Canned oxygen is exactly what it sounds like. It's pure oxygen placed under pressure in a can. You can press on a button and oxygen comes out of the can. Most cans can be hooked up to some sort of mask, making it easier for you to breathe in the gas that is ejected. Canned oxygen may sound like a strange thing at first, but it can actually be really helpful as you train for a marathon. Here's a closer look at how (and why) to use pure canned oxygen in your marathon or other long-distance running training program.
Why is using canned oxygen beneficial?
Every cell in your body needs oxygen to thrive. When you are running many miles per week, many of your cells can become depleted of oxygen. It's important for your muscles to learn to function in a low-oxygen environment, as this is part of success in long races. But when you're not running, you want to be able to restore good oxygen levels so those tissues can repair the damage caused during your workouts.
Using canned oxygen can help combat weak and sore muscles after workouts. It can also boost your endurance and help you make it through the last few miles of a long run, which can make your training more effective overall.
How do you use canned oxygen in marathon training?
The primary way to use canned oxygen is as a recovery tool. After a demanding run, you can sit back, drink your electrolyte beverage, and inhale a few puffs of pure oxygen. Take a puff every couple of breaths; there is no need to overdo it or breathe just oxygen for any length of time. You will instantly feel more energized, and your recovery will be faster, allowing you to complete another workout sooner.
Another way to use canned oxygen is during your actual workouts. It's most valuable when you're doing interval training, such as mile repeats. Inhale a few breaths of oxygen after each hard interval. Use it as a supplement to your recovery intervals. You'll then be able to start your next hard interval feeling more alive and energetic.
A final way to use canned oxygen is at the end of a long run when you're really lagging. A few puffs can revitalize you mentally, giving you the stamina you need to finish.
Canned oxygen can be a valuable tool for distance runners. Purchase a can or two to keep in your arsenal.