On my runs around Muirwood, I go through what I lovingly call Willow's Pass. It is a beautiful section of Willow trees that form an arch on the sidewalk. It is very pretty.
I like looking out at nature when I run, because your thoughts can drift, and you start thinking about randomness. It is during this time that I can formulate some of my best ideas, thoughts, and dreams.
I love this time out on the trails/roads/etc. because I can feel how much stronger my body is getting, I can experiment with my breathing to find out what rhythm is best for me. I *heart* Willow's Pass, the lake, the ducks, the forever-pooping geese, and the people that I meet along the way.
Speaking of breathing - in the book by Coach GP (Run Taller...) a big point he makes is breathing. After meeting him and hearing his speech at a conference a few years ago, I took this to heart and studied my breathing.
Over the past few years I have been altering this breathing to see how it impacts my pace and/or endurance. This is what I found:
When I run slowly (12:00 or slower) I breathe 4 steps in 4 steps out. This really keep smy heart rate down and allows me to warm up and get into a groove. I also try 3 in 3 out, and a combination of 2 in 3 rhythmatic out. I alternate my breathing patterns to help me in different running situations, e.g. warm up, endurance, hills, sprinting, cool-down.
Does anyone else out there notice how their breathing effects their running? If you have a hard time keeping pace or running the distance, try alternating your breathing, moving to more breaths in and out, and then trying a combination. Breathe steady and consistent, and you will find that your running will naturally become more efficient.