Breathing rate per minute during a time trial effort

Mar 18, 2009
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I've read a lot about riding at lactate threshold and the description of breathing hard but not too hard to where you are panting but I don't quite understand what that really means. I was wondering if anyone can convert that to a certain number of breaths per minute? Can your breathing be coordinated with your pedaling cadence?
 
Mar 10, 2009
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For the type of effort you're describing, I think it would be easier to coordinate breathing with pedal strokes than breaths per minute.

At a good, hard effort that I can sustain for a long period of time (such as a long TT), I find that my breathing automatically falls on every other pedal stroke. For example, begin inhale on left led stroke and finish inhale during right leg stroke. Begin exhale on left led stroke and finish exhale on left right leg stroke.

For a really hard effort, such as intervals or hill climbing, I find that it's inhale left stroke, exhale right stroke. Basically doubling the breathing rate.

As for the "panting". That would be an effort where you are anaerobic and you're breathing is completely ragged. No pattern other than "as fast as possible".
 
Mar 12, 2009
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BelugaDave said:
I've read a lot about riding at lactate threshold and the description of breathing hard but not too hard to where you are panting but I don't quite understand what that really means. I was wondering if anyone can convert that to a certain number of breaths per minute? Can your breathing be coordinated with your pedaling cadence?
A lot of breathing rate has to do with your physiology. You may have big lungs and breath at a rate of 40 times a minute but pedal at 120 rpm, or small lungs at 100 times a minute and pedal at 80 rpm. And of course your breathing will alter according to intensity. So it may be possible for some people to coordinate pedaling to breathing. I know I certainly cannot.

Perhaps a better description would be controlled breathing over uncontrolled breathing. Controlled being a definitive breath in and out, uncontrolled being what ever it takes to keep you moving! A lot of the breathing thing is probably to help with pacing for those who do not have power meters to ensure you don't push it too hard too early.

Lab testing will be able to determine things like your breathing rate and volume at threshold if you really want to nut it out. As well as VO2 max, cadence, HR and of course POWER.
 

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