Diagrammic breathing

by Rick
(Southport UK)

Diagrammic breathing and running :

"Hi Marius,
First a quick update;
after last years P.B.s over both the half and full marathon following your 100 day plan, yesterday I took over a min off my 20 miles time with a 1 hour 4 mins 1 sec performance, and this just 3 days before my 50th birthday!
My question is after reading about the health and performance benefits of Diagram breathing I was wondering what was your take on the subject and could we implement this into our racing and training? "

Answer: Hi Rick and first of all, congrats with "begin on track" again !

It will be interesting to see how this will continue leading up to London.

To your question : for well training athletes like yourself, from my honest opinion both as a runner but also from a medical perspective as a doctor, there is very little evidence that this will help.

Problem is, the limiting factor for top trained runners is not in the lungs, but rather in the oxygen transport and diffusion capacity over the lung alverolaris to the blood stream and again over to the muscle cells, the enzyme activity to produce energy in the cells as well as the elastic abilities of the muscles + the overall running economy. Breating one way or the other (within reason) won't help much with either of this.

Now, for poorly/moderately trained it may have a benefit, but I'm not too sure. I'm generally open to research and have read what has been done with diagrammic breathing but I have a hard time being convinced based on the pure physiological aspect of it.

However, if you want to find out for sure, the way to do this is to run back to back lactate acid tests on the treadmill to find if the threshold is altered using this. If you do this, I'd love to hear the results !

I wish you all the best,

kind regards,

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How?
Simply click here to return to Questions