Want to Run Better? (Shut Your Mouth)


Mar 30, 2021

 by Brian Friedman
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Would you like to improve your running performance?

If you're a runner, there was probably a resounding, YES!

It's customary to feel that way. Even if you're a walker, cyclist, or rower. We're always looking for ways to find an edge.

That's why athletes spend so much hard-earned money on apps, gadgets, pills, and potions.

But what if I could show you a way to improve your endurance, stamina, and efficiency ... for free?

Shall I show you now?

It's right under your nose.

First

Make sure you can breathe through your nose. Here's a helpful blog that shows you two ways to make that happen without drugs.

Second

After you've established nasal breathing, close your mouth.

If you're open to it, tape your mouth shut. This will ensure you're not accidentally taking in micro-breaths. All you have to do is place a strip of tape horizontally over your closed lips. You can also use a strip of tape vertically. The goal is to prevent mouth breathing during your exercise session.

Third

Begin slowly. I know this step can be extremely difficult for someone who is super motivated to crush their goals, but your body will need time to adapt.

This tip comes from Mary Jennings of the Irish Times ...

"Try walking first. But if you can’t resist the temptation to see if you can nasal breathe when running, give it a go. Next time you are out running, close your mouth, leave your ego at home, slow your pace and see how long you can run breathing lightly in and out of your nose. Stop and walk when you need to open your mouth and when your breath is relaxed start running again." 

Image source: consciousbreathing.com

Image source: consciousbreathing.com

After allowing his body to adapt, Anders Olsson, the author of Conscious Breathing, ran an entire half marathon with his mouth taped shut.

Science

Breathing through your nose helps moisten and purify the air you take in during exercise and daily life.

Nasal breathing also allows for more oxygen to reach your muscles and other active tissues.

"That is because breathing through the nose releases nitric oxide, which is necessary to increase carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood, which, in turn, is what releases oxygen. Mouth breathing does not effectively release nitric oxide, which means the cells are not getting as much oxygen as through nasal breathing, which could lead to fatigue and stress." - Jae Berman

Nasal breathing also helps keep you relaxed versus mouth breathing. 

It's Up To You

The desire to perform better is normal.

Everyone wants to be at their best. But in order to do that, we may have to take a step back and evaluate our methods to see if we're getting the results we crave safely.

If you're open to it, you have a 3-step process to make it happen. And it doesn't cost a cent.

Whether you're a runner, walker, cyclist, or rower, you can improve your endurance, performance, and recovery.

Make a commitment to give it a try today. Be patient because your body will need to adapt. Jae Berman wrote, "At first, high-intensity exercise may feel more difficult with nasal breathing. The body needs to adapt to a different approach to the respiratory process, and if it is used to hyperventilation during exercise, nasal breathing may feel a bit slow at first. Things will shift."

You've got this!

 

Brian, Founder of WinterGardenYoga.com

SOMA Breathwork Instructor

PS: SOMA BreathFIT is an amazing course designed, specifically, to help you take your performance to the next level. Every day for eleven days, you’ll get a video with performance hacks or habits that will help you to eliminate lethargy, tiredness, “brain fog”, excess weight, or other physical health challenges holding back your peak performance and full potential.

PPS: Here are some stretches that may help with your running/walking.