Important Message for Marathon Runners
Runners spend years slogging out the miles to build up their aerobic capacity, not realizing that increasing their chest expansion can drop minutes per mile off their running pace. source
“One of our runners dropped her pace on a 10K training circuit from a 9:00 mile to a 7:30 mile in just two weeks,” says Bob Prichard, president of Somax Performance Institute. “We did this by releasing microfibers (mild scar tissue) that had formed in the connective tissue between her ribs as a result of childhood allergies. These microfibers were restricting the expansion of her chest, reducing the amount of oxygen going to her muscles.”
Prichard’s other work includes Olympic swimmer Amy van Dyken, who was National Record Holder at 50m, but was not able to compete at 100 meter races until Prichard released microfibers in her rib cage to expand her breathing. After her one-week Somax session, van Dyken went on to win the 100m free at the Olympic Trials, and then four Gold Medals at Atlanta–all in 100m events.
“Chest expansion may be even more important that VO2Max in endurance events,” states Prichard. “A good example is Janet Evans, who held World Records in the 400, 800 and 1500m free with a VO2Max of only 56–beating competitors with a VO2Max of 70-80. She was able to do this because her expansion in her chest, diaphragm and stomach were all 20% of each circumference.”
Prichard advises all endurance athletes to measure their breathing ranges by first measuring the circumference of their chest, diaphragm and stomach while lying on their back. Then measure how much each section moves from rest, to full inhale, and then full exhale. Endurance athletes should be able to move 20% of each circumference. So a 40″ chest should move 8″. The maximum movement Somax has measured is 9″.
“We find that endurance athletes usually have very restricted breathing ranges and the very athletes that need breathing range the most, have it the least,” says Prichard.
About Bob Prichard:
Since 1970 BOB PRICHARD has videotaped and analyzed more than 4,500 runners. He has served as stride analyst for numerous marathon broadcasts, including the NBC Sports Olympic Marathon where he correctly predicted the winner at the half-way mark based on his stride efficiency. He has written articles on running stride mechanics for the New York Times, The Runner, and other periodicals, and has been the subject of articles in Runner’s World, Sports Illustrated and newspapers around the country. He was invited to videotape and analyze the winners of Olympic Track and Field Trials at Indianapolis by head coach Stan Huntsman. Runners who have completed his Microfiber Reduction and motion analysis program to improve stride efficiency have dropped up to 1 1/2 minutes off their running pace in four weeks or less.