POWERbreathe Trial – Martin Haines Week 8: Getting back into the groove

“Its great to get back into using the POWERbreathe again.  Its interesting that after the quite rapid progression I felt using the POWERbreathe the first time round, after the enforced payoff I have not had the same speedy improvements.  I’m wondering whether my progress is more in line with normal now and whether the initial response was something to do with my asthmatic tendencies; I was probably at a lower level than most when I first started.

More on progress next week”.

POWERbreathe User Trial – Maxine Filby: Getting started with POWERbreathe

Maxine FilbyI’m an Elite XC Mountain Bike racer; I have only been racing for three years so when it comes to training at this high level I’m still very much finding my feet.  I assumed that as I was getting fitter and my body was getting stronger that my lungs would follow suit, surely with the training I was doing they would benefit too.

Unfortunately, I had a little bit of a rude awakening following a nasty bout of bronchitis about three months ago.  I made sure that I was fully recovered before beginning to train and race again.  When I was doing high intensity intervals I began to wheeze a little, I probably should have investigated further at that point but eager to get back to form I began to race again. My first race back was a disaster, I got half way into the first lap when I couldn’t get my breath at all, it was quite a frightening experience.  Off I went to the doctor who diagnosed me with exercise related asthma and gave me inhalers to try.  The first race with the inhaler ended in the same way as the first with me wheezing round the lap getting more and more uptight.  It was back to the drawing board; I have a great masseur (Liz Soames at Working Bodies, Towcester) who suggested that I wasn’t using my lungs correctly and suggested I have a look at POWERbreathe.  She thought that I was just breathing from my chest and could benefit from training with a POWERbreathe, effectively learning how to breathe properly again.

I have had an POWERbreathe Plus Heavy Resistance for a couple of days now; I was really surprised how difficult it was just to complete the 30 breaths on level 0 to begin with. I’m still on level 0 but can now complete the 30 breaths, I really cannot imagine being able to get up to level 10. It makes my lungs feel like my legs do after a good training session, I’m very excited to see how I improve over the coming weeks.  I have a couple of big races to end the season this month and it would be great if I could finish on a good note, I have a feeling that it might be my legs struggling to keep up with my lungs for a change!

Read more on how to improve cycling performance with POWERbreathe.

Keep checking back for more updates from me 🙂

Maxine Filby

Breathing difficulties when running

Anyone who is a keen runner will know that when out running it can sometimes be difficult to pull in enough oxygen to meet the demands their body is asking. Although this type of breathing difficulty is usually associated with someone who is out of shape, it can indicate a more serious problem if you are in shape and could be medically related.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner to running or an expert runner, breathing difficulties can occur regardless of your age or weight.

Body process

When out running the most critical factor to ensure the body functions correctly is the respiratory system. In fact, whenever the body undergoes any form of physical exercise, the muscles require a significant amount of oxygen in order for them to function properly. For this to work our respiratory system has to work that much harder. Air is pulled into the body through the mouth or nose and then flows down the airways into the lungs. Once this air enters the lungs it then gets exchanged for carbon dioxide. After this final exchange the oxygen is then transported through the body to various muscles and organs, and the carbon dioxide is exhaled. Breathing problems can be caused by a number of problems in the lungs or airway passages.

Exercise induced asthma

Many runners will know exactly what exercise induced asthma is. This affects the airways and causes problems breathing.  This condition is caused when the airways tighten which in turn produces increased mucus. While out running when an exercise induced asthma episode occurs the runner will typically start wheezing, coughing and experience chest pain with every breath taken. As the asthma progresses, it becomes increasingly more difficult for the runner to catch their breath.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Also known as COPD, this condition is a combination of a few different lung diseases, which makes breathing an extremely difficult task. Emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic asthmatic bronchitis are the three main conditions known as COPD. Anyone who suffers from COPD will have such difficulty breathing even when not exercising or doing any form of physical activity. However, if someone attempts to run with this condition they will significantly increase the symptoms of COPD.

Anyone who suffers from breathing difficulties and wants to improve running performance should always consult a GP or physician before attempting any form of physical exercise including running.