It was suggested to me by my yoga therapist that I try running while breathing only through my nose. When I can no longer manage it, take a break and then resume for as long as I can.
It wasn't the first time I had heard about running and nasal breathing but I hadn't paid it much attention at the time. Better late than never I guess.
But why do it? How is is compatible with running? What are the benefits?
According to running coach, John Goldthorp, the idea is that as runners, we don't take easy running as easy as we should and nasal breathing practically guarantees an easy run. We then build a solid aerobic base, allowing us to sustain an aerobic pace over long periods and intensity work becomes more effective with better results.
Breathing through the nose will increase oxygen absorption, leaving blood oxygen levels higher after the workout, promoting quicker recovery. You'll keep your heart rate lower, make full use of the diaphragm muscle and promote relaxation. And if you can't stay relaxed on an easy run, what's going to happen when you ramp up your efforts? Excess tension while running saps your energy stores, leaving less for the effort of running. All in all, it seems that nose breathing promotes efficiency and better recovery. Sign me up.
Ha! Sounds reasonable but on my first attempts, I found it challenging. My nose tends to run (pun intended) while running so to avoid unintentional snot rockets, I had to stop to blow a couple times. I could manage about 8 minutes before needing to slow down even more. I also kept forgetting as I tend to watch tv while running so I'd catch myself reverting back to mouth breathing. I'll keep working at it and report back on my findings. If you give it a try, let me know what you discover.
Follow my journey to 50 miles at www.twistedroseyoga.com/50-miles