End of race Asthma, Bonking, or Other?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    End of race Asthma, Bonking, or Other?

    I just finished my second 50-miler this month, both with pretty big climbing numbers (7000' and 6300'). And both times on some of the final climbs around mile 40'ish and up, I could not get any more efforts out before running out of breath. My legs would be tired obviously, but didnt feel full on lactic and I couldnt get my HR above 165 before I just felt too out of breath.

    Both times were similar weather and elevation 80+ degrees and around 8000' ft up. I live at 5500', and regularly ride into 7k range, so kind of figure elevation isnt a factor.

    I am new to endurance'ish racing/riding and just started training about 2/3 months ago. No other pain to speak of.

  2. #2
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    Ride up more mountains more frequently.
    "These things are very fancy commuter bikes or really bad dirt bikes, but they are not mountain bikes." - J. Mac

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Ride up more mountains more frequently.
    Ha. I guess that couldn't hurt. Most of my training rides are only 30-35/3000-4000ft.

    I just never felt anything like that before where my HR doesnt correspond with my out of breathness...

  4. #4
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    A couple of thoughts... 2-3 months isn't much for endurance racing, just keep at it... more miles and more climbing. It sounds like you are just getting fatigued at the end. My other thought is related to pacing... do you get caught up in the fast start fray? If so, focus on starting slower and finishing faster. You want to try to maintain a better sustained effort throughout the entire race, starting too fast will catch-up to you. It's hard to watch everyone sprint away at the start, but it sure is gratifying to pass some of them back later in the race.
    TTUB - Ventura County California

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    Quote Originally Posted by TTUB View Post
    A couple of thoughts... 2-3 months isn't much for endurance racing, just keep at it... more miles and more climbing. It sounds like you are just getting fatigued at the end. My other thought is related to pacing... do you get caught up in the fast start fray? If so, focus on starting slower and finishing faster. You want to try to maintain a better sustained effort throughout the entire race, starting too fast will catch-up to you. It's hard to watch everyone sprint away at the start, but it sure is gratifying to pass some of them back later in the race.
    I am usually pretty good about racing my own race. yesterday though, I did get hooked on a train of faster guys and held on for about a 20min steady but gentle climb and got blown out the back basically between 35-40mi stretch... shortly thereafter I was cooked. So maybe that was the straw that broke my lungs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    I am usually pretty good about racing my own race. yesterday though, I did get hooked on a train of faster guys and held on for about a 20min steady but gentle climb and got blown out the back basically between 35-40mi stretch... shortly thereafter I was cooked. So maybe that was the straw that broke my lungs.
    Bingo! When you are fatigued and you push it too hard at altitude, it takes a LOT longer to recover and get your lungs back. The great thing about endurance racing is that you have some time... when you push it a little too far and have difficulties, just ease off for a bit... go easy and give your body a break, take that time to catch-up up on hydration and nutrition... with good training, your body will bounce back and be ready to go again.
    TTUB - Ventura County California

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    Quote Originally Posted by TTUB View Post
    Bingo! When you are fatigued and you push it too hard at altitude, it takes a LOT longer to recover and get your lungs back. The great thing about endurance racing is that you have some time... when you push it a little too far and have difficulties, just ease off for a bit... go easy and give your body a break, take that time to catch-up up on hydration and nutrition... with good training, your body will bounce back and be ready to go again.
    Yeah a lot of this is pretty uncharted territory for me, so Im not really sure what my body is supposed to do at above 40mi and 5k of climbing. Only been over that limit twice.

    I try to eat something every 30 minutes and drink a bottle every 45min-hour while alternating a electrolyte'ish drink every other bottle. No cramps yet, so that's a plus.

  8. #8
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    Have you been diagnosed with asthma? The reason I ask is being out of breath and having an asthma attack are two totally different things. You'd be able to tell the difference.

    FWIW, I have asthma and I sometimes experience the weird late race fatigue/exertion like you described but it isn't asthma. It's just the effects of pushing hard and getting worn down.

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    I just recently had my first ever asthma attack on stage 3 of the Breck Epic. Every thing was going fine until after a 30 minute stop at Aid 3. I was scheduled to be pulling sweeper duty from Aid 3 to the end and had a nice long rest 5 hours into the race. As soon as I got back on the bike, my lungs/brachial tube went into spasm and it felt like my lungs shrivled up as I could only get short shalow breaths. I basicaly walked/coasted/soft pedaled the last 12 miles and honestly thought I might keel over and die. It was crazy and completely out of nowhere.

    I have since learned that I've had long ongoing underlying minor symptoms of exersize induced asthma. Primarily which were on early season long rides that went into the redzone, about 30-45 minutes afterwards I would develop a "smokers cough" and spend the next 2-3 hrs hacking bronchitus looking yellow chunky stuff out of my lungs.

    See this article. It describes my situation.
    Endurance Athletes and Exercise-induced Asthma | ACTIVE

    So now I'm working with my dr to better characterise it as well as get an allergy panel, etc to see how best to treat it and perhaps improve my redzone performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by economatic View Post
    Have you been diagnosed with asthma? The reason I ask is being out of breath and having an asthma attack are two totally different things. You'd be able to tell the difference.

    FWIW, I have asthma and I sometimes experience the weird late race fatigue/exertion like you described but it isn't asthma. It's just the effects of pushing hard and getting worn down.
    When I was in middle school, I played county/"select" basketball, and our coach was big on wind sprints/lines, and I pretty much collapsed during a session. My doctor prescribed an inhaler and mentioned light scarring. Like a retainer, I never used that inhaler after a week, and never thought twice about it.

    I would say I dont have asthma... or didnt. Just wanted to take some other peoples opinions on this topic as it was a very strange feeling of fatigue.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by laksboy View Post
    I just recently had my first ever asthma attack on stage 3 of the Breck Epic. Every thing was going fine until after a 30 minute stop at Aid 3. I was scheduled to be pulling sweeper duty from Aid 3 to the end and had a nice long rest 5 hours into the race. As soon as I got back on the bike, my lungs/brachial tube went into spasm and it felt like my lungs shrivled up as I could only get short shalow breaths. I basicaly walked/coasted/soft pedaled the last 12 miles and honestly thought I might keel over and die. It was crazy and completely out of nowhere.

    I have since learned that I've had long ongoing underlying minor symptoms of exersize induced asthma. Primarily which were on early season long rides that went into the redzone, about 30-45 minutes afterwards I would develop a "smokers cough" and spend the next 2-3 hrs hacking bronchitus looking yellow chunky stuff out of my lungs.

    See this article. It describes my situation.
    Endurance Athletes and Exercise-induced Asthma | ACTIVE

    So now I'm working with my dr to better characterise it as well as get an allergy panel, etc to see how best to treat it and perhaps improve my redzone performance.
    Wow! The Epic is no joke for sure. I would say I dont show any of those symptoms, except an interpretation of a mismatch between my lung capacity and heart fitness I guess? I hope things work out for you. Nothing worse than have tons of fitness and not being able to push it.

    I am attempting Winter Park via Rollins from Boulder, which should be 7-8k and 60-70mi peaking out at 11-12k. This wont be race tempo, but it will be a test to see how my body reacts again.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    When I was in middle school, I played county/"select" basketball, and our coach was big on wind sprints/lines, and I pretty much collapsed during a session. My doctor prescribed an inhaler and mentioned light scarring. Like a retainer, I never used that inhaler after a week, and never thought twice about it.

    I would say I dont have asthma... or didnt. Just wanted to take some other peoples opinions on this topic as it was a very strange feeling of fatigue.
    Asthma would cause wheezing and difficulty sucking in air.

    "Exercise Induced Asthma" is a thing. Often not diagnosed among people who are otherwise in excellent shape. One of the things that exacerbates it is, sadly, sucking lots of air. Especially humid, or excessively dry or hot or cold or.... Yeah, it's like that. If you have it you'll learn the symptoms and discover the triggers. Talk to a doctor.

    All that said, it could just be you've just never been that exhausted before.

  13. #13
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    This sounds to me like heart rate decoupling. The cure is to get fitter.

    https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/a...nd-decoupling/
    [

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonaSS View Post
    This sounds to me like heart rate decoupling. The cure is to get fitter.

    https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/a...nd-decoupling/

    Interestig read. Seems like a likely possibility. Probably as someone stated above, ive justs never been that exhausted via cycling before.

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