Changing your breathing can improve you performance
When you’re doing some high intensity training sessions, very often you get so much carried away by the lactic acid in the legs that you neglect your breathing. Even worse, you start taking shallow breaths from your chest rather than filling your belly with air. This behaviour limits the amount of oxygen coming in and making it to those hungry muscles screaming for more. All this causes your heart rate to rise, your blood pressure to go up, your circulation to reduce, and your stressed body to go into “fight-or-flight” mode, which can make you more emotionally reactive: bad things for the bike. Your labored, high-paced breathing isn’t doing you any favors.
Ninety percent of the energy your body uses comes directly from the breath. That’s a lot of energy. Which means small positive changes in your breathing methods really do add up. But how to change this ‘bad’ habit?
Belly breathing will do the magic! Practice off the bike before you worry about how you breathe on the bike. We tend to sit a lot; in the car, in the sofa, behind a desk, on the bike,… Sitting narrows the space for the lungs to expand. Therefore, straighten up to allow your belly and ribs to actually expand; and strengthen those abdominal muscles to get out of the shallow breathing habit. . “We normally breathe between 15 and 20 times per minute, but research has shown that if we can get our breaths down to 10 per minute—six seconds per breath—that’s when we get the best benefits from breathing.
Spend five minutes per day timing your breathing; three seconds in, three seconds out, and you’ll start to see a change. Everyone has five minutes, even if you have to hide out in a bathroom stall to get it done! And those five minutes will make those benefits start happening, and make you start doing it in normal daily life, too. Over time, that practice will become second nature, seeping into how you breathe during everyday life and even on the bike.
When you’re ready to test out your new and improved breathing skills while riding, remember to focus back on your breath every few minutes. If you notice that you’re breathing shallowly, take a few deep breaths to ‘reset’ your breathing.
Belly breathing avantages:
-lowered blood pressure and heart rate
-expanded arteries for better circulation
-reduction in inflammation in veins and arteries
-a change in the blood chemistry to make it less acidic
-less panic and anxiety thanks to that shift in blood chemistry
Definitely worth a shot!
Training schedule week 7
- Progressive sprints: 1h51’15”
-30min at HR (heart rate) ED-2 [(extensive endurance – high) = (stay beneath) 70% of the maximum heart rate (220 – age). It should always feel comfortable, you should be able to chat. But don’t forget to keep pedaling with a high cadence (=pedal frequency).]
-5 x [15sec HR VO2 (VO2max – anaerobe capacity):Brake harder than normal before a corner and pull up after to a progressive sprint where you stay seated. Pedal with a high cadence.
10′ HR ED-2 (recovery)]
- ‘Freeze’ and intensive endurance, 1h41’40” in total:
-15min ED-2 (warming-up)
-4 x [40sec HR ID (intensive endurance) at 60rpm (low cadence)=FREEZE (standing on the pedals with a heavy gear to come to 60 rotations/min, focus on power, HR is not important, you must feel a constant pressure in the muscles, try to keep the upper body stabile),
3min HR ED-1 (extensive endurance -low) = recuperation]
-30min HR ED-2
-3 x [5min HR ID (intensive endurance) at 60rpm (low cadence)=stay seated with a heavy gear to come to 60 rotations/min, focus on power, HR is not important, you must feel a constant pressure in the muscles, try to keep your body as still as possible),
4min HR ED-1 (extensive endurance -low) = recuperation]
-15min ED-2 (cooling down)
- Extensive endurance: 2h45h ED-2
Also check out this blog: How to wash your bike.