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  1. #1
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    Is breathing holding me back?

    Iíve been riding for a year, and so far have competed in 6 races this season. 3 have been road races and 3 have been crits.

    I have put in a lot of time and effort leading up the beginning of this season. I went out in the cold, and put in the miles and time. Iíll admit that I donít have a training plan or schedule.

    I ride by myself, with a few buddies or with large groups.

    In the races and crits I have not done as well as Iíd like to have done. In fact, in all of the races I have been dropped at one point or another, usually between ľ and Ĺ way through the race.

    I recently purchased a heart rate monitor, which I think will help me with my training.

    But to the main point of this post. I think it is my breathing that is causing me the most problems. My legs seem to burn rather quickly when Iím riding hard. I try to spin, not mash large gears, and I think I do that pretty well.

    But my breathing though seems more of the huff and puff type than the controlled breathing. Could that be my problem? Iíve read that I should try to breathe from my gut and take deep breathes but more importantly exhale hardly with my stomach. Could this be one of the biggest reasons that I am not doing as well as I think I should?

    Anyone have tips for breathing more effectively.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    I would worry about breathing methods AFTER you have been on a disciplined, organized training program for a few months. Riding by myself I rarely push hard enough and a group ride is either too fast or too slow or too easy (drafting). In group rides I've heard in the first most just try to stay with a group that is too fast for you, the second month stay in the middle, next stay in the front. When you can stay at the front, find a faster group.
    This space open

  3. #3
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    By utilizing an unstructured training program, you're not necessarily doing yourself much good. You may have a good base in, but if you don't specifically train to go faster and maintain that for longer periods, you're going to suffer (as you already know).

    Study up on interval training, and learn to use your HRM. These will be two key components to making you faster, and maintaining that speed. If you have a trainer (I like fluid trainers), pick up an interval DVD workout and try it. I have used the CTS (Carmichael Training Systems) DVD's since last fall, and they have made a dramatic improvement in my speed and endurance. In the past, I would fall into the "go hard when I wanted to" on a ride, and while that may work sometimes, it's not always the most effective means to get fast. Results were very sporadic.

    Now, I do fairly intense intervals 1-2 days per week, and will do at least 1 ride 5-10% below my lactate threshold for at least an hour and a half to two hours. Then other rides are recovery rides and distance/endurance rides.

    You need 3 things....a structured training schedule to include intervals, learning to effectively use your HRM, and a good diet.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  4. #4
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Read the MAPP:

    http://home.hia.no/~stephens/

    There's a lot of good stuff there. Read the Exercise Physiology stuff. There's really not much under the Cycling link (mostly 'cuz I think Dr. Seiler is a rower).

    The big take-away is that it takes time to develop your aerobic engine. Each year should bring more adaptations as long as you continue to apply reasonable but progressive training stimulii and you rest enough to actualize the adaptations from training. IMHO, you are expecting too much from one year of unstructured training.
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  5. #5
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    if your legs are burning you still dont have enough base, some may disagree, but mine quit doing that long ago, took about a year and around 12,000 miles but unless Im flying at like 27-28mph for 1/2hr or more they dont burn at all, even then its barely noticable...........your legs are burning, guys like me will rip em off for you and leave you sitting there

    besides not enough base, try pushing a bigger gear, gears are all well and good, but they are not meant to be a crutch

    Guitar_Wizard has a point with more tempo work too

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the comments / suggestions. I think that you're right, in the sense that my expectations may be a bit high with only 1 year under my belt. I am only 20 though, if that makes any difference.

    I have 4 more weekends of racing left (8-9 races), and then afterwards I am done for the [collegiate] season. I plan on racing this summer, though I'm not sure how many. I wonder if the fact that I am going to be racing would have any impact on a decision to start a training schedule since I'm in the middle of the training season.

    Quote Originally Posted by pedex
    if your legs are burning you still dont have enough base, some may disagree, but mine quit doing that long ago, took about a year and around 12,000 miles but unless Im flying at like 27-28mph for 1/2hr or more they dont burn at all, even then its barely noticable...........your legs are burning, guys like me will rip em off for you and leave you sitting there
    When I say burning, I don't mean really burning, as they do when I'm mashing a huge gear for a long time, I really mean a slight discomfort, which builds over time. I think you're right though, I may not have enough base.

    But back to the question about breathing techniqes, is it possible that my eratic breathing style (huffing and puffing at some points) may lead the the burning in my legs which seems to be slowing me down a bit? I think if I were able to breathe in a more controled fashion that may help.

    Thanks again everyone

  7. #7
    xyz
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    Yes! New studies show breathing is very bad for you. Stop it at once!
    Ride a Bike
    Help Prevent Oil Wars

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillydcbiker
    Thanks for the comments / suggestions. I think that you're right, in the sense that my expectations may be a bit high with only 1 year under my belt. I am only 20 though, if that makes any difference.

    I have 4 more weekends of racing left (8-9 races), and then afterwards I am done for the [collegiate] season. I plan on racing this summer, though I'm not sure how many. I wonder if the fact that I am going to be racing would have any impact on a decision to start a training schedule since I'm in the middle of the training season.


    When I say burning, I don't mean really burning, as they do when I'm mashing a huge gear for a long time, I really mean a slight discomfort, which builds over time. I think you're right though, I may not have enough base.

    But back to the question about breathing techniqes, is it possible that my eratic breathing style (huffing and puffing at some points) may lead the the burning in my legs which seems to be slowing me down a bit? I think if I were able to breathe in a more controled fashion that may help.

    Thanks again everyone

    your huffing and puffing cause your at your max, not because there's something wrong with your breathing unless youve got asthma or something, even mashing a big gear you should get like zero burn if youve got a decent base

    the human body increases its breathing rate beyond whats even needed for 100% O2 saturation for a variety of reasons, one is cold temps, the other is being above LT--> as in anaerobic for longer than you have the reserves for

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