Madeline Simon (MS) – a big improvement

A big improvement has been made. My hour long Pilates kicked the week off in the right direction and my swimming was another success. I went a bit later than normal and had the pool all to myself. I’ve also picked up my Powerbreathe again. My monthly results do show a slight deterioration, just proving to myself how important it all is. Now it’s onwards and upwards again after that negative blip.

TRAIN                                                                                                                        TEST

 

Date Level Load cmH2O   PowerWatts   Volume Litres  T-index%      S-IndexcmH2O  FlowL/s Volume Litres
9th Sept 2011 Moderate 34 4.7 2.1 89 High 72Average 4.2 1.8
7th Oct 2011 Moderate 42 4.8 2.0 89 High 75Average 4.5 1.8
13th Nov 2011 Moderate 42 4.4 1.8 85 High 77Average 4.4 1.8

Background to my training – week 5 of POWERbreathe

Firstly a little background to my training.

Generally:-

I ride the indoor velodrome twice per week on what is termed ‘structured training sessions’, these session will always include a couple of race situations of all out effort.

I ride on the road twice per week, in winter probably 40 miles per ride, in summer double or sometimes more, we usually end up competing ‘up the hill’ with some high level effort.

Once per week I pilot a tandem with a club that takes non riding children and adults out for half a day, not fast but can be hard work. I use my rowing machine twice per week as a cross training exercise, sometimes for me long rows of 15000m or more and sometimes faster shorter rows, so maybe its a easy recovery day or maybe its much more effort than that.

I do not take part in official competition, my blog will not contain measured differences in my performance, what it will contain is my perception of change.

Two things I am hoping to improve by using the Powerbreathe.

Firstly when I am really trying I push myself to a level at which causes me actual physical and mental distress, I often think, ‘this time I have overdone it, this time I am not going to recover’, gladly I always have. The most distressing aspect of this is a breathing overload, I feel like I cannot get enough air to even begin to recover, and I feel this high up in my chest.

Secondly during winter my chest seems to ‘tighten up’ significantly exaggerating the above. In the past I have been so concerned that I have consulted the doctor and been given lung function tests and stressed ECG tests, gladly both have found nothing abnormal, the doctors response being, ‘act your age and stop trying to compete against younger people’. I was prescribed an inhaler to use before training to ease my breathing, I did try this for a few weeks but I couldn’t perceive any significant difference so at the moment do not use it. So a success for me would be my perception that these two phenomena have changed for the better.

My plan is to consistently use the Powerbreathe as a stand alone training aid, I do not intend to use it as part of a warm up regime because although I do warm up at the start of any exercise it is part of the session, I am not aiming to warm up and then take part in some formal competition, my all out efforts are much less structured than that.

I have now completed five weeks with the Powerbreathe and I have missed only one session during that time. I think it is very easy to use the Powerbreathe incorrectly by increasing the load to quickly and falling into the shallow breathing / panting trap. My technique to counter this is to do 10 breaths at half my current maximum setting, I think this re-establishes a good breathing technique and gets my muscles ready for some higher loads, I then do the full 30 breaths, I then do a further 10 breaths again at half load. I believe the half load breathing reminds me what I should be achieving when doing the full load breaths, so keeping me out of the shallow breathing /panting trap.

With this regime I am now on a full load of 4.5, and I know that this is an overload because in comparison to my half load breathing I am not yet getting full breaths.

So am I meeting my success criteria? I am feeling some changes which I will write about when I am more certain that these are significant and not just because I am ‘on form’.

Lewin Hynes – POWERbreathe for endurance events

Lewin wins bronzeThanks to Lewin once again for providing this great training video.

Three quick lessons I have learnt about using the PowerBreathe for endurance events. All about making sure that you are ready  to go on the day, and ensuring that the the PowerBreathe is working for you not vice versa.

Here are some other videos I have made:

Hope you enjoy the videos. If you found the videos I have submitted useful, please leave a comment below:

Lewin

POWERbreathe user trial – Jen Howse: It has arrived

Jen-Howse-RowingWell, my POWERbreathe has now arrived and I look forward to using it.

I’m going to be blogging in the lead up to the CRASH-B sprints in Boston in February 2012. So a bit of background on me.

I’m a rower who competes both on the water and indoors on the Concept 2 rowing machine, otherwise known as the erg (or by various other terms not suitable for publication!). I also do some running as cross training and dabble in cycling just for good measure.

So what is the CRASH-BS? Every year in February rowers descend on Boston to compete over 2000m – the length of an Olympic regatta. There are categories covering all ages – I believe the oldest was 93. The top heavyweight men cover the distance in just under 6 minutes and the top heavy weight women in just less than 7 minutes. And it’s a very painful 7 minutes!

I went for the first time in 2010 and managed to come 4th in the 30-39 heavyweight category in 7:22.2, around 16 seconds behind the winner of the category. As an asthmatic I found that the atmosphere in the arena was very difficult and I’m hoping that training with POWERbreathe will help with that. I’m aiming to change category this year and switch to the 30-39 lightweight category. I’ve done a 2k test to get a starting mark in build up. The next step in training is to begin to use the POWERbreathe. The next test is the British Online Rowing Championship at the end of November.

I’ll be reporting back on how I find the POWERbreathe and how training is going.

 

COPD and coping with breathlessness

COPD-And-BreathlessnessThe full term for COPD is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. COPD as it is known is two long term lung diseases – chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Anyone who suffers from COPD knows the disease makes it extremely difficult for you to breathe. COPD has no cure. However, taking certain measures can help you manage the disease.

 

Here are some COPD facts about living with COPD, the symptoms of this lung disorder, how you can treat it and what causes it.

If I have COPD how does that affect my lungs

Air is carried in and out of your lungs through tubes called airways.  The earliest tell-tale sign of COPD is when these airways become partially blocked from swelling or mucus build up. This will result in you finding it difficult to breathe.  At the end of the airways are many tiny balloon-like air sacs, which inflate and deflate when you breathe in and out. With COPD, these air sacs lose their elasticity. If this happens it can lead to the collapse of small airways and make it more difficult for you to breathe easily.

What causes COPD

The most common cause of COPD is smoking. The disease will progress much quicker in smokers. Passive smoking is also a cause of COPD.  Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can also be caused by long term exposure to other irritants. These include:

  • Dust
  • Chemicals
  • Air pollution

How COPD is diagnosed

If you think you have COPD you need to seek medical advice. Your GP will check your medical history, take a physical examination and also run some breathing tests.

The first breathing test the GP will run to check if you have COPD is the spirometry test. This is a painless and simple test which involves you breathing into a hose which is connected to a spirometer machine.  This machine then measures how much air your lungs can hold as well as measure how quick you can blow air out of your lungs.

What are the signs and symptoms of COPD?

The most common symptoms of COPD are:

  • A continuous cough that does not disappear
  • Huge amounts of mucus when you cough
  • Shortness of breath at the sign of activity
  • Wheezing
  • A tightness in the chest

COPD treatment

COPD treatment is not a cure. The goal is to ease your symptoms and make your quality of life better. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease treatment will slow down the progression of the disease, prevent or treat any complications and help you breathe more easily. Part of your COPD treatment will be a serious of breathing exercises which will help you to cope with the illness you have.

Madeline Simon (MS) – I’ve had better weeks

It is not often I have a real flat week but I have just had one. My motivation has been very poor and as for my exercises – NOT GOOD AT ALL!

I don’t feel good about it at all but next week will be different, I PROMISE.

I have learnt through the years that the MS has a mind of its own but one must never give up, otherwise it wins. I’m starting to feel more positive and determined as I write this. So watch out for next week, it will be mega.

Inspiratory muscle training should be part of your sports training

Inspiratory Muscle TrainingRelatively simple inspiratory muscle training exercises can allow you to breathe effectively and with ease as well as help to improve your respiratory muscles.  Respiratory muscle training is not restricted to people who suffer from lung disorders, respiratory conditions, quite the opposite. Fit and healthy individuals can also benefit from IMT training as these breathing exercises can assist in increasing lung performance.

Whenever we undertake any form of exercise or physical activity more emphasis is placed on our breathing. This can lead to muscle fatigue particularly if you are a sports athlete and participate in marathon events, triathlons or any other form of high stamina sporting activity. In breathing muscle fatigue occurs in the inspiratory muscles which are used to inhale. When taking part in sports activity these muscles have to work harder which means your breathing is uncomfortable you suffer shortness of breath. This further results in muscle fatigue in the leg muscles as your body is struggling to send oxygen to the legs making the legs weak which results in your balance being impaired.

By having some discipline in your breathing and doing regular inspiratory muscle training you can improve your breathing. You will feel more comfortable breathing during running as your breathing muscles will have less stress placed upon them.

If you regularly run or participate in any form of sports training then it is important that you perform breathing exercises. Neglecting to correctly warm up can lead to breathlessness. POWERbreathe products for Inspiratory Muscle Training can be used to specifically warm-up these muscles prior to exercise, using a reduced load setting.

 

 

POWERbreathe at Medica 2011

POWERbreathe Medica 2011 K5POWERbreathe Medica 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year POWERbreathe showcased at Medica 2011 in Dusseldorff.

Four busy days came to an end at the world’s biggest medical trade fair in Düsseldorf where POWERbreathe again proved popular with medical care professionals from around the world. There was huge interest in the K5 with Breathe-Link live feedback software, which enables the K5 to be connected to a PC or laptop. This real time training, which could be viewed on the big screen, was an eye opener to many.

The K5 is revolutionary as it automatically adapts to the users breathing training requirements and sets the optimum training load. This intelligent device then adapts the resistance across the full range of the breath, matching the contractions of the breathing muscles. It’s very clever stuff, and is fast becoming the must have training tool for serious athletes, world champions and Olympians. Over 300 independent research papers show breathing training improves training, performance and recovery.

The K5 is revolutionary in terms of how it works and what you can do with it. I you are interested in the K5 model you can register your details for the POWERbreathe K5 and be amongst the first to know when it is launched.

Better breathing journey week 4

Just completed the fourth week of using the Powerbreathe unit.

1) Still maintaining two daily sessions with the Powerbreathe.

2) I think I may have moved up the resistance setting too fast for my progress as I wasn’t really achieving adequate breaths at any point, dropped back down from 4.5 to 4.0.

3) Not sure yet that I am feeling any difference in my breathing when I am training.

Phil Bradbury

Madeline Simon (MS) – Two flat weeks then some results

Quite a flat week this week but on the positive side I have started making my Christmas cards and my exercise routine is starting to get back to where it should be. There is no excuse but I do find that the change in weather i.e. the pressure changes, have a lot to answer for.

I have made a couple more purchases for Christmas presents: one via the Internet (a great help); and the other from an excellent music shop nearby – a very trendy acoustic guitar for my youngest nephew, age 7. I’m sure he will love it…so I hope he doesn’t read this entry in my journal!

It is not often I have a real flat week but I have just had one. My motivation has been very poor and as for my exercises – NOT GOOD AT ALL! I don’t feel good about it at all but next week will be different, I PROMISE.

I have learnt through the years that the MS has a mind of its own but one must never give up, otherwise it wins. I’m starting to feel more positive and determined as I write this. So watch out for next week, it will be mega.

A big improvement has been made. My hour long Pilates kicked the week off in the right direction and my swimming was another success. I went a bit later than normal and had the pool all to myself. I’ve also picked up my Powerbreathe again. My monthly results do show a slight deterioration, just proving to myself how important it all is. Now it’s onwards and upwards again after that negative blip.

TRAIN TEST

 

Date Level Load cmH2O  PowerWatts Volume Litres T-index%

 

S-IndexcmH2O FlowL/s Volume Litres
9th Sept 2011 Moderate 34 4.7 2.1 89 High 72Average 4.2 1.8
7th Oct 2011 Moderate 42 4.8 2.0 89 High 75Average 4.5 1.8
13th Nov 2011 Moderate 42 4.4 1.8 85 High 77Average 4.4 1.8