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  1. #1
    ~*Dana*~
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    Confused, Asthmatic, OOS Cyclist...

    Hey All-

    I feel like I'm in a bit over my head. I've been reading all the posts and everything is making my head spin!

    I'm 19. Female. 5'3" and I weigh about 150 lbs. I have a medium sized frame so people think I weigh about 135-140. I'm looking to lose a little weight and get toned.

    Here's some more info:
    I have sports induced asthma - I am hoping that with cycling I can get it to be a little bit more manegable - This is really important to me!

    I can ride about 30 miles before I have any problems; however, I can't even run 2 minutes without having an attack. I'm pretty sure this means I need a new cardio workout. Any suggestions that will benefit me in and out of the saddle?

    I usually ride 1-2 hours a day at a medium pace 10-12mph. My ride includes:hills, coasts, and flats. The weather is usually about 75-90 degrees and I drink about 2 liters of water. Is this too much water or not enough?

    Should I be eating during these 1-2 hours rides?

    Any other suggestions/input would be really amazing! I'm hoping that I will be strong/fit enough to do some travel riding or maybe even a race within the next year or two...

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I also have EIA ... I use an inhaler prior to my rides. Talk to your Dr, go for the lab testing, get officially diagnosed, tell the Dr about your cycling and running, and then the Dr will prescribe the right inhaler for you.

    As a guideline ...

    -- Aim to drink about one 750 ml bottle of water and/or sports drink every 1 to 1.5 hours. Slightly more if it is hot out.

    -- On a ride less than 2 hours, you probably don't need to eat during the ride if you have a snack before the ride. But it is not a bad idea to bring a granola bar or something with you just in case.

    -- Once your rides go over 2 hours, then you'll probably want to aim to consume about 250 to 300 calories per hour.

    -- In hot weather, consuming electrolytes is not a bad idea ... especially if you're drinking a lot of water. You can get pills, or you can eat things like a small packet of salted almonds, potato chips, beef jerky, dried apricots, bananas, etc. prior to the ride, or in the middle of a long ride.

  3. #3
    ~*Dana*~
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    M-

    I have an inhaler but it doesn't work very well. I am planning on going to the doctor's within the next couple of weeks.

    Only 750ml? I was told that you need more than that...I drink about two liters in 1-1/2 hours...is this bad?!

    Before every ride I eat a bowl of oatmeal. I sometimes bring an apple for half-way through and then I usually eat a bagel when I get home. Am I eating too much, just right, not enough? HAHA, this stuff is so hard to get at first, lol.

    Thanks,
    Dana

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShortyDB43 View Post
    Only 750ml? I was told that you need more than that...I drink about two liters in 1-1/2 hours...is this bad?!
    If you're not consuming electrolytes, it can be bad.

    http://www.ultracycling.com/nutritio..._too_much.html
    http://www.ultracycling.com/nutrition/electrolytes.html
    http://www.ultracycling.com/nutritio...natremia1.html
    http://www.ultracycling.com/nutritio...natremia2.html



    Quote Originally Posted by ShortyDB43 View Post
    Before every ride I eat a bowl of oatmeal. I sometimes bring an apple for half-way through and then I usually eat a bagel when I get home. Am I eating too much, just right, not enough? HAHA, this stuff is so hard to get at first, lol.
    If it is a short ride (i.e. an hour) you probably don't need the apple. When the ride gets up to 2 hours, the apple isn't a bad idea.

  5. #5
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    ++ on going to a doctor. Very, very preferably get a referral to a pulmonologist. Riding will help, but not as much as the right drugs.

    You have a huge advantage in being 19, because you can recover quickly. Try to have one ride much longer than the others, and gradually stretch this one out into 60 miles or even further, probably over the course of a year. If you ride 100-150 miles/week, you'll get tremendous aerobic benefit. The eating and drinking you'll figure out by experimentation and reading. There's a lot of latitude to it for rides of up to about 3 hours, which is why you'll see disagreement about this. Over 3 hours and there's pretty good agreement - it's like Machka says.

    60 miles may seem like an insanely long ride now, but it won't in a year. But don't push it too hard - have fun. You'll probably encounter saddle issues, bike fit issues, all sorts of things. We all have.

  6. #6
    ~*Dana*~
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    I've knocked 60 miles out the park before. I'm just not consistent. Some days I feel like I can just keep going, and going, and going...like the energizer bunny. Other days, my asthma drains me.

    I'll keep that in mind when I go talk to my doc about the pulm.

    All advice is welcome :-)

  7. #7
    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShortyDB43 View Post
    Here's some more info:
    I have sports induced asthma - I am hoping that with cycling I can get it to be a little bit more manegable - This is really important to me!
    I do too (though mostly managed by a change in climate), and I would take a Primatene tablet (or half) about an hour or so before hockey games. That definitely helped. Moving away from humidity helped too (not as immediate or available to everyone)

  8. #8
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    You could try using a heart rate moniter.

    My theory being that once the need to get rid of waste metabolic products(latic acid) reachs a critical level in your system then you need to blow off more CO2. Therefor you need to breath harder to get rid of this ,and he EIA kicks in at this point. By using a heat rate monitor you might find when this starts to happen,(by the HR increasing), and be able to reduce your intensity intime to stop this cycle occuring to extend your ride.

    If you do not want to purchase a hear rate monitor than simply try to tune in to eariler syptoms of breathlessness or latic acid build up. This is proberbly telling you to how to suck eggs though!

  9. #9
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    Do you use a spacer when using your MDI (meter dose inhaler), do you use an MDI? If you're using albuterol before a ride you should take 1 puff 20 minutes before you start riding, then another 5 minutes later. Using a spacer gets the medicine where it belongs, in the lungs. MDI's deliver the medicine to you at 55 mph, you can not deliver the medicine and inhale it into the lungs at that speed. Most of the medicine, 70%, hits the back of the throat, ends up in the stomach, becomes systemic and causes you to have the nervous jerkies. With a spacer, which suspends the medicine in the spacer, you get 75% of the medicine in your lungs where it belongs.

    The reason for the time between puffs is to allow the first puff to start opening up the bronchial tubes and then the second can go deeper into the lungs and open then up more. Now, some people don't tolerate albuterol very well and they will have trouble with the nervous jerkies for 2 or more hours even with the use of a spacer. For people that have trouble with albuterol they have come up with Xopenex which has some of the same medicine as albuterol, but not the stuff that can cause the nervous jerkies.

    Most of the doctors that prescribe inhaler don't do any training on how to use them, either they don't know or have the time to do the training. The American Lung Association will do all the training for free. The ALA is a great resource for all your asthma concerns, please contact them with your asthma problems. The reason I say this is my wife has worked for the ALA for 19 years and one of her main jobs is asthma training.


    That's fine not to use your inhaler. But please carry it with you, especially when your riding your bike. If you have a full blown asthma attack the only thing that is going to save you is your rescue inhaler (albuterol). You don't have to use it if you don't want to, but please carry it with you.
    Make mine a double!

  10. #10
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Dante is absolutely correct. If albuterol at the start of a ride does it for you, cool. Many people need other medication, however. My wife has had bad asthma for 35 years. The more she rides, the less problem she has with it. She uses medication strong enough that she almost never uses her rescue inhaler, which is as it should be. So riding will help your asthma - but only, only, only, if it does not give you asthma. Fix that first and life will be good. Sounds backwards, but that's how it is.

  11. #11
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShortyDB43 View Post
    M-

    I have an inhaler but it doesn't work very well. I am planning on going to the doctor's within the next couple of weeks.
    You may have to go through a couple medications before you find something that works for you. Albuterol doesn't do much for me.

    Keep track of what the conditions are like when you have a bad asthma day. Cold, wet, dry, lots of pollen? I have problems in cold and wet, others have problems with dry air or with allergies.

    If you are not fit, then getting fit MAY help your asthma. It may not have anything to do with fitness- I developed EIA in my mid 40s when I was already very fit.

    Only 750ml? I was told that you need more than that...I drink about two liters in 1-1/2 hours...is this bad?!
    It may be more than you need. I used to think that you couldn't drink enough water but then I suffered from bad hyponatremia on my first Death Ride. Your needs will vary with the conditions- how hard you ride, the temperature, and the dryness of the air. Try not worrying about how much you are supposed to drink and just drink when you feel like it.
    Before every ride I eat a bowl of oatmeal. I sometimes bring an apple for half-way through and then I usually eat a bagel when I get home. Am I eating too much, just right, not enough?
    That's probably close. LIsten to your body.. are you too hungry? A little hungry is ok, bonking and seeing spots is not.
    HAHA, this stuff is so hard to get at first, lol.
    At first? I've been doing it for years and I'm still figuring it out!

  12. #12
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    Be sure you're taking your meds properly. As I mentioned before, nothing againist doctors, most don't know how to train you to properly use your meds. Ericm979 is correct in keeping track of what triggers your asthma, the more info you have for your doctor the better. It's best if you see a pulmonologist as mentioned by Carbonfiberboy. The American Lung Association is an excellent resource for asthma training and all of their help is free.
    Make mine a double!

  13. #13
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    see the doctor

    mine has me on Pulmacort to manage the asthma so I never get an attack. I take it every day. no problems and I can ride pretty much forever.

  14. #14
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    superdex recommended Primatine tablets, I don't know anything about these but the inhaled Primatine mist is basically inhaled epinephrine and is bad bad bad. I also have EIA but really as long as I keep moving it doesn't come up. It is when I stop that I have my worst symptoms. Any one else similar?

  15. #15
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edenn1423 View Post
    superdex recommended Primatine tablets, I don't know anything about these but the inhaled Primatine mist is basically inhaled epinephrine and is bad bad bad. I also have EIA but really as long as I keep moving it doesn't come up. It is when I stop that I have my worst symptoms. Any one else similar?
    You're right, the stuff is bad! Over the years people have died from using this stuff. Stay away from Primatine anything. Let's see, tablets, systemic Primatine. If you have asthma of any kind please at least see a doctor if not a pulmonologist.
    Make mine a double!

  16. #16
    ~*Dana*~
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    Hey All!
    Wow, thanks for all of th replies!! Sorry for my late response, but I've been in school and doing photo shoots almost everyday.

    To all who asked, yes - I am using my inhaler properly. I have a long tube that is attached to it to push the meds into my lungs.

    As for my fiteness...I developed EIA when I was a freshman in HS. Previous to my first attack I could run a mile in 6 minutes, I could do almost 60 straight push-ups and 300 sit-ups without stopping. I was on the basketball team and all that good stuff.

    Right now, I can run for about 10 minutes before I start to wheeze. I'm a little out of shape but I don't think my asthma will get "much" better when close to where I was with my fitness. But, I hope that it can get a little bit better.

    Hopefully I can find a better medicine soon to help.

    Also, I heard that drinking 1-2 sips of water every 15 minutes should be sufficient for your water intake. Has anyone else heard this? I think the reason I drink too much water when riding is because of the asthma. My throat gets dry and starts to close so I drink water.

    Danish :-)

  17. #17
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    I try to drink 1 24oz. bottle per hour.
    Make mine a double!

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