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Old 04-29-05, 05:01 PM   #1
Mikabike
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Can someone help me with a breathing experiment?

I know that as fitness levels go up your lungs and heart become more efficient and you need less breating and air to do the same work.

I was curious how long you all can hold your breath?

If you are curious yourself or feel like indulging me please post your results.

Any amount of pre-breathing and huffing you want to do is fine, get a watch and time between you inhale, and you exhale. Hold it as long as you think you can. Then tell us how long and also how far you usually ride.

I can't wait for the results.
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Old 04-29-05, 05:10 PM   #2
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43 seconds

I just took a deep breathe and held. I ride an average of 70-100 miles a week.
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Old 04-29-05, 05:38 PM   #3
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1 minute 25 seconds

varies throughout the year, but I ride 250-400 miles a week May - August.
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Old 04-29-05, 05:52 PM   #4
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1 minute 33 seconds, but I'm still wiped from doing intervals today.

300-400 miles per week.
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Old 04-29-05, 07:13 PM   #5
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I'm not sure how holding your breath corresponds to fitness, but if it's information you want, here you go:

I hyperventilated for 15 seconds, then held my breath for 2 minutes 27 seconds.

I commute to work once or twice a week, 18 miles each way, in just over 1 hour.

On Saturdays I do a fast group ride of 50 to 100 miles.
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Old 04-29-05, 08:13 PM   #6
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2 min. 3 seconds. 15 seconds pre-breathing.

I'm 54 ride a couple of times a week 25 - 40 miles at 17 mph.

Swim three times a week 1600 meters in 29:00.

54 years old

6'0" 199 pounds (and I'll be damned if I'm putting that 200th pound on ever again.)

Peugeot U08 rider.

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Old 04-29-05, 08:30 PM   #7
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well, now I felt challenged by these higher numbers, so I tried this idea of "pre-breathing for 15 seconds" then did it again.

2 minutes 12 seconds. 47 second increase over first try. Crazy. I wish I wasn't so stinking competitive.
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Old 04-30-05, 02:19 AM   #8
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2 minutes 22 seconds. I get in roughly 100 miles a week.
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Old 04-30-05, 03:01 AM   #9
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I used to be able to do 4 minutes, in my freediving days. (OK so I'm showing off, though good freedivers can do 8+)

I don't think breathholding ability has much to do with fitness. More about lung capacity (which is more genetic than determined by fitness), relaxation, and feeling comfortable with the stomach contractions that kick in after a while.

For best results (if anyone's interested) take three deep, slow breaths in and out before holding. Don't hyperventilate - and whatever you do don't hyperventilate before holding your breath under water - risk of blacking out and death!!!

It takes about three breath-holds to reach your maximum time, with a rest of 5-10 minutes in between. Your duration should increase noticeably each time.
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Old 04-30-05, 03:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanW
take three deep, slow breaths in and out before holding.
Oops! Should have said out and in, in case of confusion!
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Old 04-30-05, 05:46 AM   #11
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BryanW gave admonitions that I started to give. DON'T make this competitive. Swimmers at the competitive level USED to practice this in the dark ages. Sort of like don't drink water during football practice. They were so competitive, some were found at the bottom of the pool, blacked out, but refusing to surface for air. A couple of famous incidents occured at Stanford where team members were purported to be swimming over a hundred of yards under water. Fortunate that death or permanent brain injury did not result. (Brain damage? Unlikely! Hell, they were swimmers!)

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Old 04-30-05, 06:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TysonB
DON'T make this competitive. Swimmers at the competitive level USED to practice this in the dark ages. They were so competitive, some were found at the bottom of the pool, blacked out, but refusing to surface for air.

Tyson
Well, I wasn't under water so I don't think I have any chance of getting brain damage. Seems the worst thing that would happen is that I would star to black out and then I would start breathing again anyway. I mean come on wat r ttttheeeeee ods uf meee dueng ine brayn damijj??

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Old 04-30-05, 07:06 AM   #13
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Yeah lung capacity has a lot to do with it but as you gain in fitness you are also creating that capacity. More red blood cells, a higher surface area of papili in the lungs, etc.

The other thing is mental conditioning. In both freediving, and in cycling, you have to condition your mind to be comfortable with a lot of stress on the heart and lungs. And your mind has to be able to handle that feeling of not getting enough air and keep going.

Plus for those holding over 2 minutes it shows a higher than average lung capacity which they may, or may not be aware of and using on the road.

I was watching "Le Grande Bleu" the other night and decided to see how I did (off and on smoker, on right now) and I swung 2:21(Bah, 2:11, mistype)

One difference I would imagine is that holding your breath underwater you could probably go longer than doing it out of the water. When your in the water you have that whole 'drowning' thing to help you hold your breath longer. When your on the surface your body 'knows' that air is close and it wants to start breathing again that much harder.

I think one of the reasons I am not worse off than I am at my weight is my lung capacity.

Last edited by Mikabike; 04-30-05 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 04-30-05, 08:39 AM   #14
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55 seconds,i drive 20-30 miles 2 times in week
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Old 04-30-05, 11:02 AM   #15
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During the winter it was hard for me to even hold my breath for a minute. Fitness definatly has something to do with how long you can hold your breath.
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Old 04-30-05, 11:31 AM   #16
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Are you guys holding it in until you pass out?
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Old 04-30-05, 11:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoodlum
Are you guys holding it in until you pass out?
no, just until its really uncomfortable
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Old 04-30-05, 11:34 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoodlum
Are you guys holding it in until you pass out?
Unless you hyperventilate beforehand (which depresses carbon-dioxide levels so low that the oxygen runs out before you feel the urge to breathe), that shouldn't be possible (unless you have amazing pain tolerance )
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Old 04-30-05, 11:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoodlum
Are you guys holding it in until you pass out?
Your body can breath without your assistance. When you hold your breath your essentially fighting your body for control of what is otherwise an automatic system. The more your body fights for air the harder it is to 'will' yourself not to breath. So it would take an increcible amount of will and determination to hold your breath long enough to pass out. And if you did pass out your body would win and you would begin breathing again.

Some people can hold their breath to the point they start getting tunnel vision (like a fighter pilot experiencing high G loads), but it's almost impossible to hold it to passing out. Some people have an ability to control themselves that well though, but it's not normal.
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Old 05-01-05, 10:40 AM   #20
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I did 1:15 with no pre-breathing, but I'm wiped out from a big ride yesterday. I normally do 100-125 miles/week with 3000-5000' of climbing.
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Old 05-01-05, 03:35 PM   #21
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1:36 / 140+ miles a week commuting.
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Old 05-01-05, 08:33 PM   #22
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7:30, well actually it was more like 1:30 but then I blacked out and woke up six minutes later so I am counting this as a gimmie!
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Old 05-02-05, 02:16 AM   #23
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3:35
I *might* have been able to go for another 3 or 4 seconds but I couldn't push it.
I ride about 4 or 5 miles a day at about 16mph average.
I've always been able to hold my breath for a long time but this is my personal best. I'm sweating now and tingly all over. I'm definitely not going to try to best myself again tonight.
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Old 05-02-05, 02:18 AM   #24
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Why did you make me do this Mike? I feel like crap now!
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Old 05-02-05, 05:09 AM   #25
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3 minutes 30 seconds with prep. My old record was 3 minutes flat. I'm near sea level.

you make 100 yards under water seem like they are dolphines or somthing. I had swimming fo PE in highschool and it was quite easy to do 50 yards(down and back in our pool) with several folks that did 100 yards on a regular basis.
100 yards for a decent swimmer is less than a minute 30, for a very fit swimmer it is 1 minute.

[edit: add] My lung capasity is just over a gallon, I will recheck with more precision in the next few days. probably due to lots of kid games growing up that included breath holding contests, which may have helped expand my lungs.(or purely genetics, who really knows)
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