Hills and trying to breath

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Hills and trying to breath

Postby tuco » Tue May 01, 2007 9:17 am

Not sure of a title for this thread.

I did some hill climbs today and one didn't seem to stop. The problem we have in Townsville is there is no in between hills. It's either flat or 'Oh crap, you're kidding!'
Anyway, I got up this never ending hill and I was totally out of breath. I really had trouble getting my breathing back to normal but a check of my HR monitor (after a minute or so) and my HR was only 158. The other two were out of breath too but they took off to do two more with no rest in between but I waited until they got back then did the next one with them.

Not even sure of the question here but is that the classic case of being in the anaerobic zone?
All together we did 4 hills and a total of 34km and my ave and max HR were only 150 and 181. I thought for sure it would be higher from these hill climbs but I seem to have that under control and it seems my issue at the moment is being able to breath under extreme exertion.

I assume the only way of improving the problem is more and more hill climbs.
Until now I've avoided hills like the plague but there's a time when a man has to do what man has to do.

Does anyone has any comments or hints?
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by BNA » Tue May 01, 2007 10:19 am

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Postby europa » Tue May 01, 2007 10:19 am

I reckon you're just not 'fit enough' for those hills. If you're happy that your HR wasn't outrageous, the answer is to do more of them - just like the early days of your hill runs. Hard sprint intervals might help but that's a different sort of riding and you're looking for climbing strength and fitness (yes, I believe it is that specific). What you really need is a good, rolling road like the expressway near me, but as you pointed out, you don't have that luxury.

Just get out on the bike and ride the things - not sure that that's a downside actually :D

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Postby sogood » Tue May 01, 2007 10:51 am

Depends on the length of climb. For a short hard effort, it's quite normal for the HR not match the level of physical exertion. That's a well known limitation of HRM hence the use of power meters.

For high intensity interval training, HRMs are totally useless. You either go with a PM or by perceived maximal effort that can be sustained for a defined period of time.

Of course, there's always the possibility that you weren't pushing hard enough. :wink:
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Postby Bnej » Tue May 01, 2007 11:36 am

Nothing trains you for climbing hills like climbing a lot of hills.

I wouldn't try to force your breathing back to normal at the top of a hill, you're using a lot of oxygen and you need to put it back. Just slow down a bit and let your breathing catch up.
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Postby mikesbytes » Tue May 01, 2007 1:00 pm

Bnej wrote:Nothing trains you for climbing hills like climbing a lot of hills.


+1 climb lots of hills.

With the improvements you have made over the last 6 months, you are ready to step up your training with some serious hill climbing.

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Postby tuco » Tue May 01, 2007 1:09 pm

Bnej wrote:Nothing trains you for climbing hills like climbing a lot of hills.

I wouldn't try to force your breathing back to normal at the top of a hill, you're using a lot of oxygen and you need to put it back. Just slow down a bit and let your breathing catch up.


That's why I let the others go and do another lap before I continued.

Looks like I'm heading for the hills. I've got nearly two weeks before the next race so I bit of hard work this week won't hurt.
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Postby kslim » Tue May 01, 2007 2:19 pm

Just reading your first post again, another thought springs to mind.

Could you have hyperventilated a little (or a lot)?

This will cause a subjective sensation of being very short of breath. One of the "risks" with certain rhythmic activities is timing your breathing to the rhythm of what you are doing. If you were breathing with pedal stroke, you could have actually been "overbreathing" Sometimes you need to break the breathing rhythm.
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Postby tuco » Tue May 01, 2007 2:38 pm

kslim wrote:This will cause a subjective sensation of being very short of breath. One of the "risks" with certain rhythmic activities is timing your breathing to the rhythm of what you are doing. If you were breathing with pedal stroke, you could have actually been "overbreathing" Sometimes you need to break the breathing rhythm.


I had been in the habit of rhythmic breathing during my running days but that went out the window with riding.

I may have an answer :
I just checked the BoM weather site and at the time we were riding it was only 21C but the humidity was 98%
The combination of the need for oxygen and the high humidity may has lessened my recovery time.
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Postby Halfanewb » Tue May 01, 2007 3:15 pm

Maybe its the opposite tuco , the impulse to breath is triggered by co2 buildup in the lungs not the amount of oxygen available :) , we breath in roughly 20% oxygen and exhale about 16% ( if memory serves me).

This is one of the reasons why we have a lag in breathing rate as we exert more physical effort, the co2 is produced as a part of the cellular chemical reaction and takes time to renter the blood stream and make its way back to the lungs.

The blood has a finite ability to be able to carry away co2 and the rest backs up waiting patiently for its chance, recovery time is not because one is "out" of oxygen but is actually the time your body needs to flush that excess co2 out of your system.

Hyperventilating is when no signal to breath reaches the brain because there isn't enough co2 to send the signal, so the brain says "keep breathing fast just in case" , this is why the paper bag works, it restores the enough co2 to get the signal working correctly.
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Postby tuco » Tue May 01, 2007 4:12 pm

I see no one has picked my up on the thread heading error.

I was tossing up between 'out of breath' and 'trying to breathe' and mixed them up.
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Postby pospete » Tue May 01, 2007 8:19 pm

tuco wrote:I see no one has picked my up on the thread heading error.

I was tossing up between 'out of breath' and 'trying to breathe' and mixed them up.






I was'nt gonna mention E, I've not had one in years! :lol:
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Postby mikesbytes » Tue May 01, 2007 9:25 pm

tuco wrote:I see no one has picked my up on the thread heading error.

I was tossing up between 'out of breath' and 'trying to breathe' and mixed them up.


I thought you were still heaving when you posted.

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Postby europa » Tue May 01, 2007 9:57 pm

If I charged 5c for every spelling error I spotted and corrected on this forum, I'd be able to buy that new Barchetta I'm looking at ... and would still leave plenty of profit for someone else :D

I check my spelling as I go, re-read and edit the post before submitting, then read it after it's been posted - it's interesting to note the number of times typos and plain old mistakes still get through that lot.

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Postby sogood » Wed May 02, 2007 7:50 am

europa wrote:If I charged 5c for every spelling error I spotted and corrected on this forum, I'd be able to buy that new Barchetta I'm looking at ... and would still leave plenty of profit for someone else :D

If we collectively received 5c for every post you went over 50 words, we'd be able to host an ACF cyclefest with beers all round. :D
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Postby europa » Wed May 02, 2007 9:24 am

sogood wrote:
europa wrote:If I charged 5c for every spelling error I spotted and corrected on this forum, I'd be able to buy that new Barchetta I'm looking at ... and would still leave plenty of profit for someone else :D

If we collectively received 5c for every post you went over 50 words, we'd be able to host an ACF cyclefest with beers all round. :D


Hey, I'm providing the raw material, its up to you lot to pass around the collection plate :wink:

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Postby sogood » Wed May 02, 2007 10:01 am

europa wrote:Hey, I'm providing the raw material, its up to you lot to pass around the collection plate :wink:

Cling, cling... 8)
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Postby MichaelB » Wed May 02, 2007 1:21 pm

I have been trying ensure that when climbing, I take full deep breaths, as at times, I can get into the quick shallow breaths at high exertions, and that has helped me quite a bit.
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Postby AUbicycles » Thu May 03, 2007 5:43 am

I think longer deeper breathing is better and it helps to try and control it and stay seated a long as possible as you use less engery (less exhausting). Standing is for more speed and when the resistance is too much however will wear you out. I try and hold off with standing up on the pedals as much as possible. When standing my breathing becomes shorter and shallower and with the body working more I loose more energy.

With deeper longer breathing I feel more focus as wellm, short breathing tends to make me more less concentrated and basically out of breath.
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Postby sogood » Thu May 03, 2007 8:09 am

Apart from breathing, the other thing I noted is concentration. I find that if I watch the top of the hill, then I would lose focus and get demoralized quickly. But if I just grind/spin away, watching the front wheel (if no one is in front), then I am better able to cope with the pain ie. Stop thinking how hard or how easy the hill is. Just focus on the breathing and leg/body movements.
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Postby MichaelB » Thu May 03, 2007 9:59 am

Havin g a good tune in the head also helps as well.

My key motivation is that I don't want to be the last one in the group that we ride in, and also trying to chase down the guy in front !!!!
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Postby tuco » Thu May 03, 2007 10:50 am

Good points from the last two posts.

I never look at the top of the hill, try to keep breaths deep and consistent and concentrate on pedalling technique.
I try to stay seated.
The training hill is about a 40m rise in 300m (but the view to Magnetic Island from the top is great) so staying seated isn't an option near the top but in the race last week with 5 laps over a hill I stayed seated the entire time.

It's always good knowing someone is behind you and finding it harder.
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Postby Bnej » Thu May 03, 2007 11:01 am

The worst hills are hills with give-ways at the top, so you have to stop on the slope and wait for through traffic, then start again on the hill. :(
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Postby rider06 » Thu May 03, 2007 11:16 am

The worst hills are hills with give-ways at the top, so you have to stop on the slope and wait for through traffic, then start again on the hill.


I hear you - the end of my commute home from uni is a 1km hill with a roundabout 150m from the summit and about 300m from my destination. There is nothing worse than working hard up that f***ing hill only to have to drop all momentum and rhythm whilst waiting for the traffic to clear.
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Postby mikesbytes » Thu May 03, 2007 11:21 am

Bnej wrote:The worst hills are hills with give-ways at the top, so you have to stop on the slope and wait for through traffic, then start again on the hill. :(


Nah, the worst hills are ones where the stop sign is at the bottom, so all that speed going down is wasted, rather than letting you carry that speed into going up the other side.

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Postby Bnej » Thu May 03, 2007 11:42 am

mikesbytes wrote:Nah, the worst hills are ones where the stop sign is at the bottom, so all that speed going down is wasted, rather than letting you carry that speed into going up the other side.


Got no probs with them. As long as you don't have to restart on a steep slope it's fine IMO.

I don't mind the physical effort, it's just the co-ordination required to get the bike moving, get back on the seat, clip in, keep momentum, make the turn. Plus it's harder to pick a gap in the traffic because it takes you longer to get through the intersection from such a start.
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