It is a question I've been trying unsuccessfully to answer for several years.
Ever since I heard someone quote a General (MacArthur?) stating that "Any fool could double their lung capacity" I've been curious as to whether it was really possible. My childhood experience of asthma and more recent experience of asthma attacks as an adult have made this quote something I want to believe.
I said earlier in the week that my breathing was improving while running. You would never believe me if you saw me ten minutes into a run!
It doesn't seem to matter whether I start off slow or fast (Though I'm more likely to collapse if I start off fast) - after five minutes I'm gasping for air, wondering whether my lungs will burst; unable to believe that my breathing is doing any good whatsoever!
As a family we laughed at the expressions some Olympians made during the distance races. I had to keep reminding myself that my own expression while on a run is undoubtedly worse. If I thought wearing a face mask wouldn't freak people out more than my gasping for air I would buy one.
But that is the first fifteen minutes or so. Fifteen to twenty minutes into a run and my body starts to adjust. I'm still struggling to breathe but nowhere near as much as during that initial time period.
While the rest of the run is hard - it is all about continuing to go. It seems to be that simple. As long as I don’t stop, I keep breathing, keep running and eventually I’ve made progress.
I wondered this morning if I've been trying the wrong search string for doubling lung capacity when using Google. I normally don't put quotation marks around search strings but maybe that is why I get millions of pages returned, most of which are irrelevant.
I tried the following search this morning and got five results:
"double his lung capacity"
Three of these seem relevant with the last two being ones I want to give more than a quick read and actually follow up by contacting the authors:
Ray Richardson testimonial on MidMichigan Health
Have you any experience with improving your lung capacity? If so, I would love to hear from you!