Ask the Experts: Take a Deep Breath


Does better respiratory function equal better marathon times?

According to some recent research in Spain, the answer is yes! A renowned group of researchers measured 110 runners. First, they asked them their best times in 10k, half marathon, and marathon. Then, they tested various measures of lung function through spirometry. They measured forced vital capacity (FVC), peak expiratory flow (PEF), and forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1).

THEN, they had them run a timed marathon… They found lower marathon race time (<210 minutes) was correlated with all three values, but mostly with FVC and FEV1.

What does this mean? In addition to training our core and glutes, maybe we should have some respiratory muscle trainers around here! Take home message: higher lung capacity per kg of body mass may be a key variable for marathon performance in amateur runners.

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2016 Feb 2. [Epub ahead of print] Respiratory function is associated to marathon race time. Salinero JJ1, Soriano ML, Ruiz-Vicente D, González-Millán C, Areces F, Gallo-Salazar C, Abian-Vicen J, Lara B, Del Coso J.

Wendy Winn, PT, OCS Director

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