Q: “Any tips on managing your breathing during a race? Breathe through the nose or mouth?”
A: Yes, I highly recommending breathing! It’s prolongs life! 🙂
I’ve experimented with nose and mouth breathing – as a driver and coach – and have never found any real difference. The one thing that I do believe makes a difference is exhaling in the high-stress areas of the track, as letting out your breath signals to your brain that all is good and relaxes your body. So, entering heavy brake zones, high speed corners, in passing situations, etc., it’s good to exhale in a relaxed way. That’s the key – making exhaling in these high-stress areas part of your mental programming so you don’t have to think about it, and that it feels natural. When you’re visualizing driving the track, be sure to deliberately exhale in these areas, and do it over and over enough to the point where it becomes a habit and you don’t have to think about it anymore.
I’d also recommend having a trigger phrase that relates to exhaling, such as “Breathe, relax.” If you say that each time you get to these high-stress areas, then you’ll stay more relaxed.
NOTE: If you don’t want to wait for me to answer your question(s) here, you can always use my new SpeedSecrets.ai by signing up at SpeedSecrets.ai. The real beauty of using this app is that you can get out of your car after a session on track, and immediately ask it questions and get your answers, as well as what you should work on for the next on-track session. Since it’s “trained” only with my content, it really is like having me with you at the track.