Your "Second Wind"

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Your "Second Wind"

Postby flashpixx » Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:46 pm

Have seen steady progress in times, speed and stamina however what seems to be a lack of "breath" early in rides has me a bit puzzled. I'm 55 and have been riding for 5 months.

For the first 10 - 15 mins of a ride I lack the stamina that I have later in the ride. Back whan I was a kid we used to call this getting your "second wind", but it would come much later.

Interested to read some more on this if there are links on the subject. I wonder if I should just take it a bit easier for the first 10 mins. Just seems strange that a hill that presents no problem after 30 mins almost blows me up in the first 10 minutes. :?
Cheers, Flash

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by BNA » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:01 pm

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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby silentC » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:01 pm

I have the same issue. I'm sure someone knows the science behind it and would be interested to hear it too. Not because it bothers me or I feel I need to do anything about it, I'm just curious as to why.
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby burger » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:16 pm

Hey Flash,
I'm a similiar age to you and find I'm far more breathless in the first 15 mins of a ride than over that same stretch later in a ride.
I reckon it's my body just takes a bit longer to realise it needs to kick into gear for exercise/work.

I dont remember feeling that when riding as a kid, mind you it was a while ago :oops:

I also think back to my tennis days and how much more warming up was needed increased as we 'matured'. :)

As a young'un? just go on the court and play . .. .
A not so young'un? maybe rolling the shoulders over a bit, maybe run up and back the court a few times before hitting up. .. .
Then when definitely not a young'un (and before I stopped playing) much more warming up with game simulating movements and stretches were required . . both before and after the games.
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby ball bearing » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:47 pm

Endorphins and oxygen intake countering lactic acid build-up kick in after 20 minutes or so.
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby Aussiebullet » Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:47 am

Or in other words "Warming up"
It takes me 20 - 45min to really feel switched on, I don't feel "out of breath" at the start but sometimes feel like it's just not gunna happen today kinda feeling.....
Those days seem to be the ones where I'm really able to pull something special out of the hat so I've learnt to ignore how I feel at the start of any ride/training session, mind you when putting in 400+km p/wk most rides start out a little sluggish!
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby bychosis » Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:48 am

My brother in law takes ages to warm up, he often goes for a short ride before an event (like a 100k event) to get going so he doesn't get left behind. Takes at least 10-15 min for him, but then he hardly ever fades at the other end. I tend to be the opposite to him, warm up to get going in a minute or so, but fade at the end a lot sooner. Nt sure why, but everyone is different.
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby gorilla monsoon » Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:13 pm

silentC wrote:I have the same issue. I'm sure someone knows the science behind it and would be interested to hear it too. Not because it bothers me or I feel I need to do anything about it, I'm just curious as to why.


Same. First two or three clicks I think "there must be something wrong, I can't continue" but persevere and after 15 minutes or so I'm powering up. I thought it was because I am (a) overweight and (b) because I smoked from the time I was 15 until I was 50 (with an eight-year gap in my 30s).

Strange as it might sound, I'm actually happy to hear others have the same problem! :D
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby lobstermash » Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:22 pm

I usually need a good hill to warm up properly. I don't even have to blast up it to get the effect, but I just don't warm up on flat roads, no matter how fast my legs spin.
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby gorilla monsoon » Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:05 pm

Yes, but do you experience a shortness of breath in that initial start-up period?
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby lobstermash » Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:57 pm

If I push myself to go my 'normal' climbing speed, yes. But I've learnt to go easy in the warm-up period, because otherwise there's a tangible amount of fatigue that carries to the next ride. For my warm-up, I try to stay below 75% MHR.
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby Storm Boy » Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:44 pm

Agree with most of the above. I'm nearly 40 and it takes a good 15-20 km of riding to warm up fully, and that's going at my own pace and not rushing anything. If I pace myself I'm usually good for another 60-100 km of moderate riding but if I'm out of the "happy zone" I.e. over about 165 HR fatigue sets in earlier. Of course hydration and energy intake are critical too.

Regards,

SB

Edit: if you are short of breath your HR will be too high at that point in time, just take it a little easier until you are warmed up. I'd call it a first wind, not a second one :)
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby Xplora » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:20 pm

IIRC your aerobic system isn't really working much for quite a while, so your anaerobic lactic and alactic systems are picking up the slack. Sadly, they rely on sugar and very short spurts to get the job done. I notice it quite a bit myself, especially if I've got tired legs. I do great with a ride for 20 minutes, doesn't matter how hard I go, the heart gets going and the muscles warm up. I can rest a while after that period, but there is certainly a "block" which isn't removed until you warm up.
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby CKinnard » Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:05 am

Google "oxygen debt" and EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.

O2 debt is generated as cardiac output and energy metabolism lags the needs of muscles when starting exercise.
This debt occurs with less intense exercise as one ages. This is because the systems that control your heart rate and stroke volume become more sluggish with age. It is the same for the systems that control energy substrates (CP-ATP, glycolysis, mitochondrial respiration). These take longer to respond to more intense demands for energy.

i.e. when younger
- your HR and stroke volume increase a lot quicker and higher, thereby providing more blood much quicker than when old.
- blood from your abdomen can be mobilized a lot quicker to supply working muscle

when older
- your cardiac output is limited by slower heart rate, less powerful cardiac muscle contractions, less compliant arteries.
- you do not tend to stay adequately hydrated due to dulled thirst mechanism. This reduces blood volume and capacity to deliver adequate oxygen and nutrient in the early stages of exercise.

You avoid or reduce oxygen debt by beginning exercise at a low intensity. This will keep you using fat as a primary energy substrate via the aerobic respiration pathway, and reduce considerably tapping into CP-ATP and glycolysis. At rest and doing any light work, you are using primarily aerobic energy pathways and burning primarily fat.

Keep in mind too that if you are overweight, you will be insulin resistant to a varying level. This will play havoc with your ability to utilize fat and non fat energy sources - and therefore make you more restricted in the intensity of exercise you can do in the early stages of exercise. (insulin resistance adversely effects ability to mobilize fats. higher baseline insulin levels impede glucagon levels. this is partly why fatter people tend to be hungrier more often).

If you do any racing, especially in Masters, you can take advantage of all of the above by getting a proper warmup, and attacking from the whistle. You will have a distinct advantage over those who didn't warm up, or are overweight. Though obviously a good idea to attack with several others so you can sustain the advantage once everyone has warmed up!
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby silentC » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:09 am

I knew you were out there :)

So it's like I'm running a dual-fuel system, where one fuel is more readily available for short bursts but less efficient, and the system takes awhile to gear up to using the more efficient fuel.
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby Xplora » Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:04 pm

Probably easiest to consider it from an evolutionary perspective. You need to be able to generate enormous amounts of power instantly, run in to launch the first surprise attack, then throw a couple follow up attacks. The process of walking to the hunting ground is a more long term issue as well.
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby silentC » Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:21 pm

Yes probably related to the fight or flight response I suppose. All hell breaks loose in the body, with hormones flying around to get things going quickly but can only be sustained for a short time and you suffer for it afterwards.

So I guess we'd better pay attention to it and run on idle for the first 15 or 20 minutes. Makes it difficult when you have to ride up a hill to get anywhere...
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby Xplora » Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:48 pm

Get a lower gear is the only answer I've come up with; I'm at the top of a gentle downhill no matter which way I go, so I tend to get a pretty gentle intro to the ride. Don't envy some of my mates who have 10-15% for 300-400m after 5% for a kilometre within 5 minutes.
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby foo on patrol » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:31 pm

Aussiebullet wrote:Or in other words "Warming up"
It takes me 20 - 45min to really feel switched on, I don't feel "out of breath" at the start but sometimes feel like it's just not gunna happen today kinda feeling.....
Those days seem to be the ones where I'm really able to pull something special out of the hat so I've learnt to ignore how I feel at the start of any ride/training session, mind you when putting in 400+km p/wk most rides start out a little sluggish!


Bingo! :wink:

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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby clackers » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:36 pm

flashpixx wrote:
Interested to read some more on this if there are links on the subject. I wonder if I should just take it a bit easier for the first 10 mins. Just seems strange that a hill that presents no problem after 30 mins almost blows me up in the first 10 minutes. :?


The pros are on the rollers before a time trial so they get that 10-20 minutes out of the way before they start, Flashpixx.
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby flashpixx » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:15 pm

CKinnard wrote:Google "oxygen debt" and EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.



Thank you - excellent explanation
Cheers, Flash

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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby g-boaf » Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:07 pm

Aussiebullet wrote:Or in other words "Warming up"
It takes me 20 - 45min to really feel switched on, I don't feel "out of breath" at the start but sometimes feel like it's just not gunna happen today kinda feeling.....
Those days seem to be the ones where I'm really able to pull something special out of the hat so I've learnt to ignore how I feel at the start of any ride/training session, mind you when putting in 400+km p/wk most rides start out a little sluggish!


I'm the same as you - it takes me about 25km to properly get going and get rid of that sluggish, breathless feeling. Good to read this and know what it is - makes sense.

Explains the 2x18 intervals I did the other week - first one felt like I was going to die (until the computer controlling the trainer crashed), second one did it very well - controlled breathing - heart rate seemed okay.
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby BaldPatch » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:25 pm

I often feel pretty ordinary for the first 10 km and am spitting out Phlegm although i am Asthmatic.
Have competed in the C2C multi day race a couple of times and have noticed heart rate is much lower on the final two days, there is less elevation change on the final two days but my theory is i ride myself "into fitness"
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby Eleri » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:58 pm

This definitely happens to me too! And like bychosis BIL, I have sometimes gone for a 15km or so warmup before riding with a fast bunch.

I hate that feeling of breathlessness, high HR and sometimes even tingles in my fingers and upper arms. Used to happen when playing footy too. It always goes away, which is the good thing to know, but I can't make it go away more quickly. Just have to work around it I guess. Mind you, once I wind up I can ride huge distances - I've done lots of 200km+ rides including a few 300s. I guess I'm just an enduro.
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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby durianrider » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:46 pm

Second wind explained.

Most riders don't ride with a power meter so have no real idea what they are actually doing. Av speed means little as road surface, wind direction, tire pressure, jersey flap, bunch position etc can all affect that. HR is affected too much by stimulants, adrenaline and the change of pace in cycling means HR lag of a few minutes can lead to misleading data.

Watts per kg is the most accurate way to gauge real effort with your 3second wattage being the most helpful thing to watch whilst riding. Combine that with a cadence around 90rpm. Good to go.

Most riders have a big breakfast and that means blood will be diverted from the cardio system to digestion. You will feel a bit 'heavy' when you try to breathe but your full stomach is hindering it a bit. No probs, if your meal was high water content like fruit smoothie, rice and soy milk then it will digest a lot faster than a bacon and eggs. (hence why all pro riders eat high carb breakfasts for faster digestion).

You will find the riders who are strong on long weekend rides are usually the same riders that get dropped early on. These riders know how to eat large meals therefore will have larger glycogen reserves than the riders who eat little breakfasts but can punch hard for 1hr till the glycogen tank is running low.

Another factor is when glycogen is running low, the body releases adrenaline so you get a mad kick of blood sugar to the cells and your watts can go up. Stage 14 in the Vuelta 2014 was evident of this when Ryder got dropped by Zaugg who had a shot of adrenaline but bonked just before the line and was caught by Ryder.

Zaugg would have won literally if he had just a single gel or bottle of sugar water.

So what is the work around to having good wattage for the early climbs yet be able to stay strong for another 300km in the saddle?

What I do is consume 10g of carbs per kg of bodyweight per day, keep my fat and protein intake under 50g each approx and find this allows for peak glycogen retention. The low fat diet allows for better blood transfer (RBC's stick together in the presence of excess dietary fat) and the low protein allows the kidneys to better regulate natural EPO levels which boost hemoglobin production. RBC's are also fueled by sugars.

All I do for any long and fast ride is the same for any work day behind the computer.
Start the day with a quart of water, knock back a piece of fruit and get to it.
With in an hour of waking I try and take in 500-1000cals of fruit in the form of smoothie or juice.
The high water content means in 20mins, you are going to be able to hammer hard on the bike.
So I wake up, scull a quart of water or take it on the bike, have 500-1000cals of simple sugars in that first hour on the bike then about 400cals of sugar, dates or gels each hour after.

If you are stopping for lunch somewhere, knock back a litre of added sugar golden circle pineapple juice. When everyone is getting their legs fatted out from a grease meal, you will be smashing them up the last climb relative to what you would otherwise.


Yes you will hit the toilet/bushes more but Ive spent time with racehorses and never seen a constipated or dehydrated race horse. Every pro team Ive ever trained with stopped every 1.5-2hours for a nature break. Dehydration kills performances as your blood volume drops (hypovolemia) and you run the risk of hyponatremia etc as your kidneys can no longer regulate sodium/potassium levels effectively. To prevent this I take in 500ml per hour in colder weather and 1 litre per hour in hot weather. I always ensure clear unrination (unless you are eating cereals fortified with B vitamins then it will be yellow for an hour or after drinking beet juice it will be purple).

The science of warming up just gets the muscles at the right working temps and stimulates enzymes to aid in mitochondrial efficiency. Here is what Team Sky do before a TT. (Zones = riding to wattage)

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Re: Your "Second Wind"

Postby durianrider » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:52 pm

BaldPatch wrote:I often feel pretty ordinary for the first 10 km and am spitting out Phlegm although i am Asthmatic.
Have competed in the C2C multi day race a couple of times and have noticed heart rate is much lower on the final two days, there is less elevation change on the final two days but my theory is i ride myself "into fitness"


1. Its normal and healthy to cough up some crap. The lymphatic system is part of our 'waste removal' system and the lungs will get rid of any junk if they need to. Cycling will pump the lymph and aid in waste removal.

2. HR means little. It shows you how you are responding. Get a power meter so you can actually see for the first time ever, what you are actually doing in real time. My HR for 10mins at 6 watts per kg is only a couple of beats higher than my HR for a marathon. Nobody in the world can ride at 6 watts per kg for 2hours 48 though. Another example of why HR is a poor indicator to compare your fitness gains or losses to.

Those who can ride 200km, they can easily ride 400km if they ride between 100-200w and carb up with 1g of carbs per kg of bodyweight and drink enough for clear urine every 2 hours or so. Just comes down to chaffing tolerance after that. ;)
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