The trial is over: and the asthma is cured!

So 12 wMelanie Rydingeeks have come to an end, and wow, what a change has occurred.

When I started this trial I was an athlete and an asthma sufferer. Now, quite simply, I’m an athlete. You think I exaggerate? No I don’t!

I stopped needing the inhaler in about week 3 or 4. I carried around with me for a further 3-4 weeks ‘just in case’. In fact, my coach was quite concerned when I first stopped carrying it.

I usually needed it when I was doing intense training. I have an inhaler I got from the doctor, that is still in the box. One prescription charge wasted I think! In fact the doctor recently refused to give me a flu jab because i ‘no longer seemed to have asthma’.

This was exactly why I wanted to do this trial. Could the powerbreathe cure asthma? It was a physical limiter for me, putting a cap on what might be possible in intense training sessions due to the restriction.

I look forward to finding out the new extent of the limitless possibilities because I will not need that any more!!

Does powerbreathe work? YES!
Did I think it would when I started? No, I was not completely convinced!
Would I recommend it to other asthma sufferers? OH YES!!

The theory behind this product and how it works is very logical, why would you NOT try it?









Melanie Ryding
GB Age group triathlete

POWERbreathe Trial – Melanie Ryding Week 14: I left the inhaler on purpose

Melanie Ryding I forgot the inhaler on purposeMelanie Ryding I forgot the inhaler on purposeThis week, I am beginning to realise that I in fact do NOT need that inhaler at all. Up till now i have always taken it (just in case) but this week, I went to the track WITHOUT it on purpose. Coach is not holding back on me at all, and I am learning to permanently hurt!!

This weeks track was fartlek (speed play) on the roads instead of the track. race pace, with even faster bursts. sheesh!! Summary: yes, it was hard hard, hard, and I told coach where in the car the inhaler was in case I needed it (he is now more worried than me!) but there was nothing to be worried about!.

The rest of the training? Big weights are starting to kick back in again, and to be honest it doesnt seem much like winter training to me, it seems as hard as it ever was!! The first cross country of the winter was last week too – a lovely cheeky little race with 4 river crossings! A steep banked brook that was just a teeny bit too wide was hillarious fun as far as i was concerned, but every time I came to the jump I encountered and had to shimmy round people queuing and stepping carefully! Move over, this is a race dont you know!!

My new mini mission is to mentally as well as physically forget that i ever had asthma. I WILL make it a thing of the past, with the continued help from POWERbreathe.


POWERbreathe Trial – Melanie Ryding Week 13: Ooops i forgot the inhaler!

POWERbreathe Trial – Melanie Ryding Week 13: Ooops i forgot the inhaler!Yep, the inevitable happened this week. I was in a rush, work is hectic, I had to go to the track to meet my coach directly from work. I forgot the inhaler. Normally that means that coach goes easy, because he is always afriad of me having asthma trouble and not being able to help me. Today was different.

I am not sure why, but he rolled on regardless and punished me the only way a coach can. I was exhausted. I managed to still make imporvements on my run speed throughout the session and i was faster than last week. The fitness is returning.BUT… not a single problem with the asthma at all.

I am back into the swing of training now, and everything has at last stopped hurting!

Melanie Ryding

POWERbreathe Trial – Melanie Ryding Week 12: Level 7 here I come

This week sees the return to full training after my two week end of season break. 5.30am is very dark you know, specially now half the street lights are strategically turned off!!

Up to level 7 now on the powerbreathe. The other day when I started my 30 breaths I thought it was blocked or something, as it’s getting very tough now!! (it wasn’t blocked, it was just me being a wuss!) it was also my first track session since my head injury. I felt very scared and expected it to be rather tough! It lived up to expectations – my legs the next day were screaming with DOMS! (delayed onset muscle soreness).

I – as always, take the inhaler. Although I am still getting head injury side effects, I still (and for some time now) don’t ever need the inhaler.

It is tough changing speed, the brain is a bit behind when it comes to changing oxygen demand, and I often feel dizzy when I stop after running, or very fatigued when I start off.

Luckily though, the 30 breaths don’t cause me a problem.

I remember when I started this POWERbreathe trial, only being able to manage level 2-3 so  I continue to be impressed. Give it a go – it ain’t easy, but my lack of needing inhaler means it must be doing something for my asthma, right?


Melanie Ryding

POWERbreathe Trial – Melanie Ryding Week 11: It is all about taking part

The journey to get me to this start line was way more challenging than any other race I have done. A severe head injury and 6 weeks layoff directly beforehand meant that being at this start line at all was in the balance for a long time.

I only firmly decided if I would travel about a week before hand, and was forced to set myself a whole new set of goals.

Originally, I had decided I would like a top 20 finish, managing 31’st place last year in Budapest, it seemed a reasonable ask. In actual fact, I wanted it closer to the top ten if possible, so I was forced to completely evaluate.

I spent quite some time thinking about whether I would actually get anything out of competing at all, having done no training whatsoever and still suffering from the head injury. In the end I decided I would take it as an opportunity to try a complete reverse pacing strategy. I would take it easy on the swim and bike, then see what I have left for the run. This is not what I would normally do at all, being a strong swimmer / cyclist.

Pre Race

I felt all wobbly this morning, both physically and mentally. Its torrential rain outside, and its freezing. A 4am get up was not sitting well with me, and I was regretting not bringing my own porridge, no porridge in sight in china!

We stood, freezing, in the flooded timing chip marquee watching with amusement as the Chinese swept the water out one side, only for it to flow back in another just as fast. The standing water was beginning to concern me. The Chinese roads would not be used to this volume of water. When I asked an ITU official about the danger element I was told ‘just cycle slower, we aren’t changing the race’.

Transition set up was wet and waterlogged. The only function for my purple towel was to indicicate a visual cue to me, it would not be keeping anything dry at all! Some deliberation over whether to put shoe on bike or not, put helmet upside down on bars or not… I decided just to do what I always do. Water is only water after all. I also decided to leave the union flag in transition too, having not found anyone to give it to for finish line delivery, I decided to take it myself!

We were kicked out of transition an hour before our start, so we stood freezing under the shelter of the bag drop for another hour, after a brief and minging visit to the portasqats.

Leaving it to the last possible moment before moving to the pre race pens, I spotted Richard Stannard standing nearby. I congratulated him on the Aquathlon win, and he wished me good luck for my race! Pre race warm up was almost impossible, with no shoes, and temperatures so cold. Everyone was shivering.


I was looking forward to getting started so when I was ordered to get in and the water was still 27 degrees (no where near anything like the air temperature!) it was like getting into a bath! In fact this was the warmest point in the whole race! The hysterical Chinese lady next to me made me laugh, panicking about having to get in, panicking about where and how to hold onto the pontoon, etc etc. I was positioned in the middle, not ideal, so I put on a strong start to get clear of the people around me after the hooter went off. I caught the back of the previous wave (men) and had a good time. I liked the none wet suit, you were able to work out who was around you in the water. The weedy swim exit was all gone, pretty amazing!

Mammoth run to T1, and I noticed Rossiter’s and Wood’s bike were still there. Pretty good. Clearly a non wet suit swim does me big favours. I was also in front of Penny Bulley, usually a top 5 finisher at least.


Not for long though, she soon came past me on the bike! The bike course was extremely waterlogged. I was glad I wore glasses, I almost didn’t, but it kept the spray off my face. It was very hard to race the bike course, perhaps also a little hesitation in the back of my mind too because of what has happened, I was more concerned about getting through it unscathed, which is a shame, because on a dry day, that course would have suited me well. I saw one guy crash, and then get rescued by motorbike, so I was rather wary. The biggest hazard on route was the Chinese competitors veering across the middle of the lanes, wearing ordinary pumps! I even saw a mountain bike! What on earth!?


GB Newcombe was directly in front coming into T”. I managed to focus on just me, my race. My strap line for the run ‘ham strings and tree tops’ which I tried my best to focus on throughout. I successfully managed to focus on just me, my race. A few more came past, but I was OK. I was executing my own race plan. I unfolded the union flag from inside the front of my suit as I approached the finish straight. I crossed the line, flag held high, proud that I had managed to reach the start line, after an awful run up to this race, and equally proud that I managed to execute my own race plan without getting distracted.

Result? 17th place. Better than I could ever have hoped for, all things considered.

So, next year, top ten then yes? 😉

I didnt once need my inhaler, despite the awful thick smog, in fact i still havent used it in months. Back to using the Powerbreathe regularly again (was tricky in china amongst all the pre race stuff going on) and i am ready to move to level 7 i think!



POWERbreathe Trial – Melanie Ryding Week 10: China here I come!

It’s been a roller coaster ride of training since I started this trial. From smooth preparations and training all going to plan, to head injury and completely housebound, and back again (almost).

It’s been six weeks since the cycling accident and I wouldn’t say I was out of the woods yet. Not by a long way. But, I am did get on that plane to China  (5th sept) to take part in the aquathlon world championships on the 7th, and the triathlon world championships on the 10th, and I will consider myself lucky to be alive and very lucky to be a least partially back to fitness and able to wear that GB suit proudly, knowing the even tougher road I have had to get to that start line.

POWERbreathe definitely seems to be quietly but steadily improving me too, and on level 6, perhaps ready to go up one to level 7, I have very rarely needed the inhaler lately.

My run coach doesn’t trust that I don’t need it though, and still always asks me to bring it to the track.

If you want to follow my progress in China you will find me on Facebook and twitter (@nuuutymel and @ryding2health). You can find the world championship coverage on

I predict it to be a great elite race and am looking forward to seeing Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee and Helen Jenkins both take the world titles (I hope!)

Melanie Ryding

POWERbreathe Trial – Melanie Ryding Week 9: Ramping up the Intensity

Still recovering from the head injury, so I feel all behind with my preparations. Still, nothing I can do about that i guess.

The problem I currently have is related to change of pace and oxygen demand, so starting and stopping is hard work. I have upped the intensity of the training  a little this week, to introduce intervals and track sprints. All things I should have been doing all along, but never mind. Getting back from injury is tough, specially a head injury. I am also trying hard to learn about the nutrition side of things, and sometimes I get that right, sometimes not! The track work was always going to hurt after a long layoff. It did!! despite almost running to the point of collapse, and feeling incredibly dizzy after each rep – but no inhaler needed! Great news! usually I do need it for track sprints. No chest pain either which I sometimes get after high intensity exercise (asthma related).

Level 6 is still tough though, think I will be here for a little while yet!


Melanie Ryding

POWERbreathe Trial – Melanie Ryding Week 8: Learning To Hurt Again

With the good progress following last week’s race, coach and I decided that it was perhaps safe to increase the intensity of the training somewhat. I have also been giving the World championships some serious thought, and have come up with a set of weekly goals to help me decide. I only have a few weeks left…
The head injury is a funny thing. The thing I am struggling with at the moment is the heart rate. When I start a session it’s a massive effort and the heart rate is through the roof. As the session progresses, when I normally should be getting tired, I seem to gain a second wind and finish better than I started! When I asked an expert about this, apparently this is normal, because my brain is still injured therefore it is slow at recognising changing oxygen levels and requirements. It’s very frustrating though, being a sprinter!
The Powerbreathe exercises are going well, and this week I progressed to level 6. I also tried a tough hills session with my coach, the first on a while. I took the inhaler, expecting to need it, as the heart rate is laying tricks on me at the moment. No need at all.
Great news I thought. Small steps… still progressing. 🙂
Melanie Ryding

POWERbreathe Trial – Melanie Ryding Week 7: Almost back to normal

SCAT concussion test round 3 started my week, and I am pleased to report that I was declared ‘almost back to normal’ whatever that means.

The dizzy spells are intermittent and getting more so, which is a good sign. All that remains, symptom wise, is that I am still unable to tilt my head or bend over to reach low down objects, which is a little irritating but MILES better than it has been.

I have started gentle training outside again, have been back on the bike and past the crash site. I am also able to run outside too without mishap, but getting the pace back will be slow steady steps I think. I did a track session with my coach this week too, the first ‘proper’ exercise since the accident, 3.5 weeks ago. I expected it to be very tough. It was!! BUT, I took the inhaler, and did not in fact need it at all. I think it’s just a security blanket!

I have started back using the Powerbreathe, and was able to carry on at level 4 without too much trouble. At the end of the week, I increased it to level 5, which impressed me, still making progress in the breathing exercises, despite the head injury set back.

I finished my week off with a race, despite the better judgement of many people. I wanted to see how I did, whether the head injury was still an issue with regards to dizziness, and whether I was actually able to complete a triathlon. This would be a good indicator of whether I will be able to make it to the World Championships in China next month. The race went ok, no dizziness, nausea or headaches, and although I’m more tired than normal (which was to be expected) I completed the race.

Good signs.

Read more on how POWERbreathe improves cycling performance
Melanie Ryding

POWERbreathe Trial – Melanie Ryding Week 6: Back up and kind of running

The forced go slow and new scatter brain that I seem to have developed is becoming very frustrating. I just can’t think or do as fast as I used to be able to do. Its like a need a pause button while my brain processes stuff. The number of times that I have had the ‘well?’ kind of looks from my husband – its getting quite regular.

He apologised the other day. He said he had become accustomed to me being so get up and go whizzing about, he just can’t get used to the 1st gear me at all.

Small steps

I can now walk without clutching the walls, which seems like a ridiculous thing to get excited about. But, it’s all small steps in the right direction. The permanent feeling of being on the deck of a ship in a storm at sea is beginning to abate. Ihave now been out on a bike, on the road, and round the scene of the accident. Another small thing ticked off.

I also have been swimming, I thought this would be a nightmare, but all went well.  At the end of this week, though, i managed to resume PowerBreathe training, right back at level 4 where i was before. I was quite impressed!

Concussion test, take 2

I was determined to do better than last week. I very quickly discovered that wasn’t up to me. David Sutton said I was drastically better at the thinking stuff than last week. I almost felt like I was myself again, at times. But, balance… nope. I still felt like a drunk without all the fun, when I was asked to balance with eyes shut.

A head injury is a head injury. You have no bearing on how it develops. All you can do is respond, rest, adapt and wait. Frustrating, but the result was better. I was given the go ahead to try gentle exercise. Better than nothing.

Up and running at last

I was keen to get a few things out of the way. My misconception about the running being potentially problematic was one of them. I still don’t trust this odd head of mine, so I decided to go to the gym, nice and safe. I started on the cross trainer, but the programme ended in 30 mins. I had the number 45 in my mind and I really wasn’t sure that 32 minutes of running was a good idea. So I climbed back on for a bit and stepped tentatively onto the running machine for my last 15 minutes. I began walking. My right leg still felt odd, heavier than the left, like it had all week. It felt like a dead leg. I was determined to crack this, so started jogging the slowest jog I think I may have ever jogged in my life. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was in fact ok, apart from the fact that my legs felt like lead. But I didn’t care. I was running, and I didn’t expect to be able to do that just inside two weeks after the accident. I was so pleased I can’t tell you. And, thankful for running machines. I didn’t need to get back to where I had started, I could simply climb off and sit down!

It’s a roller coaster ride in the world of head injuries.

Melanie Ryding

Read more about how POWERbreathe improves running performance.