out of breath during single track ride?
I always run of of breath after 45min continous single track ride.
My lungs can't seem to suck in enough air to breath. I feel like a fish out of water.
Is there something wrong with me?
Why am I out of breath so much while my buddies don't have this problem?
You may be holding your breath at times without realizing it.
Smoke? Smog? Or you may be holding your breath as a fear response or in reaction to the maneuvers you're making.
That is odd though. My legs give our long before my lungs ever would.
Sometimes when I'm out of breath, I realize I am not breathing in deeply and exhaling completely. If I focus on my breathing mechanics, it can help a lot.
You might want to talk to a doctor
When I'm working hard on the climb, I switch to focus only on the exhale. It's my way of guaranteeing that I inhale. Works for me try it.
thats pretty weird. you could try more cardio but i dont see that helping a ton. i agree, talk to a doctor, something seems odd.
It sounds like you may have exercise induced asthma or allergy induced asthma. I have the allergy induced variety and can go from feeling like superman to not being able to breath in under a minute.
Only two infinite things exist: the universe and stupidity. And, I am unsure of the universe
- Albert Einstein
^ X2 on the exercise induced asthma.
I used to race with a guy (motocross) that described it the same as you when he discovered he had it. With a hoot from his puffer before a race he was a champ on the track.
Exercise-Induced Asthma: Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention, and Causes
If you ride in areas that are hot, or high altitude, you may just be getting dehydrated. In my area, (6500-10000 feet) if I don't prehydrate, I'll feel very weak right at about the 40 to 45 minute mark. It feels as though my cardio-pulmonary system goes on vacation. It's purely hydration in my case. If I start out at all below optimum hydration, I can't catch up during my ride, even if I drink a lot. I also find that, for me, Cytomax (or whatever you use) hydrates me better at half strength than full strength. Many find plain water works best for them. I ride for several hours sometimes and need the electrolytes. If you start the day with a giant cup of coffee, the prehydration becomes even more important. My strategy is to drink 32+ ounces or so during the morning, with at least 14 oz just before my ride. Then I sip from the camelback at every opportunity. It has had a dramatic effect on my riding.
out of breath during single track ride?
45 min ride-out of breath=out of shape.
Ride more, out of breath less.
If you say this has never happened to you before til the last few rides on the same trail then I'd be concerned about it. Don't compare to your buddies, we are all different.
Try using a higher gear and slowing your spin.
At the same time, if you are riding often and it seems that you are out of breath majority of the time about the same time of the ride, it's probably not fitness since that should improve the more you ride. My guess other than a fitness issue would be a respiratory issue. If you can rule out fitness, I'd see a doctor and get setup for a pulmonary function test. That will tell you what's going on and you can get the best course of treatment for the issue.
Originally Posted by mimi1885
Originally Posted by Nubster
Water and natural rock salt. That's be the best hydration you can get.
Sounds like asthma to me. I was riding with asthma for a while, and my perceived effort was much too high for the rides that I was doing. Then I got it under control with a couple different medications, and I can ride as hard as my legs will allow. Today was an exception though -- I had an asthma attack after a few months of asthma-free riding, and the difference between asthmatic riding and asthma-free riding was very clear, both in perceived effort and in the time it took me to complete my standard out-and-back.
See if you can get an appointment with an asthma and allergy specialist. They'll run you through a baseline lung function test, give you drugs to induce asthma, and then repeat the test. If your issue is asthma, you'll feel it and it'll be shown through the second test. When I did that, my baseline was 50% of normal lung function. After a few months of medication and control, my baseline was well above 100% of normal function for someone of my height, age, and weight.
Also a great way to dehydrate you when you add too much salt and make your drink more saline than your blood.
Originally Posted by aBicycle
I've made some bad decisions like taking the gears off my bike. So here's the warning: Do not as I say, nor as I do.
I agree that talking to you doctor is a good way to start, just to be sure there's not a treatable medical condition.
I can relate to what you're saying, though. I'm a major suckwind, always have been. It's improved over the years, but I really can't hang with most riders after a few miles, especially if climbs are involved. Years ago I talked to the doc about it and she sent me for x-rays. She said my lungs were enlarged and I had emphysema. Holy crap I said, I'm f@cked. I went to a specialist who said "Wait a minute, you don't have emphysema. Do you gasp for air when you exercise?" "Yes, I replied, all the time when I mountain bike." "That's why your lungs are enlarged", he said. A pulmonary study verified it.
I've come to believe that I go so anaerobic due to muscle type. We all have two types of muscle fibers.
Fast and Slow Twitch Muscle Fiber Types
Slow twitch fibers are good for endurance and long distance, not so great for sudden bursts. Fast twitch fibers are the opposite. Great for explosive bursts, lousy for endurance.
When I look back at sports I've been good at, I can see that I've always been good at the quick reaction and explosive energy stuff, and lousy at endurance. my brother is the same way - a genetic thing, I guess. I suppose I'm not really cut out for mtb, but that's ok, I'm not looking to win races, and riding alone suits me fine.
So it may be you're like me - a fast twitch kind of guy.
Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.
So, uh, let's sum up:
Originally Posted by Picard
Fast Twitch muscle type
Holding your breath
Other respiratory/pulmonary dysfunction
The beauty of the internet. But these are ALL reasonable responses.
If you really don't think you have a medical issue, it is probably just fitness related. I have been running and MTBing this year, and in the last month I've run nearly as far as I've ridden (meaning my riding is less). My running has improved along with my aerobic threshold, while my MTB strength has decreased. I just don't have enough time to do enough of both sports. But right now, my lungs and heart can go much harder than my biking legs, which load up with lactic acid during hard MTB climbs, but not while running (different muscles).
Figure out what your baseline performance is (avg. speed?), then see if you get better or if you are at least consistent. A cheap HR monitor might help if you need more data. Keep a log.
I can go out and hammer for about 70 minutes then I'm spent - compared to my race buddies that can hammer for 2 hrs.+. Food and drink doesn't fix it for me. At a slightly lower rate I can go all day. It is a result of how I ride (duration, intensity, cadence, gear, etc.).
It's never easier - you just go faster.
You specify singletrack ride, do you get out of breath after, say, 45 minutes of open fireroads? How about riding solo? Can you ride 45 minutes on your own, without your buddies there to push the pace? Is this something new, or have you always had trouble keeping up?
I agree with Fleas, most likely it's down to fitness. If you really want to work on endurance, I'd recommend picking up a road bike. Nothing builds aerobic base like time spent on the road, and working on intervals will help with the short bursts needed to clear tech sections on singletrack.
Speed solves all problems, except for those things it makes worse.
Do 4 hour mt bike rides, then the 2 hour ones seem easier, problem solved. Try some long slow distance, say 20 miles for starters on a road bike to build endurance.
I'm a COPD rider. My legs can write checks that my lungs can't cash.
Check with a doc. There are medications that can improve the condition.
So, how much climbing does occur during these 45 minutes...?
1000' or less -- you are out of shape or have a medical problem
1k' - 2k' -- look at suggestions above, you may have a medical problem
more than 2k' -- you need new riding buddies or you have a medical problem
Seriously, when you are out of breath but you think you shouldn't be then see a Doctor. Aside from that you might be perfectly normal and your buddies are in better shape.
For me it was definitely exercise induced asthma. One moment I'm dropping everyone on a climb, the next, I can barely keep up with the same group. It is much worse for me in the winter, or cold weather in general.
One more potential cause that nobody has mentioned yet. If this happens on single track & not other terrain, could you be riding tense in that situation? If your muscles are tensing up, you will burn more energy & require more O2. Try relaxing & exert only easy flowy control on your single track runs. Lighten up on the white-knuckle grip, flex your elbows & knees, & become one with the trail (not literally).
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.... (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
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