through pain is very useful while racing, and I’m making it a point to practice this skill and incorporate it more during the upcoming season. It’s a simple way to make some important gains. As Corey from Fitamorphosis says, “Namaste Bitches!”