Nose or mouth breathing when running, discuss.

Pastafarian

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This: "One thing that can help concurrent training is to have at least 7-8 hours between the anaerobic/aerobic part. Ideally separate days".

If I want to get really, REALLY fit, 2 a days have always been the way to go in the way you describe...(assuming a long build up of LSD's and base building) Its been shown repeatedly that mixing training with those energy systems into singles sessions is sub-optimal, and separating them out superior in every respect.

The main thrust I want to give is that whilst "technically" concurrent training isn't optimal, most people simply don't train hard enough anyway and will almost always result in an improvement in each domain until they get to a relatively high level - it is as you move toward the margins that the effect is magnified.

I myself am 46 years old, I did the Fan Dance carrying 50lb on my back in 3 hours 58 minutes (just below the UKSF selection cut off time @ 4 hours), can deadlift 2.5 x bodyweight, knock out 20+ pull ups with good form, MURPH (with 10kg vest) in ca 40mins ... I have done a number of 50km+ runs in the mountains... And I weigh 94kg - this is mostly down to many years of concurrent training. I mention this not for dick measuring purposes (!) but as an example of what even an old fart like me can do with such training.
 

mace

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I hope in the next 15 years I will be as fit as you! Out of curiosity what's your height?
 

Pastafarian

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*text deleted* - I thought you might ask - pretty average, 185cm... So i am carrying a fair amount of extra muscle tissue and am a reasonably "big" guy... On a different note and FWIW, I really think that a large amount of physical capacity gains have come from occasionally having to do some legitimately hard things in somewhat challenging circumstances - not enough food or water, not enough sleep, cold, wet, scared, too hot etc... And doing the physical task regardless - because if you didn't you would be in the Sh*t and die / freeze etc.

I have had to hack my way through some horrible situations over the years, mostly self imposed in the mountains, or things that came from leftfield and we simply had to deal with it and crack on. In these situations you learn that the body really can go to extraordinary lengths - its going to suck balls, but you are capable of extraordinary things in some truly bonkers scenarios.

The book "Extreme Alpinism" by Mark Twight was life changing for me in my 20's - Twights idea of "hardship training" is still used by myself and my son (RM Officer is on his wishlist) where once a month / in a blue moon a day or 2 is taken and you purposely go without enough food, enough sleep, enough water and go through a series of workouts in all areas: gym, running, cycling, swimming / whatever just to see if its possible for you to do it. Goggins is interesting like this as well - doing something that is really, legitimately hard every now and again enables the brain to recalibrate its perception of what is an acceptable workload. I joke to my son that because of this I could at any time drop what I am doing and run a marathon - I would feel like *text deleted* and be slow, but I simply know that I can do it and handle the drama.

Anyway - I am totally off topic now.... But maybe some good thoughts for others ;-)
 

Dan8696

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There is probably some mad science as to why you should or shouldn't breather through either hole.. But after always breathing trough my mouth (or nose if its super frosty out) and having no trouble, I'll continue breathing out my mouth
 

mace

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There is probably some mad science as to why you should or shouldn't breather through either hole.. But after always breathing trough my mouth (or nose if its super frosty out) and having no trouble, I'll continue breathing out my mouth
There certainly is, that’s the whole point of James Nestor’s book. I never understood why people just accept the status quo and say “well that’s how it’s always been” instead of constantly looking to improve in every situation.
 

Dan8696

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There certainly is, that’s the whole point of James Nestor’s book. I never understood why people just accept the status quo and say “well that’s how it’s always been” instead of constantly looking to improve in every situation.
I'd say, I'll generally always look to improve my technique or my way of doing something if its more efficient or more effective. But for me, with regards to running, I have tried to use my nose before in warmer conditions and it just feels worse for me haha. I guess I fall into that 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' category sometimes
 

Broadsword55

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At top level, runners breath through their nose and mouth at the same time. Whilst VO2 max doesn't necessarily mean independently that you will be a good endurance athlete, you won't find any good endurance athletes with a poor VO2 max. By getting the most air into your lungs you will fatigue slower so it is best to mouth and nose breath or at least mouth breath since it is bigger. You only breath through one nostril so it isn't exactly efficient. I make a point of breathing heavily from the mouth at the start of a race so that my blood oxygen remains high therefore delaying the build up of lactate for slightly longer.
 

mace

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At top level, runners breath through their nose and mouth at the same time. Whilst VO2 max doesn't necessarily mean independently that you will be a good endurance athlete, you won't find any good endurance athletes with a poor VO2 max. By getting the most air into your lungs you will fatigue slower so it is best to mouth and nose breath or at least mouth breath since it is bigger. You only breath through one nostril so it isn't exactly efficient. I make a point of breathing heavily from the mouth at the start of a race so that my blood oxygen remains high therefore delaying the build up of lactate for slightly longer.
But that’s the thing. Your blood oxygen levels don’t drop while you are breathing through your nose. You might feel like you are getting less air through your nose but that doesn’t mean you are getting less O2.
 

Broadsword55

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But that’s the thing. Your blood oxygen levels don’t drop while you are breathing through your nose. You might feel like you are getting less air through your nose but that doesn’t mean you are getting less O2.
RER (Respiratory Exchange ratio)is higher when running anaerobically when breathing through the mouth and the heart-rate remains lower. they are both the same long distance when jogging. In a race for example I like to sprint the first 12-15 seconds to use the ATP-Pcr so it makes sense to mouth breath as everyone does when sprinting because it is faster. I tend to run in a UT-1 training zone rather than the typical UT-2 which although less efficient for improving aerobic fitness is better for race performance in my opinion. By going mouth and nose breathing I don't get impacted so badly at the start by lactic acid so I guess that is why I do it
 

mace

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RER (Respiratory Exchange ratio)is higher when running anaerobically when breathing through the mouth and the heart-rate remains lower. they are both the same long distance when jogging.
That's not necessarily the case for every individual. I attached an interesting case study where the results are quite interesting.
Like I did (and naturally most), he experienced air hunger at the beginning but that later changed as he got accustomed to it. Also in most studies where they compare nasal to oral breathing most subjects are unaccustomed to nasal breathing so that's something worth considering when interpreting results.
I think that initial, uncomfortable air hunger is why some many people just don't stick to it and never really try it long term. A key take away from that case study is that he trained himself to be a nasal breather over several months. Also, individual differences are the most important factors to consider. I agree some people will never be able to breathe through the nose due to physical differences in the nasal cavity and nostrils. I had septoplasty two years ago and have decent airflow now. Although I wasn't running much before the surgery, I am sure even if I tried I would not have been able to breathe through my nose due to my deviated septums. At the end of the day, I think the most important thing is to know what works for us. That will come from trial and error. Therefore, I don't see any negatives from trialling it out. You really never know! But don't expect it to be comfortable during your very first run, it won't be! Of course, if you are a couple of months away from joining RT, it is not the best time to start trialling out new methods if you already have a decent run time.

In a race for example I like to sprint the first 12-15 seconds to use the ATP-Pcr so it makes sense to mouth breath as everyone does when sprinting because it is faster.

I never thought of that, that's a great idea. I will try it next time and see if I get any problems stabilising my pace and breathing after the initial sprint.

I tend to run in a UT-1 training zone rather than the typical UT-2 which although less efficient for improving aerobic fitness is better for race performance in my opinion.

Yeah, that's the conclusion I am having at the moment with regards to my training. I spent the last few months focusing on slower runs and didn't do much of harder runs or 1.5 miler tests. So I am starting to have more running interval sessions when our gym reopens (so I use the treadmill to control my pace) and will use swimming, cycling and rowing as means of Zone 2 training.

By going mouth and nose breathing I don't get impacted so badly at the start by lactic acid so I guess that is why I do it

Last Friday when I tested my 1.5 milers my legs didn't get acidic or had any DOMS in the following days which really surprised me. My HR was through the roof but I managed not to collapse. Hopefully, in the coming months, I can increase my pace and reduce HR. Wouldn't that be nice haha!

Have you ever taken soda bicarb an hour before hard runs?
 

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Pastafarian

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Have you ever taken soda bicarb an hour before hard runs?

This is worth doing actually. Problem is that you will need to load it throughout the day: teaspoon on waking, teaspoon a few hours later etc - if you cock it up you will end up crapping your pants as it effects the bowels badly if you go overboard.

I can tolerate about 3-4 X 1 teaspoon every few hours before doing anaerobic work / test / comp 'extra phys' etc. Its just a bit of a PIA as the dosage has to be managed in advance.
 

mace

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This is worth doing actually. Problem is that you will need to load it throughout the day: teaspoon on waking, teaspoon a few hours later etc - if you cock it up you will end up crapping your pants as it effects the bowels badly if you go overboard.

I can tolerate about 3-4 X 1 teaspoon every few hours before doing anaerobic work / test / comp 'extra phys' etc. Its just a bit of a PIA as the dosage has to be managed in advance.
Thanks for that info! I have been meaning to try it! I think I am going to give the protocol in the attached study a go.

I need to look into how long you can take it safely. Are you aware of any long term studies? How often do you take it and for how long?

If it works well it would nice if you could get some SB from Sodexo at CTC hahaha
 

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Pastafarian

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Their upper suggested limit is 300mg/kg - that works out at apx 9 teaspoons of BiCarb for me... I would just spend the entire spraying and praying.

I recall that there are benefits for Bicarb supplementation on a low dose daily basis as well - I used to take a tsp in a glass of water each day for some months, though i recall it was more recovery / longevity related.
 

Mattys

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There certainly is, that’s the whole point of James Nestor’s book. I never understood why people just accept the status quo and say “well that’s how it’s always been” instead of constantly looking to improve in every situation.

I don’t see the benefits of breathing through your nose personally , I can see why athletes do it but once your going full out as in different kinds of workouts where by your heart rate is right up there and your blowing out your ar.se I couldn’t see how trying to breath through your nose would feel very good!

Also the thing with trying to practise and get used to nose breathing is if your so used to it and you come down with some form of a cold or anything that will block your nasal passage then it wild be something thatl come back to bite you if it’s a technique you’ve really got used to doing!

Each to their own and what they feel is best for them and achieves their best results I say!
 

Pastafarian

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@Mattys Yeah, I think everyones mileage may vary, but suspect that when other things are accounted for gains would be very marginal.
 

mace

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Here is the summary of the studies on bicarb of soda. : https://examine.com/supplements/sodium-bicarbonate/
I have seen it thanks! I am going to try 150mg/BW kg (11.1 gram) on the 3 days when I have the hard running sessions which are going to be in the morning for 8 weeks from the 12th of April. So I will take 1/3 (3.7gr) upon waking (5 am), 1/3 at 6 am and 1/3 30 minutes before training. If I sh1t myself I will try a different loading/dosage. :)
 

Broadsword55

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That's not necessarily the case for every individual. I attached an interesting case study where the results are quite interesting.
Like I did (and naturally most), he experienced air hunger at the beginning but that later changed as he got accustomed to it. Also in most studies where they compare nasal to oral breathing most subjects are unaccustomed to nasal breathing so that's something worth considering when interpreting results.
I think that initial, uncomfortable air hunger is why some many people just don't stick to it and never really try it long term. A key take away from that case study is that he trained himself to be a nasal breather over several months. Also, individual differences are the most important factors to consider. I agree some people will never be able to breathe through the nose due to physical differences in the nasal cavity and nostrils. I had septoplasty two years ago and have decent airflow now. Although I wasn't running much before the surgery, I am sure even if I tried I would not have been able to breathe through my nose due to my deviated septums. At the end of the day, I think the most important thing is to know what works for us. That will come from trial and error. Therefore, I don't see any negatives from trialling it out. You really never know! But don't expect it to be comfortable during your very first run, it won't be! Of course, if you are a couple of months away from joining RT, it is not the best time to start trialling out new methods if you already have a decent run time.



I never thought of that, that's a great idea. I will try it next time and see if I get any problems stabilising my pace and breathing after the initial sprint.



Yeah, that's the conclusion I am having at the moment with regards to my training. I spent the last few months focusing on slower runs and didn't do much of harder runs or 1.5 miler tests. So I am starting to have more running interval sessions when our gym reopens (so I use the treadmill to control my pace) and will use swimming, cycling and rowing as means of Zone 2 training.



Last Friday when I tested my 1.5 milers my legs didn't get acidic or had any DOMS in the following days which really surprised me. My HR was through the roof but I managed not to collapse. Hopefully, in the coming months, I can increase my pace and reduce HR. Wouldn't that be nice haha!

Have you ever taken soda bicarb an hour before hard runs?
never done sodium bicarb doping. There is some evidence that it helps remove the hydrogen in the electron transport chain but it's only beneficial for races that last about 7 minutes which other that a 2k rowing race is pretty useless. My stomach is already too dodgy without eating baking powder. A more effective form of doping is actually CH-PRO doping where you eat carbohydrates and protein afterwards i.e. a chicken sandwich which restores your glycogen levels in your cells faster. All of this is in some presentations that I have already uploaded on this forum. I just don't see the point in nose breathing beyond doing what's natural. If performance is the same then why change from the one that is more comfy. Also I feel a lot more tired running whilst eating food breathing through only my nose. Finally when I have a blocked nose, that isn't so disruptive mouth breathing like a moron
 
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I run very often, I enjoy very long days in the mountains. I think whatever comes naturally to you, your body is the product of trial and error over millions of years, as a result, it automatically knows what and what not to do (hopefully ). Personally, I think that breathing isn't something you should be thinking about when running, it's something that just happens. However, I have heard, (don't quote me on this) that breathing through your nose delivers 14% more air into your lungs, though I have tried breathing through my nose during high intensity running, I have to say that it is not especially nice.
 
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