How Do You Take In More Oxygen and Use That Oxygen More Efficiently? Interview with Patrick McKeown of The Oxygen Athlete

Patrick McKeownWhat’s the best way to get more oxygen into your system when you’re in the middle of a hard training run?

That’s a question today’s guest, Patrick McKeown, has the answer to, and it’s probably not the answer you’d expect!

Patrick McKeown is the author of the book The Oxygen Athlete, in which he proposes methods to increase your body’s oxygen efficiency very quickly, mostly through a basic step: breathing through your nose.

As difficult and backwards as they may sound, Patrick has some great research and data to back up his theory. To help you better understand why and how this process works, Patrick is on the show today to talk about:

  • The physiological differences between breathing through your nose and through your mouth.
  • Transitioning from breathing through your mouth to breathing through your nose.
  • Using breath-holding to simulate high altitude training.
  • Achieving higher levels of concentration during both training and the rest of life through proper breathing.

I think this is a must-listen interview for anybody who hasn’t investigated this method of breathing yet.

Listen to this week’s show now

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Links and resources mentioned in this interview:

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9 Responses on “How Do You Take In More Oxygen and Use That Oxygen More Efficiently? Interview with Patrick McKeown of The Oxygen Athlete

  1. Hey Jeff,

    I am listening to this podcast for the second time through . . . and passing it on to others.
    I have been a nose-breather, in general, since my teens, but never took it this far . . . and I believe it is the natural way to do it. So, I will be taking this info completely to heart and doing this from now on, I believe it is THAT important.
    Thanks for connecting me (and soon, us – my athlete friends) with this vital information.
    All the best,
    Steve Allat
    Vancouver, B.C

    • Hey Steve,

      Thanks for the positive response and for passing it on to your friends. I’d be interested to hear about how your transition goes–please keep me in the loop!


  2. I’ve been “Darth Vader” nasal breathing (per John Doullard’s Body, Mind and Sport) for a while now. The improvement in respiratory efficiency has been stunning. Ten to twelve breaths per minute is typical for my marathon pace.

  3. I was introduced to the work of Dr. Buteyko a few years ago and have used nasal breathing when doing Long Slow Distance running with good results, but will now try to include the technique in my speed and interval training as well.

    When is the book The Oxygen Athlete due for release?

  4. Hi Jeff, Will and Finn.

    Im just writing to let you know that the book was published in September of this year. The title is The Oxygen Advantage and available from most bookstores throughout the USA and Canada, as well as UK and Ireland. I hope you find the book to be well researched and more importantly to improve your running performance. Critical acclaim for the book has been very positive. Drop me a line if you have any questions. My email address is and website is

    Best wishes

    Patrick McKeown

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