James McDowell: Age Group Triathlete - Training my lungs week 1 and 2

Triathlon has it’s fair share of gadgets, gismo’s and Gucci gear for every aspect of training and competing. But one area I hadn’t came across until now was training my lungs.

Like most, I’m sure, the main assumption was lung strength would develop inline with gains in fitness. Having a typically weak chest & experiencing shortness of breath during sprint sets on both the bike and run, a Google search brought me to the PowerBreathe.

Out to achieve any training and conditioning assistance I can to help make it across that Ironman finish line I purchased the PowerBreathe Plus Medium.

First impressions: Compact, Light, simple design, easy to use & simple to disassemble for cleaning. (Last point is very important when your OCD)

For my first week I started off on the lowest setting to allow me to simply get used to a comfortable breathing pattern with the PowerBreathe. I set a time schedule for my 30 breaths, twice a day, for first thing in the morning and last thing at night. With 10 resistance settings my aim is to progress up the scale on a weekly basis by one level of resistance and see how we go.

As a scuba diver I am used to breathing through a regulator and experiencing the draw effect when in deep water, so I found each session of 30 breaths on resistance level 0 to be comfortable and manageable. The compact design of the PowerBreathe also meant that I was able to pop it in an over night bagwhen traveling to stay with friends so no disruption to my training routine!

As week one has come to a close I haven’t noticed much of a gain, but then again, I was not expecting to. My initial week was all about getting familiar with the PowerBreathe to avoid injury and hopefully now the real training & results will start.

Today is Day 1 - Week 2 and the PowerBreathe was cranked up to resistance level 1. The difference was immediate and I really noticed the extra effort that was needed to draw a good deep inhale each time. Completing the the 30 breaths however was no less uncomfortable, but I did feel that my chest was stronger on completion of the exercise (almost as if I has just ran hard for 30 mins).

I am a big fan of my new toy and looking forward to how I feel at the end of week 2.

To find out more about the PowerBreathe & How it could benefit you visit:

Improve Triathlon Training


I am completing my triathllon for charity. My chosen charity is Northern Ireland Cancer Fund For Children.


Here is a link to their website.


Keep checking back for regular updates.

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