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breathing and getting in "the zone" questions(10 posts)

breathing and getting in "the zone" questionsfrog
Apr 11, 2001 8:38 PM
I frequently post on MTBR.com because I am primarily a mtn biker although I have been doing a lot of training on the road on my mountainbike. I try ride 20-25 miles. the question I have is that I can't seem to regulate my breathing properly. When I ride on singletrack, its very hard to get a pace set for obvious reasons. When I get on the road, it seems as though my body is waiting for a log or a jump or whatever...I just can't seem to get a good pace and a regular breathing pattern. I can usually hold about 16-17 mph at a medium cadence for 8-10 miles or so (on 2.1 mtn bike tires) and then I need to slow for 15-30 seconds and think about breathing again...I sometimes catch myself holding my breath for some reason. Does anyone have any advice for me on on breathing and pacing myself on the road?

thanks (hope my question makes sense to ya!)
just think: in-out-in-out-in-out-in-out-in-out-.....Made in Taiwan
Apr 11, 2001 11:54 PM
seriously though, just concerntrate on exhaling. like exhale every right leg down stroke, or every other left leg down stroke...

if you concentrate on exhaling, your body will do the rest.
re: breathing and getting in "the zone" questionsMel Erickson
Apr 12, 2001 5:58 AM
Try a heart rate monitor. Your breathing problem could be you're working at too high a heart rate. Also consider a road bike or getting some slicks for your mountain bike. Switching to slicks alone could allow you to keep that 16-17mph pace for the entire ride. You might also consider longer, slower rides to build endurance and keep within your proper heart rate range.
re: breathing and getting in "the zone" questionsmust_pedal_harder
Apr 12, 2001 6:10 AM
I find that you really can't have anyone teaching you how to breathe, it's mostly a natural thing. If you ride enough and work out alot your body will eventually fall into a groove that is right for your body.

Like when running, I can hear my buddies taking alot of fast, little breaths in, if I breathe that fast I tend to get cramps, so I usually exhale every 3 seconds, and tend to take shallower breaths then other people.

It's all up to your body type I guess, I suggest taking a longer trip then you usually take, maybe 40-50 miles for you and sometime during your struggle you'll just fall into a groove.
re: breathing and getting in "the zone" questionsfrog
Apr 12, 2001 6:42 AM
so i guess the theory would be that if i go far enough, eventually my body will naturally want to develop a rhythym of breathing...hmmm
Try this book...Lazy
Apr 12, 2001 6:15 AM
It's called "Sports Psychology for Cyclists" or something like that. I can't remember the exact title, but it's a very good book. If someone hasn't posted the exact title by tonight, I'll post it when I get home later.

It's got a bunch of breathing exercises and other useful stuff.
i'll look for it at lunch..thanks alot! (nm)frog
Apr 12, 2001 6:40 AM
nm
This is it.Lazy
Apr 12, 2001 5:27 PM
Sport Psychology for Cyclists

by Dr. Saul Miller and Peggy Maass Hill

Enjoy.
THANKS!frog
Apr 12, 2001 7:07 PM
nm
when you find you are holding your breath...OutWest
Apr 12, 2001 11:23 PM
...is it because you are concentrating too much on keeping up a level of exertion? I used to do that when I first started lifting weights and I think its common. I can't think of any suggestion asides from being aware of when you are doing it. My bad habit is when I'm pushing hard I tense up and pull my jaw in restricting my breathing. I've been fighting that for a year and I'm finally breaking the habit, its not easy. As far as the breathing, I've had a fair bit of breathing training for singing. One tip is belly breathing; while standing, practice taking deep steady breaths without raising your shoulders you'll be more relaxed and draw more air. When riding avoid bunching your shoulders up again you'll be more relaxed. I breath in time with my cadence or a song running thrugh my head whatever fits my effort at the moment, there's no set ratio of breath/rpm but always a rhythm. Good luck and relax!