Lucy Garner is a double World Junior Road Race champion. She also represented GB at the European Road Championships – and won – and also won two gold medals and a silver medal at the European Track Championships. Lucy is also a member of the British Cycling Academy and recently won her first professional race in China against the best road sprinters in the world. In 2013 Lucy became a member of the Dutch team Giant-Shimano based in the Netherlands, and is also a part of the Sky Scholarships. The change from sprinter to professional European peloton means it’ll be bigger field of race events, longer races and at a faster pace. As Lucy’s strength lies in her sprint, she’s keen to develop the other areas of her racing as she’s joined the professional ranks, and is training for the time trialling and hill climbing. Lucy trains hard already, on the bike and in the gym, and she Tweeted, “Us cyclists train on the bike and in the gym to get fitter. Training your breathing is just as important! Check out @powerbreatheuk” So we have loaned Lucy a POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link Software and provided her with a POWERbreathe Plus Level 2 (MR) Special Edition Pink. Lucy will be using the K5 throughout to train, test and analyse her breathing strength, power, volume and energy. When used in conjunction with her computer Lucy will be reviewing her breathing performance in real-time, but she can also use her K5 when she’s away from her computer, and will be using it for inspiratory muscle training, inspiratory warm-up and for recovery. Even though she’s a very successful sprinter, Lucy wants to improve her time trial results and hill climbing, and with stronger inspiratory muscles POWERbreathe should help her achieve this. Here are just a few studies about how inspiratory muscle training can improve cycling performance that help us come to this conclusion:
- Effects of inspiratory muscle training on time-trial performance in trained cyclists
- Inspiratory muscle training improves cycling time-trial performance and anaerobic work capacity but not critical power
- Inspiratory muscle fatigue in trained cyclists: effects of inspiratory muscle training
- Effects of inspiratory muscle training upon recovery time during high intensity, repetitive sprint activity
- Effects of Inspiratory Muscle Training Upon Recovery Time During High Intensity, Repetitive Sprint Activity
Another reason why strengthening her breathing muscles with POWERbreathe will be beneficial to Lucy is that biologically, women have smaller lungs and weaker respiratory muscles which makes breathing during any form of exercise much harder work. In fact, a recent study discovered that women really do get more exhausted during exercise than men and concluded that “because of a woman’s smaller size, when she is exercising, her brain needs to send stronger electrical signals to the respiratory muscles, and specifically the diaphragm, than does a man’s in the same situation.” Because POWERbreathe specifically targets the breathing muscles, Lucy will improve upon their strength and stamina as she trains with her POWERbreathe, reducing fatigue and making hill climbing feel that bit easier while at the same time helping to improve her time trial performance. Read more about POWERbreathe breathing training for cyclists, or if you’re a cyclist and are already using POWERbreathe, then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum, Facebook or Twitter. You can also read more about POWERbreathe and cycling training in the Blog's Cycling category.