20 minutes of nose breathing

I have said elsewhere here that now I have got my HM out of the way, my "running" over the next couple of months will be only slow and easy. This morning I decided to try out a short experiment - nose breathing only while running. I have tried this previously and given it away very quickly - I really need to breathe through my mouth when running. But I am coming to realise that this is only because I am running too fast and it can be done with practice. Now - whether it is of benefit, I don't know - but there are plenty who say that it does have benefit. nomeatathlete.com/breathing...

So this morning I went out for a 20 minute run and determined that I would run it at a pace that allowed me to continue while breathing through my nose only. I actually started it at my front door and did not even do any warmup walk ( which I normally do to avoid the hill right outside) . The route I took was quite hilly so I wondered if I would be able to do it - but I did complete the task. And my pace was VERY slow - 8:30 mins per k. BUT- I was running and as soon as I stopped , I physically measured my heartrate by just counting my pulse for 15 seconds and multiplied by 4 - the result was 80BPM!!!! I couldn't really believe it and tomorrow I will do a parkrun doing this but wearing a HRM monitor.

I ran a hilly course for 20 minutes and my heart rate at the end was only 80 BPM!!!!!!!!

14 Replies

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  • Interesting article Bazza and food for thought. I am also a mouth breather at the moment but will look out for how you get on with this technique.

  • articles.mercola.com/sites/... Have a look at this article , watch the videos and do the exercise. See if it helps to clear your nose.

  • This is really interesting and also really relevant as breathing is an issue for me with my asthma. I will definitely be giving this a go. Thank you! Let us know how your breathing training goes too :)

  • This has been discussed here before - but the general attitude has been ( including from me) --"I can't do it" -"my nose runs, or "I need more air" , etc. I am now seeing this as something of a challenge. Something that is indeed difficult to do and takes some time and practice. We here have always agreed that we need to do lots of running at "conversational pace' but that in itself is difficult to do and we need somebody to talk to as we run to be able to do it. Nose breathing basically puts a physical limit on how fast we run - and I suspect/am hoping that , a bit like MAF training with a HRM, practice makes us better and allows our aerobic capacity and aerobic pace to increase. But it is hard work, running slowly looks silly and it will take time to improve pace when running purely aerobically.

  • I do slow runs on my own to manage my asthma but am running increasingly faster in company. I like the idea that my slow runs might be an opportunity to train my lungs a bit. I especially like the idea that nose breathing reaches the lower parts of your lungs. On my slow runs my first couple of laps are often around the 8-9min/km mark so I think this will be possible :)

  • My understanding is that we need to spend a lot of time on our legs - at a slowish pace that causes HR to rise above normal but not high ( ie aerobically stressless) - so that our hearts have a bigger stroke and pump more blood per beat and generate just enough extra pressure in veins, etc to widen veins, capillaries etc and provide for better oxygen supply to muscles - this needs only be done at very low effort levels - but for periods up to say 2 hours. Question is - can I run, breathing through my nose only, for 2 hours?? :)

  • Surely anything can be achieved with practice and if you build up gradually enough :) Not sure I could run for 2hours though!

  • I did a course on chi running last year and as a result I try and do nose breathing as much as I can. Apparently nose breathing is good, because the slight restriction of oxygen raises the CO2 and nitric oxide levels in your blood, which causes your blood vessels to open and actually enables more oxygen to reach your muscles.

    There is a bit more information here, if you will pardon the Daily Mail link: dailymail.co.uk/femail/arti...

  • Interesting article - there are lots on the internet like this. Some of them (especially those coming from a yoga source) can be a bit esoteric for my liking :) I have read that our lungs - even for an unfit person - can already hold enough oxygen to supply our bodies under any circumstances. But what gets us breathing hard and gives us that desperate feeling of needing more air is that our muscles are crying out to our brain for more oxygen - and the only way our brains can respond is to make the heart beat faster and make the lungs try to inhale more. BUT - the weakness in our system is actually the fact that our blood pathways are not sufficiently developed enough to supply the oxygen bearing blood that the muscles are calling for. Hence we need to develop these blood pathways by long slow running.

  • Ran parkrun this morning at 7:15 mins per K using nose breathing only! Kept my mouth shut for over 35 minutes - a PB!! :) At this stage, I managed to do this but have no assessment of whether it is/was good or bad. I wore my HRM but haven't looked at the data yet.

  • Congrats hope the stats match up to the theory! I'm about to parkrun now. Might just do a little initial nose breathing... see how I get on :)

  • Let us know how you went. I remembered yesterday that jack Daniels has a lot to say about altitude training in his famous running training book - and I also remembered that I have a "device" which goes in my mouth and which I can adjust to restrict the air that I can suck and blow. I am thinking that this device would work in a similar way to altitude training - so now I also have another thing to play around with when doing my easy runs. :)

  • Having done this - I am now intending to do the same parkrun at the same average pace - try to emulate this weeks parkrun effort as much as possible - except that I will breath through my mouth. All I will have to compare the two runs will be the HR trace for each. From a perceived effort point of view, I did have to "restrain" my efforts to maintain the nasal breathing. I even attempted to restrain myself such that I breathed in a 4-4 rhythm but at times ( because of the hills) I had to go down to 3-3.

  • Did a 60 minute run this morning - breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. I ran "easily" and finished up averaging around 8:00 mins per k doing this - which is about right according to the various calculators based on my 5K PB time. It was an easy run - although by the time I got home I knew that I had done an hours work. Don't know if it was my imagination or because I was concentrating more on my breathing pattern while listening to a podcast, but my legs did not bother me at all. Perhaps there is something in this idea that nasal breathing provides more oxygen to the blood and hence to the working muscles.

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