breathing whilst running: I have just been... - Couch to 5K

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breathing whilst running

Flybe profile image
23 Replies

I have just been reading an article about regulating your breathing. It says that to reach proper aerobic fitness you should be breathing through your nose whilst running.

I only breath through my mouth, sometimes blowing in this weather. Should I be practising nose breathing?

I seem to be a bit addicted to this running malarkey 😂.

23 Replies
MissUnderstanding profile image

I would recommend breathing. Breathing is very important. Definitely keep doing that!

I’ve never found breathing any way other than what comes naturally to me works. I might not be reaching the same aerobic fitness as an elite athlete but I’m pretty happy with how I can run. Try it if you’d like to, but I wouldn’t be getting super hung up on it.

The c25k programme should come with an addiction warning!

Deverdad profile image
Deverdad in reply to MissUnderstanding

I've read that breathing through your nose is the ideal as the air goes deeper into your lungs and you achieve better blood .... oxygen levels ...or something technical like that! Which helps running longer distances or run for longer time. Its difficult, I've tried - but if you think about walking we do breath through our nose naturally, unthinking, until we get "out of breath" I ran marathons before getting Asthma at 60 and when tired, did slow down and breath through my nose and it helped. Perhaps on your slower build runs ,try nose breathing. Having said all that - you need to get the air / oxygen in "any way you can" to keep going so breath anyway you feel comfortable. Good luck, col.

MrBassmanjazz profile image
MrBassmanjazzGraduate in reply to MissUnderstanding

100%. It's one of the best things C25k has given me. I run and rarely think about breathing. I love it. Now if could just get my swimming to that level...

Pugwash profile image
PugwashGraduate in reply to MissUnderstanding

The perfect reply MissUnderstanding 😀. The 'over-sciencing' of running physiology for those of us not competing with anyone but ourselves in our plods around the park is a personal bête noire of mine. I don't discount it all of course; for instance, knowing that the 'toxic 10' is a thing was very helpful along with sensible training programmes, dealing with injury and illness properly too, but, rather like you, I'm just happy to get the air in!!!

Instructor57 profile image

I like your title !'breathing whilst running' That's always a good idea 😁

Don't worry about a specific method ... Just breathe however is natural to you !

I tend to month and nose breathe together, though I have taken in the odd fly 😂

MissUnderstanding profile image
MissUnderstandingAdministrator in reply to Instructor57

I’m veggie and the only living things I’ve eaten in years are flies! There’s one particular lane where there’s always hundreds of them. I sometimes don’t remember to close my mouth quickly enough… grim!

Instructor57 profile image
Instructor57Administrator in reply to MissUnderstanding

Haha, yes it's horrible!I have a particular spot as well and usually forget . 🤮

Chinkoflight profile image
ChinkoflightGraduate in reply to MissUnderstanding

And veggies, they were alive....

LiisaM profile image
LiisaMGraduate in reply to MissUnderstanding

I’m glad you’re a veggie!

I’ve been thinking, what with masks these days, that what I would like is a RUNNER’S mask. It would be a thin—REALLY thin—piece of material made into a mask that lets lots of air in but no bugs. Think of material like in sheer curtains. What do you think?

MissUnderstanding profile image
MissUnderstandingAdministrator in reply to LiisaM

We’ll be millionaires!!!

MrBassmanjazz profile image
MrBassmanjazzGraduate in reply to Instructor57

Insects are supposed to be full of protein. (I'm Veggie too).

CBDB profile image

I’ve now run and rowed regularly more than 2 years, and I now tend to schedule in slow rows (and slow runs when I’m not on a come-back-from-a -break-plan) aimed at breathing through your nose (mouth closed).

And I think my aerobic fitness has increased to the level that it’s now quite easy for me to run or row at a pace where I can breathe through my nose only ( mouth closed) for the whole workout.

So for me, it’s now a good method of the equivalent of a low heart rate indicator, as I don’t have a heart monitor.

It also tends to map to running at conversational pace, for me. If I can breathe through my mouth, I can talk at conversational pace.

But I know this can be very specific to the individual.

I’ve found it a good idea and quite fun to plan in a slow pace session with the intention to try out breathing through your nose, and see how you get on.

MissUnderstanding profile image
MissUnderstandingAdministrator in reply to CBDB

It’s really interesting that your ability to nose breath correlates to your conversational pace. Maybe I’ll try it again next time I’m out. The problem with me is I’m a bit allergic to most of nature so always a bit bunged up. Maybe that’s why it never works for me!

CBDB profile image
CBDBGraduate in reply to MissUnderstanding

yes, but I can do one or the other, not both simultaneously! 🤣🤣🤣

John_W profile image

All that nose-breathing does is force your to slow down - that's it.

For example ... if you are running 'aerobically' (i.e. conversational pace) whilst mouth-breathing, then switching to nose-breathing and by trying to maintain the same level of effort, will have the effect of slowing your pace, because you won't be as efficient at the mouth-breathing pace you were going at. To reach that same efficiency, and due to the fact that you are taking in less oxygen, you'll be forced to slow down.

Chinkoflight profile image

Multitasking for men, breath and run!

LiisaM profile image

Doesn’t Laura say somewhere to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth?

Pugwash profile image
PugwashGraduate in reply to LiisaM

She does indeed, but it never worked for me so I just 'listen to my body' on this one.

LiisaM profile image
LiisaMGraduate in reply to Pugwash

I wonder what the rationale is for that style of breathing.

GottaImprove profile image
GottaImproveGraduate in reply to LiisaM

I was always told that when exercising, breath in through your nose and out through your mouth as your nose has more filtering (hairs, mucus and other clever stuff) to catch all those nasty bits that are in the air before they get into your body. To expel air quicker, you use your mouth!

To be fair, when I started the C25K I did try that. Thirty seconds into W1R1 I gave up a started to breath through my mouth. (Well it was either that or suffocate!).

Now, I find if I am not pushing too hard, once I have warmed up, I can just breath through my nose on the flat. As soon as any additional effort is required, my mouth gets used.

I have, like it seems have most others, swallowed some form of wildlife while running, but I don't ever recall snorting any!

:) :) :)

MrBassmanjazz profile image
MrBassmanjazzGraduate in reply to Pugwash

That comes up all oiver the place. Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi, but you'll always get someone from the same discipline refuting it. Oh, Yeah. You're supposed to breathe out with your tongue in the roof of your mouth, I believe.

I'm just going to keep on doing it - in and out - in and out for as long as I can.

Irishrunner profile image

The benefits of nasal breathing for athletes are said to be around the formation of nitric oxide. Remember Paula Radcliffe wearing nasal passage expanders to give her a competitive edge? Here is a link to a comprehensive article on the subject.

Irishrunner profile image

I attempted to run today with my mouth closed. I have been a runner for 43 years and never tried this before! I set off and after 2 minutes had to start breathing through my mouth as I was getting out of breath. But I then tried 2 minutes mouth closed 2 minutes mouth open. By 20 minutes into the run I was able to breath continuously with my mouth closed. I ran the last 3 miles of my 5 mile run breathing quite easily through my nose. I will persist with this new “skill” to see if any of the claimed benefits happen for a 73 year old!

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