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  1. #1
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    improving lung performance/capacity

    im just getting back into bikes after a long time and am having issues over being gassed or low o-sat at the top of climbs i recover on even the shortest decents but that leaves me unable to hammer the downhills cus im recovering.whats the fastest most effective way to improve my lung capacity

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    ride lots.

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    Take up ERG Rowing....Helped me drastically. I do 45 mins of intervals 3 times a week.

    Here's a good read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalhack View Post
    Take up ERG Rowing....Helped me drastically. I do 45 mins of intervals 3 times a week.

    Here's a good read.
    thats some good stuff thank you

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    good info thank u

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fakie1999 View Post
    ride lots.
    Probably the best advice here. Or to quote Cavendish's coach "ride your bike".

    There is no magic. You need to ride 4 to 5 times a week with training sessions ranging from 1 to 4hrs. Start doing that and after a couple months you will be fairly quick, after a couple of years you will really quick.

    There is no short cuts, you have to put in the miles.
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  7. #7
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    There's a thread with some ideas to try for working on your breathing here:

    Race Breathing

    Improving your overall fitness will help a lot. Keep riding regularly, and as you get fitter your breathing should also become less laboured and intrusive. If you've just started riding again, after an extended period off the bike, then you should find that your fitness will initially improve quickly over the next few months.

    You could also look at your pacing up the climbs. If you ride slightly within yourself uphill (so that you aren't totally winded as you crest the hill) then you'll be in a better position to keep pushing on the descent. It's something to experiment with.

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    In addition to the fitness aspect....there are many technique issues....

    From opening the airway, to useing the ribs and diaphram effectively....

    The free lower ribs expand more easily than the fixed upper ribs....many people donot breathe deeply enough to effectively use the entire lung....

    A small pause between each exhale and inhale helps increase gas transfer in the lungs.

    The body will automatically increase the breathing rate as you begin to work harder...

    Before a hill or obstacle, you can increase your breathing rate this will also help....you can also maintain that breathing rate after the hill or obstacle...

    There are breathing coaches that work with people who have lung issues and diseases, they employ strategies as above and many others as well.

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    Training,training,training...and then much more training

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    In addition to the fitness aspect....there are many technique issues....

    From opening the airway, to useing the ribs and diaphram effectively....

    The free lower ribs expand more easily than the fixed upper ribs....many people donot breathe deeply enough to effectively use the entire lung....

    A small pause between each exhale and inhale helps increase gas transfer in the lungs.

    The body will automatically increase the breathing rate as you begin to work harder...

    Before a hill or obstacle, you can increase your breathing rate this will also help....you can also maintain that breathing rate after the hill or obstacle...

    There are breathing coaches that work with people who have lung issues and diseases, they employ strategies as above and many others as well.
    " A small pause between each exhale and inhale helps increase gas transfer in the lungs"?

    I perform exercise testing as a part of my job and do single breath and multi breath lung diffusion capacity on subjects & I'm trying to figure how gas transfer in the lungs can be influenced this way?
    I think the best way to "increase lung capacity" is to concentrate on exhaling when working hard instead of inhaling. It's just a matter of getting rid of the CO2 produced.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridger View Post
    " A small pause between each exhale and inhale helps increase gas transfer in the lungs"?

    I perform exercise testing as a part of my job and do single breath and multi breath lung diffusion capacity on subjects & I'm trying to figure how gas transfer in the lungs can be influenced this way?
    I think the best way to "increase lung capacity" is to concentrate on exhaling when working hard instead of inhaling. It's just a matter of getting rid of the CO2 produced.
    I compleatly agree, The distance and concentrations to cause gas exchange in the lungs is not a limiting factor, most people start to breath really fast and are not able to clear the CO2 from their lungs because they are not breathing out all of the air. If you can drive the CO2 out of your body and lower the blood concentration then your body can drive the metabolic pathways to break down more lactate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridger View Post
    I think the best way to "increase lung capacity" is to concentrate on exhaling when working hard instead of inhaling. It's just a matter of getting rid of the CO2 produced.
    That's what I always try and do as well.

    A strong exhale each time and keeping a steady breathing rhythm are what I focus on. It's sometimes possible to forget to breathe (during really hard sprinting for example) so you have to pay attention to make sure you keep breathing during those sorts of efforts.

    It's also possible to breathe too much. If you're getting close to hyperventilating that's a bad technique. Concentrating on maintaining a steady breathing rhythm will generally avoid that issue. If you find yourself breathing in short ragged bursts try to consciously control and slow your breathing down again (aim for long deep exhales, let the breathing in happen by itself).

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    Quote Originally Posted by bridger View Post
    " A small pause between each exhale and inhale helps increase gas transfer in the lungs"?

    I perform exercise testing as a part of my job and do single breath and multi breath lung diffusion capacity on subjects & I'm trying to figure how gas transfer in the lungs can be influenced this way?
    I think the best way to "increase lung capacity" is to concentrate on exhaling when working hard instead of inhaling. It's just a matter of getting rid of the CO2 produced.
    i wouldn't advocate pausing, but i think that "pursed lip" breathing at altitude is definitely handy for lowlanders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridger View Post
    " A small pause between each exhale and inhale helps increase gas transfer in the lungs"?

    I perform exercise testing as a part of my job and do single breath and multi breath lung diffusion capacity on subjects & I'm trying to figure how gas transfer in the lungs can be influenced this way?
    I think the best way to "increase lung capacity" is to concentrate on exhaling when working hard instead of inhaling. It's just a matter of getting rid of the CO2 produced.
    Well not really, you have a number of things going on at the same time...

    The air side O2 transfer in to the membranes the blood side O2 transfer, then of course the reverse for CO2...

    Stale air in lower lungs, but blood still flowing thus bypassing good oxygenation sites..

    You also have to move that air and blood into and out of the lungs..Up to 7% of aerobic output is strictly cardiovascular.

    Basically you want to maximize the Volume of O2 absorbed and the Volume of CO2 desorbed...(they kinda have to balance out over say a 5 minute average).

    There will be an optimum O2 and CO2 concentration in the exhaled breathe, at which maximum O2/CO2 volumes are transfered...

    If you are exhaling high O2 concentrations or low CO2 concentrations you would benefit be pausing a little more....

    If you are the opposite you would benefit by pausing a little less...

    Most people will end up with needing to pause a little more than they are normally inclined to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrastories View Post
    I compleatly agree, The distance and concentrations to cause gas exchange in the lungs is not a limiting factor,Not at all true most people start to breath really fast and are not able to clear the CO2 from their lungs because they are not breathing out all of the air. If you can drive the CO2 out of your body and lower the blood concentration then your body can drive the metabolic pathways to break down more lactate.
    The mass transfer of gasses in the lungs is one of many limits to aerobic exercise....and the are almost all in a series chain...each one adds a little bit more resistance to the entire loop.

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    Running seemed to help me. But I think any kind of intense activity would work.
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