Better Bicycle Breathing
Breathing through your nose is generally better than through your mouth. Your nose is a better natural filter blocking more pollution from your lungs. It increases circulation by better balancing the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood. Along with helping adjust the air temperature that you send into your lungs. Breathing through your mouth contributes to dry mouth, bad breath and a build up of bacteria.
The decision should be easy. Breathe through your nose. Unfortunately, whether you notice it or not you automatically start to breath through your mouth when exerting yourself through exercise. Even though each breath is adding less oxygen to your body you are adding more volume by breathing through your mouth. The more you exert yourself the more you will struggle to take in air aka: breathe.
One of the best ways to improve performance in any physical activity is to learn to breathe better. More through your nose and with deeper breaths. This will give you the maximum oxygen level to your blood, muscles and body. Allowing you to sustain a higher level of power and output.
In order to get better at breathing you will have to override your autodrive system a bit. It all starts with being more conscious of your breathing. What is your natural style and rhythm. Do you only breathe through your mouth? Be more mindful of how you are doing it.
In all cases be sure to breathe deeply through the belly using your diaphragm. Avoid breathing through your chest as it requires extra muscles and doesn't push as much air into your lungs.
Progress your breathing through these stages. Stay with each phase as long as possible before moving onto the next one:
- Breathe in and out through your nose
- Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth
- Breathe in through your mouth but with deeper and slower breaths
- At max effort breather through your mouth with deeper but faster breaths
- Give it a try and let us know how it works for you
"It's your world, Ride it"
Note: Thanks to our friends at Bike Road for much of this material
Mike S (aka: Simmons)