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Thread: Short of Breath

  1. #1
    Senior Member Frankfast's Avatar
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    Short of Breath

    Just finished my usual Sunday morning ride and experienced something that never happened before. Midway on the 23 mile route after climbing a short hill on my single speed, I found that I couldn't take a long deep breath but only short shallow ones. It was a bit worrisome to say the least. At the rest stop I was able to regain my normal breathing. I fancy myself in good shape for someone who's 66, exercising daily. I recently lost 40 lbs. and feel pretty good but this was a step back. After pushing myself on the first half of the ride, I took it easy on the way back. Perhaps I didn't prepare well having only a large mug of coffee and a glass of juice before the ride but can't help but wonder if this was a symptom of something more serious. I passed my last physical with flying colors.
    Anyone experience a similar event?
    The trick to life is to keep moving.

  2. #2
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    BF is the last place I would seek medical advice for something that sounds to me like it can be not very serious, to downright life threatening. Back in '08 I started having heartburn on commuting rides, after having eaten fast food tacos (the good kind, from those taco shops where the only English spoken is "Take you oda?" The last such ended in me getting hauled off in a little red bus by El Cajon CA's finest.

    Get checked. It could be nothing, but then it could.
    Last edited by CommuteCommando; 04-21-13 at 07:42 AM.
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    Senior Member Frankfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
    BF is the last place I would seek medical advice for something that sounds to me like it can be not very serious, to downright life threatening. Back in '08 I started having heartburn on commuting rides, after having eaten fast food tacos (the good kind, from those taco shops where the only English spoken is "Take you oda?" The last such ended in me getting hauled off in a little red bus by El Cajon CA's finest.

    Get checked. It could be nothing, but then it could.
    Not looking here for a diagnosis, just experience. I intend to get checked.
    The trick to life is to keep moving.

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    It could be something as simple as getting into a pattern of rapid, shallow breathing. You aren't getting enough air and you start to panic and breath even more rapidly. Get it checked out but the fact you recovered and don't feel bad afterwards is a good sign.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Frankfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
    It could be something as simple as getting into a pattern of rapid, shallow breathing. You aren't getting enough air and you start to panic and breath even more rapidly. Get it checked out but the fact you recovered and don't feel bad afterwards is a good sign.
    I've had experience with panic attacks and it was a lot like that. Looking back, I believe an overload of caffein with nothing to eat may have triggered this event. I will learn from this even though my lack of preparation is not new. Thanks for the insight.
    The trick to life is to keep moving.

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    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>Anyone experience a similar event?<<<<

    This is typical of my first few rides any season. The Spring is especially tough because of the chill still in the air and the allergens everywhere. I don't typically suffer full-blown allergies, but from April to June, I can barely breathe when I'm out on the bike. You don't fully realize it until you have a challenging hill and you've got to chug up it with half your lung capacity clogged.

    Unless there is some underlying problem neither of us is aware of, you'll be back to normal in a few weeks.
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    Hi, I happen to be a NP so get yourself checked out. Shortness of breath is a serious condition and is triaged in an ER ahead of pain and just behind bleeding or not breathing.

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    We are the same age and probably in similar condition........ answer is yes and and in my case, moderate panic attack....happens once in the while out of the clear blue. I don't know if you're prone to that kind of stuff

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    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    I get that occasionally during or just after a climb. I often happens when I push too hard to get to the top. Wanting to get the climb over with is my usual excuse for that. I did a club ride yesterday that had lots of hills to climb. I experienced that breathing thing you did on the first couple of climbs. When I accepted they were going to take a while and stopped "mashing" my way up. Things worked out fine. I was breathing hard, but also deep.

    If you recover quickly from these breathing issues, I wouldn't worry to much. But to see a doctor or not is your decision to make.

    All the best.
    Bike riding New England gentleman.

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    It's high pollen time in many parts of the country and this can seriously affect lung function. If it keeps happening, talk to your doctor. bk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ch00paKabrA View Post
    Hi, I happen to be a NP so get yourself checked out. Shortness of breath is a serious condition and is triaged in an ER ahead of pain and just behind bleeding or not breathing.

    This Frank, nothing else to add, please be careful.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

  12. #12
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    Most importantly, please keep your friends here updated on your situation. We learn from one another, and we care about each other.
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    Glad to hear that you finished that ride. Being out of breath is scary and for anyone near you. Hey, might I suggest putting the SS aside and getting a real road bike? That isnt meant to offend but you did know they make those?
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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    Another vote to watch out for possible bronchial incection. Those can be sneaky and dangerous.

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    If your medical check proves you are OK you may want to try what I learned in a cycling video. The key to breathing properly on a climb is exhaling not inhaling. I made an effort at expelling air when climbing on my last ride and actually noticed a difference. I should note that I am a terrible climber being 20 lbs overweight.

    Good luck with that check up.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Frankfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
    Glad to hear that you finished that ride. Being out of breath is scary and for anyone near you. Hey, might I suggest putting the SS aside and getting a real road bike? That isnt meant to offend but you did know they make those?
    I do have a very nice geared bike back in the states but here in the tropics, where I work, there aren't many hills on the route I ride so a single speed is all that I need. I don't disparage SS/FG riders. There is a place for them besides being very pleasing aesthetically.

    Thank you for all those concerned and I appreciate the advice. I still don't understand whether my shortness of breath was a cause or result of feeling lousy all weekend. But I woke this morning and feel abnormally strong. Spent an hour on the stationary bike out of the seat and felt like I could go all day. Was it the euphoria of kicking whatever was bugging me? But it's happened before, feeling lousy for a day or two followed by a day in which I feel I could ride up any hill. Biorhythms?

    I've scheduled a physical the next time I return home.
    The trick to life is to keep moving.

  17. #17
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankfast View Post
    Just finished my usual Sunday morning ride and experienced something that never happened before. Midway on the 23 mile route after climbing a short hill on my single speed, I found that I couldn't take a long deep breath but only short shallow ones. It was a bit worrisome to say the least. At the rest stop I was able to regain my normal breathing. I fancy myself in good shape for someone who's 66, exercising daily. I recently lost 40 lbs. and feel pretty good but this was a step back. After pushing myself on the first half of the ride, I took it easy on the way back. Perhaps I didn't prepare well having only a large mug of coffee and a glass of juice before the ride but can't help but wonder if this was a symptom of something more serious. I passed my last physical with flying colors.


    Anyone experience a similar event?

    Yes, you should wonder then get your butt to your doctor to see what this new change in your breathing is all about!!

    DO IT NOW!! YA HEAR!!
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  18. #18
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    Go get checked out, ekg and all, then come back in here with a clean bill of health, yeah now that's sound advice.
    http://www.kung-fu-fitness-and-defen...editation.html

    Abdominal breathing is one method among many which can be used as a breathing exercise. It is thought to invigorate the abdominal muscles, massage the internal organs, promoting blood circulation.

    In simple terms it can be described as filling the lungs from the bottom up, that is, utilising the whole lungs completely. The focus of breathing is on the abdomen, in particular the dan tian (tien), which is roughly 3 fingerbreadths below the umbilicus.

    1) Start in whichever stance/posture you feel comfortable in
    2) Inhale through the nose
    3) Expand abdomen gradually by pushing out and down the oxygen as it fills the lower chest
    4) Focus on expanding the abdominal area do this gently and gradually
    5) When the abdomen is full then exhale through the nose and pull the abdomen gently back into the body, compressing the lungs from the bottom
    6) Repeat 10 times
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  19. #19
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    there is NO way for you to know what caused it. There are quite a variety of things that can cause those symptoms and some of them are life threatening, without question. These seemingly not-so-critical symptoms that people ignore are why some folks fall over and die "without any symptoms". I had mild chest pain that I thought was asthma for over a year and it turned out to be a serious heart condition. Get yer butt to your doc and figure it out.

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