Nose breathing

I have now done a number of runs using only nasal breathing. The first was 7.5 klm at 8:00 mins per k. Then a 5k at 7:30. Then a parkrun at 7:15 and today a parkrun at the same site at 6:45 per k. I am going to continue this over the next couple of months - will do easy longer runs around 7:30-8:00 and will do parkruns as fast as I can without having to resort to mouth breathing. My 6:45 mins effort today finished up quite hard for me ( the last 1K is uphill!!) and I almost had to gasp for air through my mouth as I finished but managed to contain it. At this time , I can't imagine being able to run any faster than this using nose only - but I think that it is early days and perhaps it is one of those things that improves with time and training. It does seem to give me a good feeling at the end of the run and recovery is extremely quick. I can of course run faster when using my mouth - but I have nothing better to do right now training-wise so I will keep on with this and see if it leads anywhere.

21 Replies

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  • Look forward to your experience / thoughts on the subject.

  • Watching with interest Bazza - but is recovery quicker because you are running more slowly?

  • Could be - but it somehow feels "different"

  • I have been trying the nose breathing sometimes , since you last post about it..it is hard.. particularly when the early morning air is chilly!

  • I tried it this morning - challenging to say the least! Definitely a practice go!

  • Interesting Bazza.. I may have a problem with nasal breathing only with a runny nose, although I do take some deep breaths down through the nose, don't think I could maintain it..

    So the object of your nasal breathing tests is to find out if oxygen really does work better with just nasal breathing because it goes deeper into the lungs than breathing a higher volume of oxygen through the mouth..😉

  • yes - I can see how I might be "overbreathing" ( almost hyperventilating) sometimes. It seems that the feeling of needing more air can/does lead to fast, shallow breathing which in itself is less effective in transferring oxygen into our blood and compounds that feeling of a lack of air causing even faster breathing, etc.

  • Considering we are "born to run" I think we're pretty useless at it. You'd think nature and evolution would leave us with a few instinctive skills, but everything we do seems to be wrong (heel striking, running too fast, mouth breathing etc). I have a lot to work on.

  • Hi Bazza1234

    I have been looking at vids on youtube about nose breathing and if all is to believed could be a grate asset running and all round health

    Tried it once so far and only managed about .5 of a mile but i will try it more on future runs see how i get on will post how i'm finding it as i go along maybe once a week ot every two weeks

  • Like Oldfloss I've also been trying nose breathing here and there and been generally more conscious of how I breathe. I do actually breathe a lot through my nose although it's normally in through nose out through mouth. When I'm going full mouth breathing it's normally at a point where I'm trying to get a deeper breath in. Weird to think the nose breathing actually gets the air in deeper whereas in practice it always feels like the mouth breathing fills that function. Thanks for raising this though, it's got me thinking, as you say something to focus on. Impressed you feel nothing else needs working on right now :) Keep us updated :)

  • It seems that the ideal thing is to fill our lungs with air slowly, keep it there for a short while before even more slowly exhaling the Carbon dioxide. And develop that into a regular pattern regardless of the stress being applied.

  • A lot of it seems to be about overriding the habit of breathing harder (ie through mouth) when the body's crying out for oxygen...

  • Thanks to good training from my mum (nagging might be too strong...), I always breathe through my nose - except when I'm playing the flute, singing or running oh and probably when I'm talking as well, I just don't think about it!

    My problem when I'm running is that my nose runs and I therefore find it very difficult to breathe through my nose rather than my mouth. Have you never had this problem, or does running slowly enough to breathe through your nose mean that your nose doesn't run?

    I do think this is very interesting exercise and am interested to know how things go for you.

  • Interesting info here.... cant wait to hear what you move onto next once you've cracked mouth and nose breathing... hahahaha :-)

  • I was trying to breathe through my butt and every other orifice day one week one...

  • Ha! Don't knock it until you've tried it! I certainly know what you mean.. Do you think dragging a bottle of oxygen with goes against the grain?

  • I'm not knocking it :) I'm envious of those who can do it and all that 'if you can't have a conversation you are running too hard' lot " I can just about raise a warning snarl at leaping canines! LOL

    Can't imagine dragging an O2 bottle around though - actually it was the fear of emphysema and not Cancer that haunted me in my smoking career!

  • You may have already seen this Bazza..

    globalhealingcenter.com/nat...

  • Thanks Dave - hadn't seen that specific article - but many others like it :) Regarding "conversational running" - it is said that we should do a lot of this 80%? but unless I have somebody to do it with ( which I largely don't) , I am thinking that this nose breathing may be a good alternative for me :) I have also read people who say that they breathe through both their nose and mouth when running and having tried that, I can't! But they don't say whether they mean both at the same time or not. I have discovered that if I take a good big slow breath through my nose and when I feel that I can't take in any more air, simply opening my mouth allows me to take in just a little bit more. I have done this while simply sitting down but am intending to see how/if it works while running. :) Some people say that running is "boring" - not for me it isn't :)

  • I've just started a new asics plan which has many weeks to it and starts off very slowly, so after your previous nose breathe post I thought I'd try it. I am mainly a nose breather unless running or have zoned out. Anyway three runs in and it is slow enough to nose breathe and get up a hill I usually end up walking the last bit. Runny nose the only problem - but that's what sleeves are for 😀 And it does sort itself out fairly quickly (sort of runs itself out - sorry 😀). Hoping to stick to the plan and get the benefits of nb. If I can become a nose breather it can only be good news for my resp tract in colder weather.

  • Yes - I think it is just a matter of time and practice. I am not expecting to be able to maintain it for very hard paces - but for slowish training paces I think It may have some benefits. If nothing else but stopping me from "over breathing! ". I have just done an 8K run with an 85 year old man - at the slow pace of 9:30 per minute. We chatted all the way so I didn't need to think how I was breathing for this one - but my feet are a bit tired now after running so slowly for over an hour. :)

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