After battling bronchitis for three weeks, a tentative ride on the bike was very welcome. I didn’t go very far or very long — I just wanted to see if I was ready to come back. I think I am.
It didn’t take long into my ride before I became aware of something I don’t think about during my “normal” rides: breathing. My lungs have been so congested these past few weeks that I haven’t been able to take in a deep breath without bursting into a coughing fit. But this time, I could.
My throat was still a bit raw, however, so I started experimenting with my breathing technique. Normally, I breathe through my mouth, both inhaling and exhaling. But the air passing down my throat this time stung its sensitive lining, so I breathed through my nose. I can’t take in as much air that way, and going up even easy hills forced me to revert to my mouth breathing.
Then, I thought maybe I could breath in through my nose and exhale through my mouth. That seemed to work pretty well, until I realized that it was so unnatural to me, I had to concentrate on nearly every breath.
So, as I make my comeback to biking, what’s your take on breathing? Is there a right way for cyclists to do it? Or should I just baby my throat a bit until I can breathe in and out of my mouth as usual?
Does how you breathe matter?