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  1. #1
    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    How do you breathe?

    How do you breathe after VO2max is reached?

    During yesterday's ride, as I was doing zone 5 intervals, I began thinking about my breathing technique. Before VO2max, breathing is pretty much self regulated, I don't think much about it. However, after VO2max, I feel I need a technique to maximize O2 intake.

    I experimented with short quick exhales, but found that I quickly reverted to long deep breaths, followed by gasping. I couldn't figure out what felt right.

    So...I was wondering if there is some technique that can be considered more effective than others.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Deep breaths with expanding the diaphragm and gut gets the most air in. You want your belly to be sticking out. There was a picture of Andy Hampsten demonstrating this back in the '80s. Funny looking at a thin twig of a guy with what looked like a huge beer-belly.

    As for inhale/exhale times, mine are roughly equal, maybe a little quicker inhale and slower exhale.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    Thanks Danno.

    I know the technique well, since I had to undergo 6 weeks of speech therapy 7 years ago. I did some permanent damage to my left vocal cord after a bout of laryngitis and had to learn to speak properly, with proper breathing technique.

    It's strange that I never thought to apply this to breathing properly on the bike.

  4. #4
    部門ニ/自転車オタク NomadVW's Avatar
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    I just breath in and out as many times as my mouth, throat, lungs and heart will allow. I don't think I've ever really gotten a good "rhythm" going like I could when I used to run.
    Envision, Energize, Enable

  5. #5
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    The respiratory therapist would probably say that the inhalation time is longer than the exhale to get maximum oxygen in a breathing cycle. But when you're really pumping hard, the breathing cycle quickens.

    The bike coach will probably add that good form is important too. The diaphram works best when the body's torso is not in a tuck position.

    The yoga guru will probably tell you that you need to develop the breathing technique first, then ride.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Terex's Avatar
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    Anyone have any experience comparing various forms of breathing (yogic - stomach; Pilates - chest expansion) into practice on the bike? I started some yoga & Pilates classes over the winter, and was just getting into breathing techniques when warmer weather hit, and I started riding in the evenings instead of going to the gym. When days get short again, I'll start back into yogalates classes. The info on yogic breathing is very helpful. Just wondered if the more experienced among you may have a preference. It seems that the Pilates (chest expansion) breathing may be more helpful due to compression of stomach when riding. Breathing aside, I know that the core strength development from those exercises really helped my cycling this year, especially climbing. I'm going to add some strength training this winter too. THX!
    "It could be anything. Scrap booking, high-stakes poker, or the Santa Fe lifestyle. Just pick a dead-end and chill out 'till you die."

  7. #7
    grilled cheesus aham23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Deep breaths with expanding the diaphragm and gut gets the most air in. You want your belly to be sticking out. There was a picture of Andy Hampsten demonstrating this back in the '80s. Funny looking at a thin twig of a guy with what looked like a huge beer-belly.

    As for inhale/exhale times, mine are roughly equal, maybe a little quicker inhale and slower exhale.
    you see these pictures a lot. people see them then post, lance is fat and out of shape, but really he is just breathing. good advice. later.

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