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How Nasal Breathing Helps Runners Run Faster, for Longer

How Nasal Breathing Helps Runners Run Faster, for Longer

  • 4 min read

Running is a great way to keep stress at bay and stay fit. But did you know that there’s a way to run more efficiently? It all goes back to breath. 

When it comes to improved endurance while running, nasal breathing during a run (and even while at rest) can boost your oxygen levels and performance. By paying attention to your breathing habits and using breathing exercises for running, you’ll be working out more efficiently in no time. 

Before we can dive into the specifics, let’s take a closer look at the science behind how nasal breathing can help you run faster, for longer.  This is all thanks to The Bohr Effect. 

nasal breathing running

How Nasal Breathing Helps RunnersWhile Running(The Bohr Effect)

The Bohr effect works by increasing your body’s ability to tolerate carbon dioxide through slower, more steady breath. By increasing CO2 tolerance, more CO2 is available in the body during both rest and exercise. That means that the body can provide oxygen to the cells more efficiently, making the cardiovascular and respiratory systems run in tip-top shape. 

Since your cells are more efficiently oxygenated, your heart rate remains lower for the same level of effort, or speed. In turn, you can run faster, for longer by training your body to be more efficient at oxygenation. 

Nasal breathing helps us achieve the Bohr effect. Nasal breathing with the help of a breathing exercise for running is the quickest way to reach efficient breath. 

nasal breathing running

Breathing Exercises for Running: Achieve Proper Oxygenation 

Focused and rhythmic breathing is the best way to oxygenate the body during a run to reach boosted performance. Begin by pacing yourself with an inhale through the nose for two counts followed by an exhale through the nose for two counts. This ensures a steady breathing rate. 

You can increase the length of each inhale and exhale to better suit your foot strikes. For example, a nasal inhale for three counts with a nasal exhale of three counts. 

Another option is to inhale for a longer period of time than you exhale: a nasal inhale of three counts followed by an exhale for two. Choose the count that best works for you and your body along with the terrain and speed you’re running. 

When nasal breathing and doing a breathing exercise for running, it’s also important to focus on the rhythm of your breath in combination with your footstrikes. Always be sure to exhale on alternate footstrikes. You shouldn’t exhale on the same foot repeatedly. 

Aside from your breathing pattern, you need to focus on the source of the breath. Most beginner runners inhale from the chest as opposed to the diaphragm. To ensure that you’re breathing from the belly instead of the chest, place a hand on your stomach and inhale deeply in a manner that makes your stomach expand with every exhale. 

Try this out while walking first to get the pattern down. Then, add it to a slow jog as you increase your speed. 

Furthermore, add mouth tape to your run to train more efficiently and ensure nasal breathing while running. 

nasal breathing running

Mouth Tape Can Help you Nasal Breathe

It seems impossible that something as simple as tape can help to train your body to perform better through nasal breathing. But it can. 

Mouth tape helps to ensure that your lips remain sealed so that oxygen is coming in from the nostrils rather than the mouth. All you have to think about is putting the tape on rather than trying to catch yourself in the act of mouth breathing. 

Tie in mouth tape as the perfect runner’s accessory. Pop a strip on during the first five minutes of your run at first. Beyond that, increase the length of time you keep it on to ten minutes, fifteen minutes, and so on.  

 

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SomniFix mouth strips are hypoallergenic and comfortable to withstand whatever your workout throws your way. Better yet, they offer a mouth vent in case you become excessively winded and need to take in oxygen through the mouth. 

Nasal breathing and mouth taping during rest can help you perform better later on, too. Here’s how. 

How Nasal Breathing Helps RunnersDuring Rest

How you breathe during rest directly affects how you feel after exertion. As we’ve already discussed, nasal breathing regulates oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body. 

When you mouth breathe instead of nasal breathe, too much carbon dioxide is expelled due to a higher breathing rate. The lungs can’t absorb as much oxygen, leading to lightheadedness, hyperventilation, and a lowered rate of homeostasis. 

In short, mouth breathing means over-breathing. And it’s damaging to your health. 

nasal breathing running

Mouth Breathing is Over-breathing

Since mouth breathing reduces blood circulation, your airways become constricted. Therefore, you’re more likely to over breathe to make up the difference. 

This slows recovery times after a workout. When you breathe through your nose instead, you can help to influence your body to recover faster than it would otherwise. 

By nose breathing instead, you can better regulate the exchange of oxygen. That means more efficient homeostasis and stress relief. This is mostly thanks to nitric oxide. 

Nitric oxide is a chemical naturally produced during nasal breathing, which boosts cognitive function and takes cortisol levels down. 

Nasal breathing (and nitric oxide) put the body into a relaxed state by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. In turn, your body exits fight or flight mode. This leads to a better quality of sleep, too, since the body can fully relax. 

Mouth tape is the best tool to nasal breathe, whether you’re running or at rest. 

nasal breathing running

SomniFix Is A Runner’s Best Friend

Training the body to nasal breathe is the best way to reach optimized running performance. Better yet, nasal breathing while at rest can help boost health even when we aren’t in motion. 

But once you’re asleep, it’s harder to maintain nasal breathing since you’re unconscious. That’s why the same mouth tape strips that help you nasal breathe during a workout can help you to nasal breathe while you sleep. 

Simply pop on a SomniFix strip at night and our flexible strips will ease you into peaceful sleep so that you’ll be at your best during your next run or workout. 

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