Debut at the New York Marathon with nasal breathing - Conscious Breathing Institute

Debut at the New York Marathon with nasal breathing

I am so happy that I found your website! I just want to write you to say that I ran the 42 kilometers of the New York Marathon in 4 hours and 32 minutes. The interesting thing is that I have no previous experience with marathon races; I just wanted to do it for life experience. The farthest I’d ever run before was 25 kilometers. When I got there and mingled with all the awesome experienced runners, I decided I would be satisfied to take it easy and just get to the end.

I thought to myself, if I just breathe through my nose the whole way through, I won’t overexert myself.

I hope it will never end 

I practiced nasal breathing throughout the whole race, taking long, deep breaths. It made no difference to me whether I was going uphill or running on the flat surface, running was easy the whole time. I kept up an even pace of around 6.3 km/min. for the whole race. After I’d been running for two and a half hours, I told myself that I hoped it would never end!

Everything went so smoothly, and I wasn’t tired so I was able to experience everything going on around me. I didn’t get any cramps or injuries—nothing at all. After 30-kilometers I still wasn’t tired, but over the last couple of kilometers, my legs started feeling a little heavy. But it wasn’t so bad, because after the race I was easily able to walk the five kilometers home without any problems.

I even had a fair bit of energy left that evening. When the Vasa ski race (Vasaloppet) comes around in March, I will definitely be practicing nasal breathing again.

Outperforms my 18-year-old elite athlete son

My 18-year-old son plays ice hockey at an elite level and is in great shape. I challenged him to a 90-degrees challenge, where you see who lasts the longest with your back against a wall and your knees bent at right angles. When my son gave up, I hadn’t even started breathing heavily from the strain.

When we tried the plank exercise, where you have to support your body over the floor using just your feet and elbows, I won again. The third time we tried the plank, we counted the number of breaths we took. I had a rate of 14 breaths per minute, while he was taking 34! I guess I don’t even need to mention that I was breathing through my nose during the exercises, while my son was breathing through his mouth!

I’d like this story to strengthen your theory of the benefits of nasal breathing, and perhaps inspire others. No one in New York realized it was even possible to just breathe through your nose. But, something happens with nasal breathing, and it is really positive!

Seija Torstensson
51, Self-employed, Marstrand, Sweden