Breathing Help

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On the spur of the moment, over Thanksgiving, I ordered some “sports breathing technology”.  I was on Amazon and ordered the Rhinomed Turbine starter pack, which has  small, medium and large things that go up your nose and supposedly hold your nostril open while exercising.

I knew it would most likely be a waste of money.  Even if they work.  I’m not big on adding more “technology” to the riding experience.  Plus, I know I’m just going to lose them all the time. ( I’ve already lost the one I used last night riding.)

I really can’t breathe much out of my nose.  Even after I did sinus surgery a few years back.  It really didn’t seem to help all that much.  I guess I have a long nose and the cartilage had broken down so much that when I breathe, my nose sort of collapses and blocks itself.  I did the surgery mainly for sleeping.  I believe breathing through your nose while sleeping is much healthier than mouth breathing.  I can barely manage it most of the time.

This isn’t the first time I’ve tried some sort of “technology” for breathing.  I tried Breathrights for a bit.  I only raced with them once.  I was doing a World Cup MTB in Australia and rode a couple times with them.  So I decided to race using them.  Within the first minute, my breathing sounded like a squeaky door each breath.  It was so annoying that I pulled the thing off after just a few minutes.

I’m not sure what the noise was.  Must have been a deviation of air from normal air flow. Whatever the reason, it might have been more air, but that didn’t work.

I’ve used the Rhinomed Turbine twice now.  It doesn’t seem to bother me that much, but it looks stupid.  Kind of like a nose ring.  A yellow nose ring.   But looking stupid doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be used.

Athletics, at least endurance athletics is all about air.  More specifically oxygen.  The more you can use, the better you generally are.  So getting more air into your lungs, easier is a good thing. But I ‘m not sure cycling involves a ton of nose breathing.

This might be better for sleeping, I don’t know.   I haven’t played around that much with it to know what its ultimate function might be.  And I’m not sure I am going to.

Anyone out there, other than Chris Froome, use one of these things.  Any pointers?

Chris Froome wearing the Turbine nose thingy.

Chris Froome wearing the Turbine nose thingy.

The starter package comes with three sizes.

The starter package comes with three sizes.





13 thoughts on “Breathing Help

  1. YYC

    Air intake is not the limiting factor in endurance athletics. Gas exchange (i.e. oxygen transfer in the lungs) and distribution (i.e. circulation) are the bottlenecks (Air in = 21% O2, Air out = 16% O2). Breathed air still retains significant levels of oxygen (i.e. part of the reason resuscitation is sometimes successful), so any ‘technology’ used to increase air intake will have minimal (aka no) effect on performance.

  2. Ryan

    I’ve never used these, but have considered it. I also can barely ever breathe well through my nose. I’ve considered surgery for my deviated septum, but I kind of think the doctor is just selling me on it to try to make money off of me. Using them for sleep is an interesting idea though. I am a big time mouth breather when I sleep and imagine these could help me wake up less dehydrated if they work. I’ll be curious to hear your sleep results.

  3. Jeff Unruh

    During vigorous exercise you mouth breath because this is the path of least resistance. It takes much more work to breath through your nose, not too mention that it is less voulme brought in. Try nose breathing during a cross race and you will see that you can’t keep up (i.e. O2 demand/usage outstrips O2 intake). Ideal airway for athletics would be a tracheostomy, very little work of breathing, less airway resistance. This is often what allows people to be weaned from a ventilator after prolonged illness/coma etc.

  4. paul

    Must be Froome’s secret weapon. Something doesn’t really add up with him and other sky guys like Porte. Only mention that because I was just reading an old article with Porte bragging about how he and Froome were taking turns obliterating Armstrong’s record up the Madone climb in Monaco. Seems a bit off. I guess Danielson smashed it before the Sky guys did. Again, seems a bit off for guys that are clean.

  5. paul

    “On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, ‘Okay, this is the limit’. And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.”
    ― Ayrton Senna

      1. The Cyclist

        And after doin that you never ever get a second chance….
        The curse of an exciting life 😉

  6. Peter W. Polack

    I’m a “mouth breather” and I believe the fact I breathe so poorly through my nose is why I don’t sleep well, or why swimming is difficult for me; I just can’t exhale through my nose productively.

    I tried Breathe Right nasal strips once. First night I wore one to sleep I had a placebo effect and slept incredibly well. After that night, nothing. I tried them cycling and didn’t notice much different. I might consider trying the Rhinomed product if they were available locally.

  7. El Jabón

    I had surgery to correct a deviated septum.
    It worked great for me.
    This was added on after I needed surgery to correct a severely broken nose, crown fracture to be specific.
    I suppose the success of the surgery is limited to the surgeon/patient.
    Maybe I was lucky??

  8. Adam

    Some of the previous comments are correct. Unless you are at high altitude, the amount of oxygen you can take in is not a limiting factor for peak exercise, Our lungs are way overbuilt. You are more limited by the oxygen transport from the blood to your muscles and the ability of those muscles to utilize said oxygen. That’s why even during peak exercise, you can still have an O2sat of 99%. It’s also why EPO is such a performance enhancer (increases the blood’s O2 transporters). It gives you a way to transport and utilize the excess O2 that you normally can’t use.

  9. Mark

    Maybe I’m just not understanding how these things are supposed to work but I would think that any real volume gained through your nasal passages would probably be negated by the fact that you now have an object taking up air space in that same port.(?)


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