I know, I know, mouth-breathing gets a bad wrap in pop culture…so much so that being called a “mouth-breather” is now the worst insult since the beginning of mankind. However while mouth-breathing in general IS a bad thing to do in general, it can actually improve your long distance running.
#1: It greatly increases your oxygen intake:
Now whilst breathing through your nose does moisten the air before inhalation, it does take in a lot less air…therefore a lot less air being converted to oxygen by the lungs. Thus breathing through your mouth allows you to supply your body with more oxygen.
#2: Most people can’t breath through their nose:
Now if your nose is currently(or chronically) blocked, this is a no brainer. The mouth is your only option.
#3: Exhaling through the nose can be most beneficial
Contrary to popular belief, breathing in through the mouth and exhaling through the nose(which is the opposite to breathwork in yoga) actually allows oxygen to stay at heightened levels in your bloodstream for a lot longer. Additionally, it is always easier to breath out through a blocked nose than it is to breath in.
#4: Why is all this oxygen uptake necessary?!
Long distance running is known as an aerobic activity. Meaning that it requires oxygen to provide energy for its process. Thereby your oxygen uptake is in direct correlation with the output your muscles can produce. The less oxygen you take in the slower you are going to run that 10km.
#5:Embrace looking like an idiot
A lot of people will catch you mouth-breathing while running and think you’re an imbecile. Ignore them and continue doing what is most physiologically efficient!