‘Breathe deep, ride easy’ is an article featured in the latest Cycling Fitness magazine that looks at ways to add extra power to your cycling, and features our very own POWERbreathe.
Chris Sidwells, the article’s author, begins with the notion that we may be taking the muscles that power our breathing for granted. If cycling makes us out of breath then that should be enough, shouldn’t it? Well not quite…
Chris explains how when your brain registers that you’re struggling to breathe, it diverts oxygen from your peripheral muscles, such as your legs for example while cycling, to your breathing muscles. “If this happens when you are cycling it means that you might be sucking in all the oxygen you need to keep riding hard, but your brain won’t send it to your legs, where it’s needed most.”
Breathe Strong, Perform Better (the ‘bible’ on breathing for endurance sports) explains Alison McConnell’s thinking, based on the science behind weight training, that if you isolate a muscle or group of muscles and overload them, they get stronger. And it's here that Chris introduces POWERbreathe as “a breathing muscle training system which isolates and loads breathing muscles without any other exercise.”
The article looks at a coach’s perspective and introduces Jon Sharples, cycling coach and owner of Trainsharp who’s a big advocate of POWERbreathe. “As well as using POWERbreathe as part of the strength and conditioning routine, I encourage my clients to use them during their warm-up for racing and training.” Jon goes on to explain, “You warm up to get your muscles ready for action, but often when people race, especially early in the season, they get stitches or restricted breathing. It’s because the effort has shocked their muscles. If you do some deep breathing on the POWERbreathe, the resistance taxes your muscle and prepares them for the effort to come.”
More about how POWERbreathe can improve your cycling endurance.