Amanda…A Message For You!

Today is Amanda’s Birthday & to celebrate her 27th birthday, tomorrow she will be running the San Francisco Marathon!  This Blog post is dedicated to YOU bella Amanda!  Buon Compleanno!

Here’s a little story about your journey, how it started and the incredible progress to bring you where you are today.  We all know that you are a runner, a good one at that, but distance running is a whole new thing for you.  You are a track star, but now you will be able to say you are a “Marathoner”.  When I ran the Boston Marathon this year, you were extremely supportive and encouraging, I was happy you came to watch me because I knew that a Marathon was on your bucket list and the warmth and excitement of being at the marathon would be just what you needed to commit.  So obviously I had to find out right away so I asked you as we walked to the train from the finish line “So Amanda, don’t you want to run your marathon now?”  And to my surprise you replied “No Way!  Now I really don’t want to run one, did you see how much pain all those people were in.”  You weren’t exactly in the best place to be watching, at about mile 26, so you got to see all of the runners at their worst, however it was just a little before they showed the joy and accomplishment on their faces…oops!

Now let me bring you to 3 days later, just as I had predicted you sent me this in an email.  “Okay, so maybe I was a little bit inspired…and I was thinking that perhaps, maybe, I might want to do this…”  Needless to say you signed up without hesitation, or fear I was not surprised one bit.  Right away you dove into your training, and although you keep trying to give me credit, it has all been you.  You did everything right, even pushed it a little hard sometimes… there were some bumps in the road with injuries and mental blocks, but you never gave up and I am so proud of you for that.

Bump number 1) You had already signed up for the Tough Mudder, and 8 mile obstacle course designed by the British Special Forces (not my idea of a good training run) and you said; “Yeah, sternum is broken, sad ant! The medics said I should stay off the roads for 4-6 weeks, but that’s not happening, lol” Typical you, and the sign of a true spirit.

Bump number 2) And this was a long drawn out bump.  You’ve battled shin splints & Plantar Fasciitis, but you rested without being scared it would hurt your training.  You iced it, put on balm, stretched a lot and took the dreaded ice bath.  I couldn’t believe how quickly you recovered and got back on your training.

You had some tough training runs, and you got jitters along the way, but who doesn’t?  It’s normal to be nervous, I mean after all you are going to be running a marathon, a small percentage of people can say that.  You’ve embraced these jitters and have turned them into adrenaline and training fuel.  You did such an amazing job getting those miles in, and even turned your 20 Miler into 21, you are GOLDEN.  You did everything you were supposed to do and most importantly you never gave up.  You trained you mind too and as you know the marathon is a lot mental, as I’ve told you many times before just have confidence in your training Bella and NO NEGATIVE thoughts! JUST POSITIVE!!  And when you need that extra push just remember that we are on your shoulder yelling “VAI VAI, Forza” And “1 Mile at a time”.  You’re strong, and you’re ready, you’re determined, you’re dedicated, you’ve got this!  Savor every moment of this experience as it is going to be life changing… Enjoy the Journey!  Buona Fortuna!

“Divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart.”

I collected encouraging messages from people that LOVE YOU,  we want to make this journey that will change your life more incredible and unforgettable.  So read along…


I am sending you all of our positive energy and encouragement!  You are so amazing and consistently awesome and a wonder in this world! We are so proud of you for all that you do every day and wish that you have the best time ever while you run the marathon and soak up every moment of wonder!  We love you and send you lots of POSITIVE energy!!!

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. ~ 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities. 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
 ~ Harriet Tubman

The significance of a man is not in what he attains but in what he longs to attain.
 ~ Kahlil Gibran


My dearest Amanda,

Well, I have to start with a huge  Happy Birthday!!! I am so impressed by the ways you’ve chosen to direct your energy toward yourself over the past year and this birthday, while I know it is no Grand Finale, is certainly a testament for this commitment you’ve made to yourself and your life.  I applaud you: loudly, with laughter, from deep in my soul, I applaud and celebrate who you are and all you are doing.  You are an incredible woman, full of light, love, joy, courage, and two helpings of piss & vinegar.  May that perfect Amanda-recipe take you flying across the finish line (hopefully on both feet with no missing appendages or acquired infectious diseases).

While you’re running, I want you to know that I am thinking of you.  That WE are thinking of you.  I am sure there will be some easier times when you are bubbling over with laughter, but there might also be some harder times.  Think of me then, when those hills look  HUGE and your body feels small and heavy, think of me and everyone who loves you surrounding your body with loving, guiding arms, pushing you onward and replenishing you with indomitable  strength and spirit.  And if that doesn’t work, try this: picture me in a giant Tigger suit, bouncing right next to you on my tail, saying “Hey Amanda!! You’re doing great!” in a silly Tigger voice.  Because that’s what friends are for, right?  Just don’t bust a lung laughing during a marathon….
I love you, dear friend.  Adam loves you too.  We all do and we embrace your strength, tenacity, and courage and you take on this next challenge.  Sweet dreams to you the night before!


Hey Amanda,
I am not one to use the word proud very often but after thinking this week about what you are about to accomplish makes me proud of you and proud to be your friend.  You are and inspiration to me and so many people.  Who knows maybe in 10 years after lots of training and possibly a knee replacement surgery I will join you in Hawaii for the Iron Man competition!  Ok maybe not but who knows that’s how inspirational you are!  I will be sending you encouraging thoughts and best wishes on Sunday.  I know you will do great.  I don’t have a lot of practice with inspirational messages so I have picked a few quotes instead.  It’s going to be Epic!  😉

All the best,

“You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.” `~ Steve Prefontaine

“Just Do It” ~ Nike

No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.” ~  Yoda

“I think I can.  I think I can.” ~ The Little Engine that Could

Your friends in Vermont are thinking of you and sending light feet and encouragement from the other coast as you run your very first marathon. We hear that mantras help runners get through the tough spots. A couple good ones are “Running is a gift” and “You are stronger than you think you are!” We can’t wait to hear how you do and see glorious photos of you completing that 26.2!


My Dearest Cousin Amanda:

The inspirational speeches will be offered, the music will be playing, the balloons will be flying over head and the “horn will sound”.  About 10-minutes later you’ll cross that Starting line and your heart will pound with anticipation and trepidation like never before.  The thousands of people to your right and the thousands of people to your left and those in front and behind are all one in spirit with a single purpose, a single thought, finding their way several hours later to that finish line some 26.2 miles in front of you.  You think you’ll know how you’ll feel.  You think you’ll feel exhausted and yet satisfied of this accomplishment.  You have NO IDEA… it is a feeling like no other… those last few miles, you will be carried not by stamina, training, or a really good pair of sneakers, it will be that single heart beat of the faces to your left and right, in front and behind… it will be that sense of never-stop, never give up, keep moving forward.  Each spirit will be entwined with yours and you will find that moment of truth.  That spiritual moment of clarity where you know that the only thing that has ever held you back from accomplishing anything in your past has been fear, and no more will that feeling ever own you again.  The first step resulted in this moment… the finish line will open up emotional doors like you’ve never witnessed before.  Empowerment, strength, and confidence in their purest sense will be yours in 26.2-miles.  You’ve already accomplished the hardest part… you’re at the starting line.  You’re in the race, and you will own it!

Much Love,



We are so proud of you! Good luck! We will be thinking about you and will send some good vibes your way. You’re awesome…..YEAH you are!!! Love you!


“Every morning in Africa, an antelope wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion, or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest antelope, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or an antelope – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” – African Proverb

And when the sun comes up Amanda will wake up running because it seemed like a good idea at the time! Deanna and I are cheering for you! You Rock!

  1. One mile at a time.
  2. Race Mantra: Toora loora toora loo rye aye.
  3. When you cross the finish line, you will not be the same person as when you started.
Grandpa said you could run all the way to Alpine if you wanted to – Run, Gueda, Run!


Let’s track Amanda tomorrow!  Her bib number is 7444
If you want to track Amanda during her first Marathon tomorrow, go to the San Francisco Marathon website and you can:
  • Download the Smartphone App by texting “RUN” to 99731 to download the application to your device.
  • Via SMS text.  Text Amanda’s bib number which is 7444 to 99731 to get started!  You’ll be prompted to select tracking through SMS Text Messaging or the Mobile Application.   SMS Texting costs $2.99 per athlete!
  • You may also live track Amanda from a computer at home by logging onto  Just  Click here !

Foto Friday ~ Project 365: Week 9 Recap

Today is a great day!  Dustin is coming home and I am a proud Aunt once again!  On July 29th @ 6:10 AM (Italy time) my sister Samanta gave birth to her 2nd baby girl…Marika! I can’t wait to meet my new baby niece!  I will let the picture do all the talking on this weekly recap for Week 9 of my Project 365.  Can you guess the theme?

Photo 57/ 365 ~ Saturday, July 23, 2011

Luna loves GBob treats=)

Photo 58/ 365 ~ Sunday, July 24, 2011

Luna runs on Dunkin!

Photo 59/ 365 ~ Monday, July 25, 2011

After a nice bath!

Photo 60/ 365 ~ Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Her favorite spot to nap!

Photo 61/ 365 ~ Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cuddling with papa’ the morning Dustin went on a business trip.

Photo 62/ 365 ~ Thursday, July 28, 2011

Taking over Dustin’s size of the bed…she likes daddy smell=)

Photo 63/ 365 ~ Friday, July 29, 2011

She was panting like crazy after running around with 6-7 dogs of all sizes &  shapes=)

Have a wonderful week end everyone!

Things I Love Thursday

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” ~Cynthia Ozick

This week has been a challenge to be grateful for anything.  Sometimes life  brings us challenging events (all at the same time too) that make us feel discouraged and ungrateful for the things in our lives, and it is easy to forget the many reasons there are to be thankful for.  Gratitude is something that I overlook at times; as I always want more than I have, and mostly I always strive to be my best in everything that I do.  So, this week I made an extra effort to embrace and cultivate an attitude of gratitude towards my life and others to get the inspiration I needed to help me during the challenging times.

There is actually a very funny interview Conan O’Brien did to the comedian Louis CK, who makes the observation that although we have so many amazing things these days – like high speed internet access on airplanes –  people still don’t seem to be happy. If you haven’t seen it already, I recommend you to watch “Everything’s Amazing, Nobody’s Happy ” .  It reminds me that it is very easy to take many wonderful things in our lives for granted.  As they say – you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.  Bottom line, remember no matter how bad your situation may seem, there are lots of things to be grateful for in life!


Let’s pause to appreciate what we have in life!

Things I am grateful for…

  1. Dustin, my soulmate – For being the one who understands everything I’m going through
  2. My beloved dog, Luna – Always excited to see me and for cuddling with me this week on behalf of Dustin.  There’s nothing like the unconditional love of a dog.
  3. Love – For letting me  feel what it means to truly be alive
  4. Tears – For helping me express my deepest emotions
  5. Disappointment – So I know the things that matter to me most
  6. Fears – So I know my opportunities for growth
  7. The Sun – For bringing in light and beauty to this world
  8. The Juke (car) – For making it easier to commute from one place to another
  9. Mobile phones & Skype  – For making it easy to stay in touch with my sister in Italy and Dustin who is away for work
  10. Life’s challenges – For helping me grow and become who I am
I am grateful for Life – For giving me the chance to experience all that I am  experiencing, and will be experiencing in time to come

“Everyday, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”  ~ Dalai Lama

Buona Notte!

Race Report: Marshall Point 5K Lighthouse Loop

Last weekend we went to Tenants Harbor, Maine to visit Dustin’s dad Tom and his wife Laura.  Saint George day with all kind of activities was happening and one of the event was the Marshall Point Lighthouse 5 k race.  Dustin grew up in this beautiful town that lies on a peninsula at the heart of Mid-Coast Maine, therefore he really wanted me to do this race.  I have to say that I was actually hoping too to check out this course and to do a 5k race since it has been too long since last time I did one.  So, there we were at the starting line by the gorgeous Drift Inn Beach in Port Clyde.

Before the race...check out the gorgeous view behind me!

The course was a mix of challenges with many hills but the fantastic views of the coast of Maine made the effort very enjoyable!  I started off the race pretty fast and I was leading the race for the first mile and a half  until a barefoot guy passed me.

And the gun went off

The sun was already out and it was very warm and I started to slow down a little but I was still not too behind the leading man.  At this point my Garmin died on me!  I know silly of me ah!  Well on Friday, before leaving to Maine, I had planned to charge it but I got caught up on doing a million of other things and I totally forgot about my precious tool.  So, there I was with a dead Garmin having no idea at what pace I was going.  I know in short races like this it shouldn’t really matter but I still have to get the feel of a 5 k race.  I haven’t done many of them to really understand at what pace I should run.  Anyway, the course wound its way towards the lighthouse, and at that point a very fast and effortless woman passed me.  I went on on my way down through the village of Port Clyde, and the sun at that point was nice and bright shining on my face.  I kept on going on those hilly roads until I ended back at the Drift Inn Beach where I started.  And there at the finish line I saw Tom, Laura, Luna & Dustin cheering me on!

Almost done

Crossing the finish line

And can stop now!!

So, how did I do? Well, I came 3rd overall after a woman that finished first overall and after the barefoot runner who came 2nd.  The woman that won obviously was in my age group and I ended up  2nd in my age group.  The good news is that I have now a new 5k PR!

Official Results
Time: 21:22
Overall place: 3rd
Division place: 2nd
Average Pace: 6:53

Some people just dive into the ocean after the race... I just had water!

5ks happen really fast, there is no time to mess up in them.  Maybe I could have pushed it a little bit more…well the only way to know it is to test myself again with another race=D

Happy racing!

Foto Friday ~ Project 365: Week 8 Recap

Happy Friday!

What a great week filled with new beginning and lots of emotional moments!  Here is the weekly recap for Week 8 of my Project 365.

Photo 50/ 365 ~ Saturday, July 16, 2011

On Saturday morning we woke up in Tenants Harbor, Maine where Dustin grew up.  We went for the weekend to visit Tom & Laura and it was a lot of fun!  I started off the day running the Marshall Point 5K Lighthouse Loop, a beautiful course but pretty hilly!  I came 3rd overall.  A female which was my age won the race, so I came 2nd female overall and of my age group.  After that we  most part of our Saturday on Ram Island – one of the 4,613 gorgeous Islands on the Coast of Maine – enjoying the beautiful weather and the 25th Annual Party that Tom’s company Harbor Builders organizes for their customers.  When Dustin worked in college he did a lot of work on Ram Island that made him buy his first car.  This is one of my favorite thing he built..peaceful ah!!

Photo 51/ 365 ~ Sunday, July 17, 2011

On Sunday Luna went on her first boat ride and she loved it!!  Whoo hooo it’s a flying dog=D I love her floppy ears!

Photo 52/ 365 ~ Monday, July 18, 2011

On Monday my hubby came home from work with a surprise present…I love those=)  He gave me 5 colorful and water resistant Breo Skin Watches.  I love them! Grazie Amore!

Photo 53/ 365 ~ Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday was my first day of training at Lululemon Athletica.  Dustin and I drove into work together and took Luna to puppy care.  We take her to the Flying Fur in Framingham.  She loves it there, she always gets so excited when we are about to get to the destination.  She loves to play with the all kind of different dogs!

Photo 54/ 365 ~ Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dustin was in Indianapolis for few days for work.  I always miss him a lot when he’s not home, the house feels empty but thank God for Skype!

Photo 55/ 365 ~ Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dustin came back after 9 PM and we did not waste time.  We went to Trader’s Joe to get stuff to make food for Amanda’s Marathon Send Off Party.  Then we came home and made a delicious Vegan Pasta Salad.  Dustin put on his baking apron and baked a Double Layer Vegan Chocolate cake with Strawberry sauce filling that I am sure it will be good!  It will be nothing like Amanda’s baking goods but my Baking Queen did a terrific job, not only the cake was delicious but it was pretty too! These are the medal I made for the party while Dustin was up in the air.

Photo 56/ 365 ~ Friday, July 22, 2011

Just got back from Amanda’s Send Off Surprise Party!  On Sunday she will be leaving to West Coast to run on July 31st the San Francisco Marathon, so even if we will not be there to cheer her on physically we will all be there in her heart.  Because I wanted make sure she didn’t forget that and she would really bring us there with her I threw her a surprise party to celebrate all the great accomplishment she achieved so far and to give her all the support we can give her that will help her push through the hard times during the Marathon.  Amanda is an amazing human being that give so much to this world,  she always go that extra mile for anyone and the greatest thing about her is that she is so humble about it.  No words can describe how special she is!  We love her so much!  Here she is at the end of the night wearing her well deserved Winner Laurel Wreath and Medal we made for the party.

Buona Notte e Sogni D’Oro!  (Literally translated as “Good night and Have Golden Dreams)

Things I love Thursday – Special

Each week Things I love Thursday post is “Special” as all the people and things I am grateful for are unique and special in their own way!  However this week is extra special as it defines the start of a new and exciting journey for me!  This week was the beginning of my career transition from Ciclismo Classico to Lululemon Athletica, an athletic apparel company that makes technical athletic clothes for yoga, running, and working out.

Hefferon/Rugiero Family & Ciclismo Classico

Almost 11 years ago, Lauren Hefferon the founder of Ciclismo Classico, an American bicycle touring company that organizes active vacation by bike or by feet in Italy & Europe, gave me her 2 children, Lorenzo of 4 years and Valentina of 18 months, to take care of.  Few years later Luca was born and I was still leaving with the Hefferon/Rugiero family in the Boston area, an Ocean away from my family in Italy, being a nanny for those children that I came to love as they were my own.  Meanwhile, I went to college, I moved out from my host family house and moved to the North End (the Italian session in Boston), I met my husband Dustin, I took him to Italy for my younger sister Samanta’s wedding where all my family fell in love with this american boy, I moved in with Dustin, I graduated as a Graphic Designer, I got married to Dustin…three times (City Hall, Church in my home town in Italy, by our Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde, Maine).  Few years later we moved out from the city to Waltham, and finally we settled in Cambridge.  When Lorenzo, Valentina and Luca were old enough to go to school, I started to work at Ciclismo and in few years I got promoted to be the International Travel and Reservations Manager.  I am very grateful for the opportunity I had to learn, to grow within Ciclismo and mostly to have found a family in Lauren, Mauro, Lorenzo, Valentina and Luca!  However,  working in an office just does not feel like me.  And I am very happy I had the chance to discover that!

Ciclismo's Team

My passions

My real passion has always been in Fitness & Health and I knew that I always wanted that to be part of my life and if I could combine my love for health and wellness with my career that would be a dream come true.  As Confucius said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  The greatest change happens because of people that are deeply passionate, and have a great love for the work they do. So, I started to move on my journey to be the best I can be.  I explored my passions more deeply, what makes me come alive,  and with the help of my husband and my coach I wrote down my strengths and my goals.  I committed to it and as much as I wanted to make this change for myself, it was hard to let go of the old patterns and few times I found myself saying  “Just suck it up!”  But with the help of my husband who believed in me and also wanted to see me happy, I kept going on my journey to self discovery.  I got certified as a running coach and as a personal trainer.  However, I wasn’t satisfied with that.  From my personal experience I learned that it takes more than physical exercise to maintain good health.  Balance in a number of areas is the key to leading a healthy lifestyle.  Wellness coaching look at the whole picture, paying attention to the mind, body and spirit connection.  A coach has a much different approach than a personal trainer when working with individuals.  Essentially a coach assumes that you have your own answers.  There are still opportunities for education and sharing information when appropriate; however the focus of a wellness coach is to empower the clients to clearly see for themselves the most appropriate path forward such that they can make sustainable, long term lifestyle changes.  This is much different than telling them what they should do!   A coach provides tools for motivation, goal setting, self discovery and embrace the fact that each individual will need to have a different approach in making lifestyle change.  That is the reason why I decided to attend ICA, an International Coaching Academy, where I am currently studying to be a a Certified Fitness & Wellness Life Coach for Women.

Lululemon Athletica

Over a year ago, for the first time I went into the Lululemon store in Natick and I was blown away by the incredible experience I had.  The service there was absolutely the best I’ve ever had.  The girls were really helpful, friendly and most importantly genuine.  Which made me want to go back many times after that;  not only to buy their incredible clothes but also to talk about running and Marathons with Marisa with who I had established a real friendship.  One of my favorite things is the cute, environmentally-friendly bag, they put your purchase in.  If you look at it closely it is covered with inspirational messages like “Do one thing a day that scares you”.  I was very intrigued by this company and started to research it and it hit me!  Lululemon was totally me!  When I read Lululemon’s mission statement that says: “Lululemon athletica creates components for people to live longer, healthier and more fun lives. If we can produce products to keep people active and stress-free, we believe the world will become a much better place.” I couldn’t agree more.  Members of the lululemon community are encouraged to set your own goals.  You see, lululemon isn’t just a store selling clothes. It’s a place that is: “supportive, fashionable, empowering”.  Lululemon represents a lifestyle choice.  At that point I wanted to be part of the team and help elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness!  After interviewing with different members of the Lululemon team and hearing the challenging and supportive work environment it not only confirmed, but made stronger my desire to be part of this team.  They are really careful to whom they hire, as they really want to make sure you embody Lululemon values and live Lululemon culture.  Finally, after over a month Lululemon offer me the job!  This week I did my training and I loved every second of it!  Everyone is so special and has something unique, I am just very excited to work and learn with all of them!

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training

Team in Training, the 1st and largest endurance program for the fundraising, contacted me last week offering me a great opportunity to train the Boston team for the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women that will be happening on October 10, 2011.  This decision too was a challenging one to take but with the support of my wonderful husband,  family, and the  lululemon team  I made the decision to take this leap…I know I’ve made the right choice for me!

A lot of things to be grateful for this week ah!

People I am grateful for….

  1. Dustin, without him I wouldn’t be complete.
  2. Lauren, Mauro, Lorenzo, Valentina & Luca
  3. Laura & Bob
  4. Tom & Laura
  5. Amanda
  6. Marisa, Jessica, Claire, Sarah, Tiffany, Hillary, Leigh, Chris, Theo and all the Lulu team.
  7. Rita of Team in Training
  8. Luna
  9. My mom, dad and my siblings Giuseppe, Samanta and Michele
  10. Mj, Marc, Joe, Christy, Lauren L.,Cristiano, Patria,Davide, Enrico & all the Ciclismo Team.

I am very enthusiastic and ready to start my journey.  Thanks everyone who made, make and will make an impact in my life.  You are a truly gift to this world!

Take a Deep Breath… Part II

I finally found some time to write!   Lost of fun and new things happened since last post!  Last weekend we spent it in Maine visiting Dustin’s dad Tom and his wife Laura.  We spent most part of our Saturday on one of the 4,613 gorgeous Islands on the Coast of Maine enjoying the beautiful weather, we went on a boat and, I even did a 5 K.  But I will talk more about that later.  This week is also a start of a new and exciting beginning for me…and I will also talk about that later =D  What I am going to talk about today is how to breath properly while running because  how you breathe during your run could make a difference between a good and a bad run, and maybe enable you to run at a faster pace with less effort.  If you run out of breath, and become dizzy, it means you are not taking in enough oxygen for the speed you are running.  Generally speaking,  you must either adjust your speed, or the amount of air you take into your lungs. The tips below will help you understand how to improve your running breathing.

  • Make sure to take the time to properly warm up by jogging or walking fast for 5 minutes.  This will allow your breathing to increase more gradually.  Another way to trick your body into running and breathing without tension is to take 10 minutes and repeat running for 2 minutes, walk for 1 minute.
  • Allow air to enter through both the nose and mouth.  Breathing in and out through the nose only, often results in not getting enough oxygen and  the breathing would become quite an effort, sometimes causing those annoying and uncomfortable painful side stitches.  Next time you go for a run try breathing in and out through both the nose and mouth.  Your mouth should be held open just slightly, in a position called the “dead fish”…and that is what you will look like =D  This allows for the maximum intake of air into the lungs.  The breaths should be short, shallow, and comfortable, not deep and long, in tune with your natural rhythm.  However, every now and then I do take a deep breath just to re-group, and that’s absolutely fine.  If you become short of breath, you might be running too fast.   Slow down a little and try to take deep breath. This will help you relax and your breathing should slow down.
  • Breath from Your Belly rather than from Your Chest.  Belly breathing, also known as diaphragmatic breathing, is better than chest breathing.  This is because belly breathing will  contracts the diaphragm  helping you control your breath resulting in breathing more efficiently.  It will also allow you to inhale more oxygen and get rid of more carbon dioxide, so you won’t feel like you are running out of breath! You might ask, how do I know I am breathing from my belly?  Well, you could check it by lying on your back and placing your hands over your stomach.  If your stomach rises and fall as opposed to your chest, you are golden!  At the beginning it’s not easy to automatically breath from you belly but with a little training and some stretching you can breathe to your full potential, and increase your endurance.  Practicing Yoga or Pilates can help you learn to breathe deeply and effectively!
  • Breath on the Rhythm of your stride.  Aim to take three footsteps for every inhale, and two footsteps for every exhale (3:2 ratio).  Experts say that to fully oxygenate the muscles and clear the body of carbon dioxide you should breathe a 3:2 inhale-to-exhale ratio; full inhales and full exhales.  That means you INHALE on the LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT foot strikes and EXHALE fully on the RIGHT, LEFT foot strikes.  It is a pretty easy pattern to turn into a habit, but it may need you to slow down for a few runs to master this approach.  You may notice that you naturally drop to a 2:1 ratio when you are racing or doing hills.  That’s fine but keep in mind that it is harder to maintain a pace that requires you to breathe at that ratio.
  • Avoid fatty foods or large meals right before running and give yourself few hours to digest the meal before you run.  A full stomach or heavy, fatty foods can conflict with your stomach and diaphragm as you begin to breath and bounce.
Last thing, try not to over-think your breathing!  It’s best to try to slow down, relax, and let yourself fall into your body’s natural rhythm.
Happy running!