Racing with Asthma

Over the last few years I have noticed a few things about training and racing with asthma.

First off, my childhood allergies have changed from once causing a stuffy nose or other symptoms to directly affecting my asthma. So in addition to mold, dust and cigarette smoke, now food allergies like peanuts and chocolate have an effect. Of course that is an easy fix, don't eat those foods! Mind you it can be hard when you are racing and those items remain key ingredients for most endurance fuel products.

Secondly, I have to warm up if I want to do VO2 max efforts. For example, I cannot leisurely ride for 30 minutes and jump into a quick succession of VO2 max efforts. I simply cannot recover in less than two minutes; and if I flare the asthma, I'm as good as done for the day. If I ignore the symptoms and continue, I might create an effect that lasts 3-4 days, like what happened during the leadup to this year's Tour de Delta. Why does this not usually have an effect on the racing, because usually the peloton goes through a build up in effort leading into the first climb of the day. But fast criterium starts and prologue time trials can be disastrous during a multi-stage event.

Let's compare two VO2 max sets I did in early September. I even warmed up with ten minutes of tempo riding!

Set 1:

425w - 3
Rest - 1.5
410w - 3
Rest - 1.5
390w - 3 (Failed at 1 minute)

After calming down from this effort, I decided to focus of lactate efforts (340-380 watts).

Set 2:

375w - 3
Rest - 1.5
391w - 3
Rest - 1.5
425w - 3

But I ended up feeling great and equaled my first effort of the day with the last interval. This is the third or fourth time this has happened since last January so now I realize that I will need to complete a full lactate workout (4.4.4 @ 95% FTP) before I do these 110%-125% VO2 max efforts.

Labels:

Cycling in a Toque: Racing with Asthma

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Racing with Asthma

Over the last few years I have noticed a few things about training and racing with asthma.

First off, my childhood allergies have changed from once causing a stuffy nose or other symptoms to directly affecting my asthma. So in addition to mold, dust and cigarette smoke, now food allergies like peanuts and chocolate have an effect. Of course that is an easy fix, don't eat those foods! Mind you it can be hard when you are racing and those items remain key ingredients for most endurance fuel products.

Secondly, I have to warm up if I want to do VO2 max efforts. For example, I cannot leisurely ride for 30 minutes and jump into a quick succession of VO2 max efforts. I simply cannot recover in less than two minutes; and if I flare the asthma, I'm as good as done for the day. If I ignore the symptoms and continue, I might create an effect that lasts 3-4 days, like what happened during the leadup to this year's Tour de Delta. Why does this not usually have an effect on the racing, because usually the peloton goes through a build up in effort leading into the first climb of the day. But fast criterium starts and prologue time trials can be disastrous during a multi-stage event.

Let's compare two VO2 max sets I did in early September. I even warmed up with ten minutes of tempo riding!

Set 1:

425w - 3
Rest - 1.5
410w - 3
Rest - 1.5
390w - 3 (Failed at 1 minute)

After calming down from this effort, I decided to focus of lactate efforts (340-380 watts).

Set 2:

375w - 3
Rest - 1.5
391w - 3
Rest - 1.5
425w - 3

But I ended up feeling great and equaled my first effort of the day with the last interval. This is the third or fourth time this has happened since last January so now I realize that I will need to complete a full lactate workout (4.4.4 @ 95% FTP) before I do these 110%-125% VO2 max efforts.

Labels:

9 Comments:

At 13 October 2011 at 17:36 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ben -
Very nice blog! It's encouraging to see a rider at the top levels of sport who is managing asthma. I have a question for you. Going into cyclocross season- the only racing season I have, I'm getting flare ups of bronchoconstriction during races and VO2 intervals as well. I've used inhalers before, (just for EIB, don't have regular asthma) but want to try to get along without. What kind of warmup do you think an amateur in my situation might do pre-race? In your own experience is an LT warmup enough to avoid an attack, or should I do some short VO2 sets to get ready for what is an entirely anaerobic race opening? I'm looking at experimenting after a bad attack during last weeks race. Would be interested to hear more of what you've learned managing your asthma. Hope you are enjoying your off season, and congrats to the renewed sponsorship.
Thanks,
Dan

 
At 14 October 2011 at 07:28 , Anonymous price of silver said...

very awesome blog i love it very encouraging and i like the man who like also biking but he have asthma but even if he had asthma he can still biking thats why the story is very touch and encouraging..thanks for this blog i love it...

 
At 22 October 2011 at 12:25 , Blogger kintaru said...

i just can't explain but i understand all here its awesome thanks!!!

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At 5 November 2011 at 00:27 , Anonymous home security systems Dallas said...

This is sad but encouraging to me which shows how much you are determined to fight asthma. You are doing great guns and this is an inspirational example for many youngsters who have Asthma.

 
At 8 November 2011 at 04:17 , Anonymous zoloft lawsuits said...

i have two friends and they were share different blog and they choose me to read this blog and i say thanks man i have your blog and now i will study for this great blog thanks...

 
At 15 November 2011 at 18:41 , Anonymous cough said...

This "asthma" posting, completely useful..

 
At 25 December 2011 at 05:56 , Anonymous Nashville home security said...

It's an unbelievable stats - Asthma makes breathing difficult for more than 22 million Americans. Whatever precautions that can be taken to prevent Asthma must be taken care of.

 
At 1 January 2012 at 10:41 , Anonymous Alarm Systems said...

Three Cheers to you buddy. You still did a brave job participating in cycling race after this breathing problem. I hope you get some relief from this soon.

 
At 27 March 2012 at 04:50 , Anonymous Orlando FL home security said...

Cycling while suffering from Asthma is not a joke. Normally doctors don't permit this in any case and need to be looked into such health implications with more seriousness.

 

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