Brandon, I have allergy issues that often make the nose breathing test more difficult as well. If you’re trying to find your AeT accurately though, there are a few other ways of doing it. The best is probably to just find a lab that does the testing. Scott recommends using one connected with a university or similar. You could also buy a lactate tester and just test yourself while running to find the point at which you have 2mmols of lactate in your blood. Also, there is a MAF method of figuring it out which Uphill Athlete actually has an article about. https://uphillathlete.com/maf-method-for-determining-your-aerobic-threshold/
Using the methods and tools laid out in TFTNA has drastically improved my training and thus performance in all things climbing related. One thing I have had difficulty understanding however is respiratory rate. After a year of using the book I still do not understand what break away breathing is. I also see mentions of using just your nose to breath through, but my nasal passages are broken and so I am not able to do that even while sitting still not exercising, let alone while active. Is there some way to better describe breakaway breathing so that I might finally get it?
Also when measuring my heart rate during longer trail runs my respiratory rate going uphill is greater with a lower heart rate than when doing down hill. Going down hill my HR is much higher and it seems like my RR is lower. Is this the way its supposed to be or am I missing something in the training protocols?
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