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A topic not necessarily about injury, but still about body and biking. There is no question either.

Although not a light person (at 270 lb), I consider myself a very active person, who can average 21 mph on a 40 miles road bike ride. Still my performance on a mtb was much beneath my expectations, and I used to get tired much easier than folks I ride with.

After some reflection, I figured I was involuntarily using the Valsava maneuver, that works great for short bursts of power, but cannot be used continuously, for obvious reasons: lack of air, and poor riding performance.

So I had to re-educate myself in completely removing the Valsava from my habits. Worked pretty good, and immediately I could see results on my riding speed and wellness during the ride. Big problem is that, if I do not ride for a few weeks, I forget how to breath right, and old habits come back.

So if you are feeling that you should be riding faster, but cannot figure out why not, see if you are breathing right. There are many articles online with exercises to improve breathing while riding or doing any heavy workout.
 

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This has been one of the biggest challenges for me to overcome while riding. I get really focused on technical sections and don't breath, which means if I scrub it on a climb, I exhale violently and wind myself or I lose focus/tense up on the downhill.

I've found 'yoga breathing' to be helpful, but it takes work to really overcome the habit of holding your breath when you ride. It's especially noticeable during the summer.
 
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