Mouth Breathers v Nose Breathers .... here's the answer!

This has come up quite often during the time I've been on the C25K forum and usually from folks that are struggling to breathe in and out through their nose as per the podcasts.

This article in the Guardian Running blog focuses on the whole breathing debate and comes out firmly in favour of mouth breathing as the way to do it!

If you haven't come across the Running blog in the Guardian before there are plenty of other articles worth reading too

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10 Replies

  • Thanks PastyMan, as someone who struggles with breathing, I read this with interest.

  • Interesting read. I think all advice added up, I'll do what feels natural! I did try to see how I was breaking but could not do what they suggested. If I put my thumbs on my lowest rib, my finger tips are not where they say they should be! I think I have funny ribs!

  • Yeah, I read this article this morning too. I don't know how I breathe! I remember at the start that I was out of breath, then around week 4 or 5 I was able to run without thinking about how I was breathing. That was a real turning point for me. Surely that is the key? Like driving a car, automatic breathing pilot?

  • Very interesting article, with several points I don't think I'd met before. Though I agree with Delia - breathing on automatic pilot seems to work best for me, as thinking about it always seems to slow my legs down, and I feel as though I'm going to trip over! The last sentence of the article, "In other words, go with the flow." suits me. :)

  • Thanks for this Rob, very interesting. If I were to think too much about breathing techniques my running would certainly suffer as I have found out before, so even though the first 10 mins or so are still hard after that I tend to get into a good breathing habit and dont have to think about it. Breathing on certain foot strikes is too much to think about! :) I am a mostly mouth breather for sure!

  • Thanks for posting, it sounds tricky to coordinate foot strike and breathing but I feel strangely pleased mouth breathing is officially okay. I've always worked on the principle it doesn't matter how I get the oxygen in as long as I get it! Like others, if I think about it it goes to pot.

  • Great read, I've always done it through my mouth and that's quite refreshing to read as I was starting to worry I should retrain myself through the nose!!

  • Great reading...I am definitely a mouth breather. After nearly suffocating in W3, I think when Laura said in through the nose and out through the mouth, I consulted the wise ones on here and found that they all breathed as they would usually and always subconsciously. I now run 10k+ and have never had problems with breathing.....apart from the first 10 mins of a run when nothing functions well until I'm in my stride and warmed up!! Will definitely read the running blog in the Guardian again....thanks for the heads up :)

  • think maybe we are supposed to concentrate on our breathing and we don't notice the running, trouble is we spend so much time trying to perfect the breathing we either end up tripping or failing miserably and almost giving up, week 9 now and breathing gets easier around 10-15 minutes when the length of pace increases and I still have to remember to breathe deeply when it's tough going :-)

  • I'm with Delia on this.

    I was pretty sure I could walk 5/10/15km so wasn't too fazed by the distance but if I was so out of breath after 1 minute how on earth could I go for 30 minutes? That was the breakthrough for me too about week 4 and still now if I don't notice my breathing I'm fine, as soon as I pay attention though ....

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