POWERbreathe Trial - Melanie Ryding Week 1: The Journey Begins

Melanie Ryding

Height 5.10

Weight: 12 stone

Powerbreathe model: powerbreathe plus: fitness

Activity level: high – I am a Great Britain Age Group triathlete and train twice a day, usually around 10-12 hours per week (plus the day job!)

I was interested to take part in this trial because I am asthmatic. I have been for around 15 years. Nowadays it causes me little trouble and I do not take any regular steroids, however I mostly notice chest pain and breathing trouble when I am training hard, and that is when I need my blue inhaler. I wanted to see if powerbreathe could help with this, so that eventually, I do not need any inhalers at all. I also feel that my asthma sometimes limits me during top end power sessions, which could be a problem because I am a sprint athlete, and I spend a lot of my time working at lactic threshold and beyond. I also compete for Great Britain as part of the Age Group triathlon team at European and World level.

I received the powerbreathe last week, and am curious to see what happens. I thought it would be easy to do the exercises but to be honest, when I tried the test set, and the first 30 on the easiest setting were easy, I turned it up, thinking, no problem. I only got to level 3 before my chest started hurting from the effort!!

The unit operates the opposite way to a peak flow meter. You suck in a sharp breath rather than exhale. I found it really hurt when I had to do 30 of these on level 3, much the same kind of chest pain I feel as an asthmatic when I am training or racing hard, beyond lactic threshold. Already after a few days, the chest pain has subsided at level 3, so I am feeling encouraged already.

Let's see what happens next eh?