Madeline Simon (MS) – Swimming performance definately improved thanks to POWERbreathe

Another good week of exercising, it really does help. On the swimming front I did my 32 lengths that I thought was my 0.5mile. However, with something niggling at the back of my mind, I checked out how long the pool is, unfortunately, it is 20m not a standard 25m, so I’ll need to get my distance up to 40 lengths to hit the 0.5mile.

I have another couple of weeks ahead of me with minimal booked. I know this sounds rather boring but it is essential to keep on an even keel. If I overdo things I have to reap the consequences. I do learn to appreciate things and people better and have fun and humour when I go out for only a maximum of an hour doing boring shopping. I may need to get a blue parking badge soon, but I feel the longer I can do without the better, mind you some days the walk back to the car is rather arduous.

I think I’ll stick with 32 lengths of swimming, and my POWERbreathe, until I feel happy with that…mind you, I did notice that no siesta was needed in the afternoon this time after swimming, so an improvement.

POWERbreathe Trial – Rob Lunn Week 4: POWERbreathe calming

As I mentioned in my previous blog, this weekend I competed in the Love Life Love Running 10k at Cannock Chase.

Leading up to the event I gradually decreased my running and POWERbreathe training to allow my body to rest and conserve energy.

My last training session was a steady paced 30 minute run on Wednesday afternoon giving my muscles 3 days to rest before the race.

It is recommended that you refrain from POWERbreathe training a few days before a competitive event to allow your respiratory muscles to rest too.

Race day started very early with a bowl of porridge with flax seed and honey, a protein shake, green tea and a pint of water. A good breakfast helps you start the day by providing all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients the body requires function at its best, this is especially important on race day to put fuel in your tank ready for the run.

Before we warmed up my friend & I had a walk around the site to soak up the atmosphere and check out the McCain track & field tent, where we were lucky enough to bump into Sally Gunnell, Olympic 400m Gold medallist!!!

Sally was really friendly & approachable and gave us some inspiration for the race ahead.

I fully warmed up before every event, my usual warm up includes dynamic stretching, gentle jogging and movements to elevate my heart rate, get my blood flowing and ensure my body is fully prepared for the challenge ahead, but this was the first time I had incorporated POWERbreathe.

To warm up my respiratory muscles, I turned my POWERbreathe sport down to level 0 completed 30 breaths, rested for 2 minutes then performed a further 30 breaths.

With my breathing muscles warm I headed towards the start line, from the moment Sally Gunnell blew the hooter I was on my game.

The route was one of the hardest I have completed, very hilly, you were either up or down with very few flat sections. Having managed to get myself up with the lead pack I was feeling great. I managed to keep it going finishing very strong in 20th position out of 200+ competitors in a new personal best time of 44:15.

There is no doubt in my mind that POWERbreathe training and especially the pre race warm up made a big contribution to my performance. I am really happy with the results so far and am looking forward to continuing my training.

Rob Lunn

Personal Trainer

Diverse Health and Fitness

 

POWERbreathe Trial – Martin Haines Week 4, 5 and 6: Static training

“Not much to report this week.  So far I’ve found some interesting changes each week and from what I understand this is not typical; changes seem to take longer for most people. Not sure why I’m different, maybe because I was asthmatic?  Not sure.  My training has been quite static this last 2 weeks, with only 2  CV sessions per week, but August is a quiet month for me usually, so I’m expecting to get much more training in over the next month.  Let’s see what difference that makes.”

Still injured and although its improving quite well, it’s still not good enough to use the POWERbreathe as I’m getting pain on deep breathing.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get back into it next week.  On the bright side I’ve had more time to work, now I’m not training!!!

“I’ve started to use the powerbreathe again and NO PAIN.  Very happy, and looking forward to getting back into it again”.

Keep moving freely

Martin

Martin Haines MCSP SRP MBC MBCACEO

Intelligent Training Systems

Chairman

UK Biomechanics Coaching Association

POWERbreathe Trial – Rob Lunn Week 3: Cranked up the POWERbreathe

Week 3, my breathing is really coming on now! I have cranked the resistance up, giving my POWERbreathe a twist up to level 1! It may not sound a lot but you can feel the difference, the small increase in resistance is definitely more challenging!!

I have had to break my breaths back down to 2 sets of 15 to achieve the recommended ’30 breathes twice a day’, I have completed my training most days with the exception of the last couple of days due to being a little run down, hey it happens to the best of us and sometimes you just need to rest!

Rest is not the enemy, rest allows the body recover and regenerate, over training and training through illness such as colds and flu can actually impede results and performance, so don’t be afraid to take a few days off training if you are not feeling 100% you will come back stronger both physically and mentally!

At the start of the week my training was feeling great, my recovery time is improving during my sprint sessions, I am ready to go sooner and feel like I have more to give during my sprints.

All is looking good for my next event coming up next weekend, a multi terrain 10k run at Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, part of a new running festival. I am really looking forward to it.

My training this week will be geared towards the run on Saturday, easing my training down after Wednesday and making sure I get my diet right leading up to the day.

On my next blog I will let you know how I get on, how my breathing feels throughout and any effects POWERbreathe training has had on my performance.

Wish me luck!!!

Rob Lunn

Personal Trainer

Diverse Health and Fitness

 

 

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

www.melanieryding.co.uk

Read more about how POWERbreathe improves running performance.

Breathing exercises for your sports training

Breathing is a process which is critical to humans to stay alive as it is a process that helps us function properly. A process that does not require thinking it is just automatic and part of everyday life.  Breathing allows us to bring oxygen into our bodies then use the oxygen as energy. Although a simple process, there are many ways breathing can be inefficient for our bodies.

By adopting some simple breathing exercises we can improve the quality of our breathing and make it work more efficiently for us. Breathing is critical and without breath we will not survive. However, adopting some breathing exercise can help us maintain and regulate our breathing.

Breathing exercises have a dual purpose. By breathing properly it allows the body to get more oxygen with less effort, making every physical and mental activity more efficient throughout the day. Breathing exercises also help the body, mind and soul relax when under stress or when clarity is needed. Stress can be literally blown away with the breath and your breath is the safest of all places to focus your consciousness.

Breathing exercises can be done just about anywhere at any time. However, it is always best to choose a quiet place where you can sit or stand comfortably with your spine straight. Make sure you keep your eyes and chin on level with the horizon. It is important that you are in relaxed and loose clothing.

Learning Breathing

Learning breathing is important and the steps below explain some techniques for breathing exercises.

  1. When you are breathing it is imperative that you pay attention to your breath. Don’t try and alter the breathing pattern, just observe it.  If you do find yourself becoming distracted, gently focus back to what you are doing.  Every day, try and increase the length of time that you can do this and you will be on your way to great progress.
  2. Sit on a chair with your head bent down toward your knees. Inhale through your nose the deepest breath you can, making sure your belly presses into your legs and your body rises up. Your rib cage should get very wide. Exhale through your nose. Repeat this twenty times. Once complete sit up slowly, as you may be slightly dizzy from the breathing.
  3. Squeeze more air out on exhalation by using the muscles in between your ribs (the intercostal muscles). Exhale, and then squeeze more air out. Do this whenever you think about it. This will eventually lengthen the exhalation so that it matches inhalation and will encourage the body to draw in more and more air.
  4. Focused exhalation will encourage your body to bring more breath in. Breathing is like a cycle. You exhale to begin breathing which is the top of the circle. Inhaling finishes the breath and is the bottom half of the circle.  Make sure to squeeze your rib muscles and push all the air out of your lungs. Then breathe in to “reset” and begin the breath cycle again.

Stimulating Breath

Stimulating breathing exercises should be done in the morning to wake you up. If you feel tired as the day progresses, take a few minutes and stimulate your breath to increase your physical and mental energy. A great way of doing this is by practising some Yoga techniques. Put your tongue in the yogic position, on the ridge of hard tissue behind palate of your teeth. Yoga says that the energy systems of the body, positive and negative, connect at those two positions – the tongue and roof ridge. The technique is to breathe rapidly in and out through the nose with the mouth lightly closed. This should be as fast as possible and both your inhale and exhale should be noisy. Progress starting at 15 seconds and increasing by 5 seconds per day until you reach 1 minute.

Quickly Calming Breath

This is the breathing exercise that you should adopt if you are upset and want to calm yourself down quickly.  Observe the way you are breathing but don’t try and change it.  Focus on how you can make your breath deeper, quieter and slower, more importantly regulate your breathing pattern.  Focus on inhaling and exhaling and keep going until you notice a change in your breathing pattern and you feel at ease with yourself.

Breathing exercises are extremely important in everyday life as it helps calm you down and reduce stress and tension. In our everyday life we face many situations that put us under pressure. Anyone who participates in stamina related sports will know how important breathing exercises are for sports training. An athlete will suffer shortness of breath during training but by following these breathing exercises they will be able to control their breathing.

Image Source: Health Care Tips

 

 

Emma Foden – When I met POWERbreathe

I came in to contact with POWERbreathe in its very early days, about 2004, when I was massaging a group of Ironman competitors. I was asked my opinion on whether I thought it would work or not. In all honesty, I hadn’t heard about POWERbreathe as I was very new to the health and fitness industry.

I told the group I would look into the product and get back to them. On first look they seem very like an asthma inhaler and an obvious too good to be true, simple tool to aid breathing and therefore aid performance. I went back to the group with my findings and subsequently two bought a POWERbreathe and loved them.

Three years ago I was finishing my Masters degree in Exercise Physiology and was offered the opportunity to use POWERbreathe for my final study with wheelchair basketball athletes that I already supported in their training for Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.  POWERbreathe had already been used in various studies among sports people and had great reviews to show they improved sprint performance. Wheelchair basketball is a game of high intensity sprint work and I was interested to find out if a POWERbreathe could improve the sprint performance of a wheelchair athlete.

I conducted some initial tests and left each of my subjects with a POWERbreathe (kindly donated). When I returned for the testing at the end of the study I imagined the results to be amazing because so many of them had said that their breathing had improved and they felt a lot healthier. The study showed that POWERbreathe did not improve sprint performance amongst wheelchair basketball athletes and it was concluded that this is potentially due to the amount of skill needed to manoeuvre the chair during the sprints not just the person’s own physiological benefits. I wrote the research for The British Journal of Sports Medicine, you can find the abstract here.  http://msscentershop.info/content/44/9/665.abstract

Many of the subjects I used went on to buy a POWERbreathe themselves and I was so impressed I bought one for my dad. He’s an active wheelchair user in his 60’s but is finding himself a little short of breath when he pushes up a hill or pushes over long distances. When he remembers it (because his memory is going too) his breathing noticeably improves and he says so which is great because my dad is hard to please!

I now own a Personal Training and Exercise Science business (www.dynamicfitnessuk.com or twitter; @em_fitnessgoals) and would have no hesitation suggesting and recommending POWERbreathe to any of my clients to aid performance.

Emma Foden BSc (Hons), MSc, MGHT
Personal Trainer and Exercise Scientist
M. 07900 551 730
E. emma@dynamicfitnessuk.com
W. www.dynamicfitnessuk.com

POWERbreathe Trial – Martin Haines Week 3: Feeling pretty good

Another interesting week. I played golf for the first time in 9 months this week and I knew about it the following 2 days! I’m in pretty good shape and biomechanically I’m pretty good too, but playing golf at these speeds of movement in the swing is hard to reproduce in a gym, so stiffness is likely when you’ve not played for a while. The interesting thing for me was the thoracic (upper back) stiffness wasn’t as bad as normal and certainly didn’t last as long. With me being asthmatic when I was a kid, my rib joints (costo-vertebral joints) are susceptible when I do any sport (especially golf) and the only reason I can give for them not being as bad as usual is using the powerbreathe. Maybe they have helped my rib joints in some way?

On another note I’m still only on level 1, so I’ve a long way to go!!!

Hope that’s OK. Is their somewhere I can go to look at them and see the others’ blogs?

Keep moving freely
Martin Haines MCSP SRP MBC MBCA
CEO Intelligent Training Systems

Chairman
UK Biomechanics Coaching Association

POWERbreathe Trial – Melanie Ryding Week 2: European Championships

Week 2.
I went to the European championships this week. I did take the POWERbreathe with me, and hoped to be able to continue fitting in my 30 breaths twice a day, but knew it may be a logistical challenge. I did manage at least one of them per day.

 

I think it is still early days, but something must be happening, because I remember it hurting my chest on the very first use, and now on level 3 it seems to be becoming more managable. I no longer get the chest pain, and maybe next week will be able to move it up another level. I have not been training hard, so I would not have needed my inhaler anyway. Training is on taper / race mode so it will be interesting to see what happens when I return to track sprinting etc after the rest week. That is when I usually need the inhaler so I am looking forward to finding out if it will have an impact.

 

Well that is all for now but their will be more to follow 🙂

POWERbreathe Trial – Samuel Dallimore Week 2: Getting into the swing of things

This week I have been continuing on my progress in and out of the pool. Weights and core resistance work in the gym and then lots of hypoxic exercises in the pool. Hypoxic exercises in the context of swimming training involves lots of breath holding and having to swim whilst doing so. It can be really tough at times but by using my powerbreathe I’m starting to already feel my breathing muscles becoming stronger. I’m putting these amazing early gains down to the twice a day every day routine and the added fact that because I train at elite level my body has learnt to adapt/ recover to fitness and strength training faster and faster as time goes by. It’s meant that I’ve  been able to hold my breath longer and longer whilst feeling slightly more in control of my asthma. I used to react terribly to intensive exercise in most forms, losing all control of my breathing, but im starting to see that all that I need to do is to train and learn to control these muscles required to do so. The progress with this is slow but steady and the most important factor is that it’s continual, the harder I can push on the powerbreathe and remain in control the better and faster the results I can see in and out of the pool.