View Full Version : New mtn biker needs air!

06-19-2003, 12:26 PM
I started mountain biking last May with my long-time rider husband. I am attacking the downhill with reckless abandon, got my first bloody scrapes (*****in!) and wonder when the day will come when I will stop clipping tags of my bike clothes. Problem is, I have an extremely hard time climbing! I ride an hour each day to work (including a mile-long hill), do not smoke, am 28 and live at high altitude, and get in 1 or 2 mtn bike rides each week. Can someone tell me how long I must wait before I will see some lung improvement? I know that practice and consistency is important, also (I just learned from another posting on this site) that HOW you breath is important. All I need is a little encouragement and some light at the end of the up-hill tunnel. I have friends who smoke and can climb longer than I can. Thank you, everyone. I'm new to this site and can already tell I will frequent it a lot.

06-19-2003, 01:01 PM
um, the best training for climbing is climbing. I used to suck at eat... breathless, dying, panting... and I jsut kept at it.

I train on a lot of hills... if you can call riding 2/3 week training. I chose rides that have a lot of climbs... typically 800-1200' in the course of 2 miles or so.

Durango eh? I'd add some up to the top of the pass rides...
My suggestions would include choosing fitness climbs... long steady ups that you can maintain an even pace on... the kind that go on for miles. these kinds of climbs are really good indicators when you improve. Adding lots of cardio and enduracne work to your rding to so that you have endurance for those climbs.

Climbing on mountain bikes is really subject to technique and bike geometry.... I know the bike I have now is much easier to for climbs than my other one. How much of that is bike wieght and geometry, versus my technique and conditioning it's hard to say.


06-25-2003, 04:44 PM
You might want to look into whether something else is going on medically as to your lung capacity, as in air pollution/alergies to the air gunk.

I discovered that I had an alergy problem that was constricting my air intake. I also had a Rhino-vastitis. That's where my nose dripped more than the average rider...as in before, during, and after a ride. It got to the point that I could not suck my Camelback during a ride from the air born-alergies/runny nose.
I had to do something. My doctor put me on an inhaler, I began spin classes 3 times a week and since then, my riding endurance and lung capacity has surpassed my wildest. I can not only breathe again, but have more lung power than ever!

I'm now a "climber" on my mountain bike and I attack up hill with reckless abandon ever chance I get...a real change for me. Now I have to work on the down hill stuff...a few too many falls has been making me rather "shy" all of the sudden and I'm not taking the stuff I use to...that has nothing to do with lung capacity, but, fear/anxity drains you energy regardless the challenge.

Add some spin classes for endurence...most are 45 mintues and you'll find other cyclist there working on themselves. Good luck.

p&p woman
07-16-2003, 03:44 PM
I read that hydration has a dramatic effect on oxygen absorption. Drink, drink, drink.

Also, check your iron level. Many women are anemic (I am) and this means their blood doesn't have as many red cells to bring oxygen to the working muscles. Result - you are gasping.

As for the rest, I agree, just do hills more and more. For me it was a sudden, magic day when I realized that I'd ridden all the way up a fire road that I'd always had to stop at least twice on just from shortness of breath.