Like so many things that seemed easy until you tried it with skates on (standing up comes to mind), breathing – once a natural skill – becomes conscious and, often, difficult. Whilst breathing is important for endurance overall, it is particularly crucial to breathe correctly when tackling 27 in 5. With its knackering combination of speed and endurance, good breathing technique is essential for mastering 27 in 5. Consider these handy tips next time you're on track.
1. Breathe as you step
Breathing in a rhythm with the big pushes you make along the straight is a great way to ensure steady breathing. Find a rhythm that works for you, and try to stick with it whilst speed skating. Getting into the habit of breathing at regular intervals will help your endurance breathing technique to become as instinctive as your natural resting breath.
2. Keep pace
By keeping a steady pace throughout 27 in 5, your breathing should remain manageable. Whilst your heart rate will be elevated, avoiding fluctuations in pace ensure your oxygen requirements remain the same – allowing you to avoid the sudden need for rapid breathing as your pace increases unexpectedly.
Keeping a steady pace also allows you to use your movements as a metronome, timing breaths with pushes or steps, ensuring you don't forget to breathe regularly.
3. Head up, shoulders back
What's true for singing also holds for exercise – by holding you head up and pushing your shoulders back, your lungs will be given more capacity in your chest, which means more room for air.
Whilst you should aim to skate in a low posture, make sure your head remains upright and your knees and thighs take you down to derby stance – not only will you benefit from better stability, but a proper stance should keep your chest open, allowing for greater lung capacity.