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Old 02-21-06, 08:44 AM   #1
fordfasterr
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Ok, I was thinking about something that I've heard people talk about ...

It has to do with breathing through the nose when you are exerting yourself...

I have been trying to do this on my daily commutes ... however I am not sure if there is a real gain with this technique or not... does breathing through the nose during high exertion force the heart and lungs to increase its capacity due to the restriction of the lower CFM...?

I understand that the body adapts to changes in load, for instance, to increase cardio capacity one can:

1. increase the distance.
2. increase the speed.
3. increase the angle (go up hills/mountains)

All of these things should help to increase lung and circulatory capacity... but can one artificially increase load by depriving the cfm/oxygen that the body can take in by keeping their mouth closed during high load training ? ??
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Old 02-21-06, 08:52 AM   #2
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i am going to have to go with NO on this one. i think your training is not productive if you continue this.
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Old 02-21-06, 09:04 AM   #3
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I found this online after posting and I just wanted to share it... it mentions some of the benefits of nose breathing however I am still not 100% convinced... I wanted to know if others nose breathe while training to promote / boost oxygen absorption ..

http://www.breathing.com/articles/nose-breathing.htm


Here is the most useful info that I got from the article(s):

1. The lungs are a primary control of our energy level. They extract oxygen from the air we breathe primarily on the exhale. Because the nostrils are smaller then the mouth, air exhaled through the nose creates back pressure when one exhales. It slows the air escape so the lungs have more time to extract oxygen from them. When there is proper oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange, the blood will maintain a balanced pH. If carbon dioxide is lost too quickly, as in mouth breathing, oxygen absorption is decreased.
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Old 02-21-06, 09:40 AM   #4
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If I try breathing through my nose, I end up feeling like I'm not getting enough air. I know that's anecdotal, but that's my experience.
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Old 02-21-06, 09:50 AM   #5
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I just try to breath period. At periods of particularly hard exertion I'll breath thru my nose, mouth and whatever else I can find. If I could figure out how I would get air thru my eyes and ears as well.
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Old 02-21-06, 10:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmuter
If I try breathing through my nose, I end up feeling like I'm not getting enough air. I know that's anecdotal, but that's my experience.

That is EXACTLY what I feel when I do it.

I wonder how long it will take my body to adapt to nose breathing...



I did even more searching and I found an article by a female runner... LINK


She makes 1 good point that I think is in-line with the idea that I presented in the OP, however I still don't have enough research / information / reponses from people who have attempted to modify their breathing techniques to know if it will work, or if I can expect some kind of improvements over a period of time by training this way...

Quote:
" Shallow breathing (mouth breathing) does not exercise the diaphragm and lungs enough and most people only use a small portion of their lung capacity. "

What I think she is saying is that the ability to increase lung capacity is real... that is what I am trying to explore.


also...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mx_599
i am going to have to go with NO on this one. i think your training is not productive if you continue this.

Is it possible that I may hurt myself by doing this ? Do you think it is harmful ?

Last edited by fordfasterr; 02-21-06 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 02-21-06, 02:54 PM   #7
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Imagine it from the point of view of the lungs. If you're sitting inside the lungs, you have no idea where the air that fills the lungs came from. Regardless if you breath through your nose or mouth, it still goes through the common passage of the throat first before getting to the lungs *. So if:

1. you want to restrict air going into lungs, breathe in slower CFM, doesn't matter if it went through nose or mouth.

2. you want air to stay in contact with lung-tissue to extract more O2, hold air in lungs longer, don't exhale right away, or exhale slower. Kinda useless IMHO because if you take in fresh air, the O2-concentration will be higher and will provide more O2 to the blood.

In any case, the rate-limiting-step is not lung-capacity, it's getting that O2 into the muscle tissues itself. There's a whole long and lengthy chain of events that occurs after you've absorbed the O2 from the air into the bloodstream. Compare and contrast the difference between LT and VO2-max and it all makes sense.

An analogy can be drawn to the gas-tank in a car. Adding a larger gas-tank doesn't really help the car go any faster because the limitation to speed is not the size of the tank.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 02-21-06 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 02-21-06, 03:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordfasterr

1. The lungs are a primary control of our energy level. They extract oxygen from the air we breathe primarily on the exhale. Because the nostrils are smaller then the mouth, air exhaled through the nose creates back pressure when one exhales. It slows the air escape so the lungs have more time to extract oxygen from them. When there is proper oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange, the blood will maintain a balanced pH. If carbon dioxide is lost too quickly, as in mouth breathing, oxygen absorption is decreased.
well yeah, this is the same as pursed lip breathing....i still don't think you should train like this. it will be a hinderance

but good luck with it
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Old 02-21-06, 03:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmuter
If I try breathing through my nose, I end up feeling like I'm not getting enough air. I know that's anecdotal, but that's my experience.
i'd say that is factual. that is why i don't think its any good. you won't be able to train at the same intensity...which will just mess you up psychologically
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Old 02-21-06, 03:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordfasterr
What I think she is saying is that the ability to increase lung capacity is real... that is what I am trying to explore.
to what extent? some great endurance athletes are blessed with larger lung capacities. men have larger lung capacities. one major reason why men and women cannot fairly compete head to head.

Quote:
Is it possible that I may hurt myself by doing this ? Do you think it is harmful ?
i wouldn't question its safety one bit. go for it. your body has built in mechanisms to protect you. you can't hold your breath to kill yourself.

the psychological component is too big for me to effectively do this. i will be to tempted to increase my intensity to where i know i could be and then i would have to start sucking flies anyway.

but you are safe to do it

Last edited by mx_599; 02-23-06 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 02-21-06, 03:57 PM   #11
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...but definitely an interesting topic for a change. i am sure you'll get quite a few more posts before this dies
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Old 02-21-06, 04:45 PM   #12
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breathing exercises are a better idea, and will not involve you gasping for air while you ride, which I could see turning into a dizzy-falling-over situation.

get some PVC, a ball valve, and WHAM - breathing exerciser for <$5. Use it for 5 minutes a day, taking deep full breaths. I guarantee you will have more breathing power.
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Old 02-21-06, 05:16 PM   #13
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get one of these:

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Old 02-21-06, 05:18 PM   #14
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this one might be better:

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Old 02-21-06, 05:30 PM   #15
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yeah, both of those do the exact same thing my homebrew contraption does, at 5x the price. Whatever floats your boat.
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Old 02-21-06, 05:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eatadonut
yeah, both of those do the exact same thing my homebrew contraption does, at 5x the price. Whatever floats your boat.
hey...maybe i have a vested interest in those companies. quit your hatin'
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Old 02-22-06, 10:20 AM   #17
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just keep mouth open and inhale

and try to exhale through the nose as much as possible
don't try to inhale as this close the nose !
only exhale throo nose....

raise your tounge and exhale throo the nose while mouth
is still open, and bleed off pressure around the tounge
when exhaling throo nose is too restrictive


it will help an bit. be prepared for snot fest initially

***
it really does work, and this is why....

it's just something
different to do for yourself, much like standing and airing out the legs,
or changing saddle position...it helps but not enough to change
the race much. it helps by relaxing the diaphragm somewhat and give your lungs
a rest without dropping speed. once rested for a mile or so, go back to regular breathing.
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Old 02-23-06, 02:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Is it possible that I may hurt myself by doing this ? Do you think it is harmful ?
You'll just get less air. Your body knows what to do when you get less oxygen: you'll be slower. You could also pull such a thing off by adding weight to your bike, riding on knobby tires, wearing baggy pants and a coat with the zipper open, or any number of other strategies to make a fast bike ride into a slow one.

I think the best way to increase lung capacity while riding is to ride faster, and to increase your cadence if you're not "spinning" already.

Spending extended amounts of time in a high-altitude area increases your body's ability to get oxygen out of the air. You could try sleeping with a piece of pipe sticking out of your mouth (or more practical, keep a piece of pick sticking out of your mouth at all times while on bikeforums or using the computer for other reasons.)
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Old 02-23-06, 05:43 PM   #19
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Here you go, add some duct tape and you'll be winning the TDF when you take it off:

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