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a few questions

shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
Ok so I'm doing the serious training now and I'm starting develop some thoughts on what I'm doing wrong/ could be doing better etc.

So please bare with me on this.

[ol][*]Is there a correct way to pedal. In one of the issues of 220 I saw a guy testing a bike and at the top of the crest of pedalling his toes were pointing relative to 5pm on the clock. I always assumed that your foot was to be flat and to use the ball of the foot to push etc. However as an experiment, I turned the angle of my foot so that I was going through the push phase my foot was pointed at 4-5pm. I felt as though my speed was better but the calves ached like hell afterwards. Is there a right and wrong way to pedal?

[*]Running - I'm asthmatic (exercise induced) and for the first five minutes, gaurenteed always need my inhaler so I don't know if this is relative just to me or not. I find it incredibly difficult to run without the need to stop so that I can gather my breath. I'm trying to work out if there is a rythmn to breathing or if its similar to swimming ie totally exhale so that you are not depriving yourself of new oxygen. I've always struggled to run but I am getting better, however I would be a lot better if I could sort this out. For example, last night 5min into the run, I needed the inhaler, then about 5min later I need to stop to get my breath back but don't need the inhaler now. I'm thinking that my breathing probs may be related to asthma??? [/ol]

Any help/ advice on this? PS got my third sprint of the season on Sunday.



  • BlurredgirlBlurredgirl Posts: 292
    Can't help hugely with the pedalling technique - I've always gone for the 'trying to wipe chewing gum off the sole of your foot' drills on the turbo, which has significantly improved my speed and endurance.

    RE running - I too have exertion-induced asthma. I use a prophylactic steroid inhaler regularly and then the ventolin if and when I need it. If you don't already use a steroidal inhaler, it may be that that is what you need to add in.

    That said, my problem (before having my first full-blown, scary, pulled out of the water and straight into resus like an episode of ER type of asthma attack during the London Triathlon last year) was not so much a lack of breath as chest pain, wheezing and an inability to pull new air in, which I've discovered is classic asthma.

    It might be an idea to have a chat with your asthma nurse about your inhaler, and then also try starting your run very slow - or do dynamic warm-ups before running - or both of course. It could be that you are starting off way too quick and need more time than others to get in your stride. This is certainly the case with me, and why I think I might be more suited to the longer distances (have only done sprints so far). I usually don't stop huffing and puffing until at least 20 minutes into a run.

    I could go on, but I'll leave some room for the more experienced to add their advice!

    Just to add though, since being diagnosed and using both inhalers, my running has advanced hugely, to my great satsifaction. I'm new to running (not swimming or cycling) and simply assumed that I was utterly crap.

  • risris Posts: 1,002
    i normally do roughly what you are describing, toes pointing down (4 - 5 o'clock ish) which allows the foot to do a sort of 'scraping the sole of the shoe' action at the bottom of the stroke. when you are using cleats/clips then the scraping action is helping to unload the pedal a bit or even act as a pull up.

    if you've not done that sort of action before then i would expect it to hurt your calves as you are working the muscles in a new way. eventually it becomes natural and shouldn't hurt too much.

    i have a spot of mild and fairly well controlled asthma and it is such an individual specific thing! do you have a good doc / asthma nurse at your local gp? mine are very active and have adjusted my preventative inhaler over the last couple of years to clear improvement. i wonder if a good starting point is your gp to see if they can advise at all (if they aren't already).

    i still carry my salbutamol to be one the safe side and if i think that i am going to get a reaction then i sometimes take it before the excercise starts. personally, i know that an anxious mind has an effect on my asthma so i prefer to take something in advance to ease that part of the process.

    do you find the reaction during running is the same regardless of whether you have biked beforehand or not? i find that once my body is warmed up and lungs are open then my chance of a reaction is minimised. do you get a reaction from swimming or bike or is it only running?

    i know that swimming is supposed to be good for asthmatics (lung capacity and control) but i have found joga to be very helpful too. breathing control and being aware of tension in the body made a real difference to me.
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    A pro cyclist once told me that it should feel like you are running on the pedals. So you need to be leaning foward and your arms quite low on the bars. this keeps you pedaling at the correct angle to stop you falling off!

    Dont know if it helps. I cant manage it for long as its not a comfy position.
  • LeezarLeezar Posts: 36
    Coming from a mountain bike back ground where you have to try to keep an even power distribution for loose or steep hills this is what advice I can offer you

    I regards to your pedalling you should try to get all your power on the down stroke as this will create an uneven pedal stroke, as mentioned before try to pull your foot through with your calf and hamstring at the bottom of the peddle stroke. Then and your peddle rises lift your foot and un-weight the peddle this will allow more power to be applied with the other leg on the down stroke. If you are pushing a big gear or climbing a steep hill etc you may find that you will be able to pull on the upstroke. When the foot reaches about 10.30 o'clock your foot should be at the cocked position to help push forward the peddle over the top flat spot.

    The best way to practice this is just to ride very gently in a higher gear than normal till the motion becomes natural and slowly build the cadence over a period of time. you will find that you will get aches and pains in places you never knew you had but you will develop a far more powerful and efficient peddle stroke.

    If you do have a mountain bike I would recommend swapping your peddles for a training session and find a very steep hill ideally covered in mud or very loose gravel where grip is at a premium and you will soon learn to keep the power evenly distributed and is a great power session for the legs.

    Hope it will help you get a few more secs off the bike leg
  • julesojuleso Posts: 279
    Shadowone, you don't mention whether you're on steriod inhalers (the preventive ones, take twice a day). If not, perhaps you should talk to your doctor about these.

    I was diagnosed with exercise-related asthma the year before last; a bit of a scare at Dorney due to wind/exertion/fear meant I DNFd and was treated by a paramedic (embarrassing!), and after that I started on the preventive inhalers. Now, although I do get wheezy at times if it's cold or there's loads of exertion, it's certainly more manageable, and most times I forget to take my inhaler out with me; if I feel wheezy I just try to calm down & slow down.

    Be sensible though; remember that it can be a very serious thing; you should perhaps toddle to your doctor for a chat, if you haven't already. Hopefully they won't say 'give up the sport and you'll be fine'!

  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    I get symbacort and the blue one. The symba is a white one that is tasteless. the first time I got I didn't know if it was working and kept puffing on it, needless to say I started shaking, not good. Got steriod tablets as well.

    I'm not giving up, I refuse to let it get me that way. I've had a few serious attacks though.

    i generally find that I'm not breathless after about 10 min into the run but generally by that time I'm goosed.
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Usually a good pub debate regarding pedaling motion.Circular or eliptic,some advocate the push down pull up pedal action for a circular motion,whilst others go for a push forward and pull back ,eliptical motion,factors dependant on knee/ankle injuries,strong/weak calves or thighs,for a high cadence the eliptical one may be better,but just 'cos one person does it in a picture it doesn't mean it is the best for you.
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Shadow..do you have the aerosol style inhalers?

    Lady Britspin similarly suffers, we have to do all our bike rides the 'wrong' way around for me as I always like to go up a hill to start which puts my beloved in trouble from the off, whereas the other way round is flatter before we hit the hills giving chance for lungs to catch up...I digress. She has round alien technology looking ones that have no propellant in as her specialist suspected that may cause trouble, & she seems to be better since changing, I have them here...a mauve seretide & an orange flixotide, she takes other stuff in tablet form too, not sure what they do..singulair, zithromax on occasions, so now I have violated patient confidentiality..I hope that helps..
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    jon.E wrote:

    Usually a good pub debate regarding pedaling motion.Circular or eliptic,some advocate the push down pull up pedal action for a circular motion,whilst others go for a push forward and pull back ,eliptical motion,factors dependant on knee/ankle injuries,strong/weak calves or thighs,for a high cadence the eliptical one may be better,but just 'cos one person does it in a picture it doesn't mean it is the best for you.

    I generally felt more comfortable with my foot angled towards 5pm, although sore calves I was generating more speed. Perhaps something for me to work on?


    I've been told that symbicort was a turbo inhaler - no propellant. I did once have a round purple one which done me no favours at all. Infact I ended up at my local health centre sitting on a couch with a nebulizer machine hooked up to my mouth. Not good.

    I generally find that the first five mins of each discipline the worst. No matter how I warm up I generally always need the inhaler. Which is fine if your not racing as it can take a while to recover. Having said that, when I'm running I find that I need to stop every so often so catch my breath. So I wondered if there is an actual technique to breathing/ running and oxygen deficit by taking short sharp breaths etc. I am getting better as I can now run 10k is 46ish mins but I know that I could be better if I wasn't stopping quite so often. I've tried interval training, endurance but to no avail
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    if stopping every so often out of breath gets my 10k down to 46mins then i might give it a go!

    if you take your inhaler before exercise do you still find the first 5 mins a struggle or does it make no difference?

    once you have got through the first 5mins does it stabilise at all or do you still have to stop at various intervals?
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    After the first five mins its inhaler time. No matter what discipline. After that it generally settles down and I just generally feel out of breath.

    My legs are fine but the lungs seem dead in the water. Don't get me wrong I've been pounding the miles into try and get a decent time, but if I try and get off the bike and post a decent run time - no chance.
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Having posted all the drugs of choice...Lady Britspin was reduced to a walk with my running group tonight...avg pace just under 3k run...7min per km. Her comments were as you say, the legs are in no way taxed, but the lungs are not playing tonight.
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