POWERbreathe and Liz McTernan, Para-Triathlete

POWERbreathe met up with Para-Triathlete Liz McTernan at the University of Lincoln, along with the University’s Senior Lecturer in Sports Science, Dr Sandy Willmott.

Liz, who’s based in Lincolnshire, is a world ranked Paracyclist and world Para-Triathlon Bronze Medalist 2012.

Liz took up the sport after faulty diving equipment gave her a severe case of the bends and bubbles of air damaged her spinal cord, lungs and other muscles. The bends occurs when dissolved gases (mainly nitrogen) come out of solution in bubbles which can affect just about any area of the body, including the joints, lungs, heart, skin and brain.

Paracycling, or handcycling, is a major Paralympic discipline, having gained significant public attention at the London 2012 Olympics and features four different sports divisions: C for Cycling, H for Handbike, T for Tricycle and B for blind or visually impaired.

Liz competes in a Tricycle, with the three wheels providing more balance, and in addition to her usual training Liz will be incorporating POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training into her routine as part of her preparation for the World Championships and the land speed record she’s going to attempt this year.

Liz will be using the POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link live feedback software to exercise her breathing muscles to make them stronger, because as with any high-intensity exercise, such as rowing and hand-cycling, the high respiratory demand in these sports ‘steals’ blood from other working muscles, and in Liz’s case her arms, reducing her overall performance. So by using POWERbreathe to subject her inspiratory muscles to an appropriate training resistance, Liz’s breathing muscles will adapt, increasing in their strength, power and stamina for an improved performance.

Read more about breathing effort in wheelchair sports >

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