How many times have you heard someone say “take a deep breath and relax”?
I would hazard a guess that most people (not just athletes) truly understand that deep, controlled breathing is the best way to calm the mind and relax the body. This is true if you’re stressed at work, stressed while you’re sitting in traffic on the highway, or stressed because you’re pummeling yourself to keep up with the rest of the group out on your bike.
I can’t tell you how many times, whether it’s in a race or on a group ride, that I’ve heard people around me taking quick, shallow breaths while they’re working to get over the hill we’re climbing or someone’s acceleration at the front of the group. Continue reading