Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 20 of 61 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My wife has a pretty bad case of exercise induced asthma. She's getting that under control working with her doctor through appropriate inhalers and what not. Her current issue now is leg stamina. I know a pretty dumb question, but is there anything else she can do other than just plain ride to build up her legs after not having to strain them like riding does in a long time. She can barely stand up for long periods of time on the bike and definitely struggles on climbs. She has the strategies for attacking features and what not down but just simply cannot match it with physical energy. Any ideas would be great. Thanx in advance.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
19,198 Posts
Lunges, Burpees, box step ups. The Burpees can trigger an onset of Asthma though, be careful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The asthma trigger issue is our biggest concern..... Long climbs tend to do the same thing. She is VERY slowly getting better, but she gets frustrated and all emotional. Not a pretty sight trail side. I just want to help her as best I can to do what she loves to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
349 Posts
Yup, agree she needs leg strength exercise in addition to riding. They will compliment each other.

A good leg routine would do her wonders...I like the P90X leg workouts, they've made a huge dif for me and my wife.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,447 Posts
Make sure diet is in check and post workout meal is the most important.
Have also heard that locally harvested honey has helped many.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,447 Posts
It is thought that because the bees that produce the honey are using pollen from your area, and living in the same air/pollution that you are, that eating the honey they produce is a big plus to helping your body.react/overcome. Some swear by it.
A shot or two a day of local honey, mixed with apple cider vinegar, that's preferably locally grown also.
Celery is also great for lungs.
Cheap and easy enough. Don't expect results overnight, but IMO worth a try. Pretty much nothing to loose.
 

·
Always Learning
Joined
·
9,607 Posts
My wife has a pretty bad case of exercise induced asthma. She's getting that under control working with her doctor through appropriate inhalers and what not. Her current issue now is leg stamina. I know a pretty dumb question, but is there anything else she can do other than just plain ride to build up her legs after not having to strain them like riding does in a long time. She can barely stand up for long periods of time on the bike and definitely struggles on climbs. She has the strategies for attacking features and what not down but just simply cannot match it with physical energy. Any ideas would be great. Thanx in advance.
Be honest - - how in shape is she? Can she take pain well, such as cranking out several hundred watts on short power burst climbs, and cranking out a nice cadence at lower wattage on long climbs?

Stamina has to be trained - and the hard work required to do so means sweating, grimacing, tearing down muscles, building them back up and that process of the training effect all takes time.

If she was a runner, would she be able to go for a 5-6 mile run in her current trained condition? Cycling - and especially mountain biking - requires one to really be trained to have success and stamina out on the trail. Has she put in the hours?

BB (Who has asthma and does fine.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Be honest - - how in shape is she? Can she take pain well, such as cranking out several hundred watts on short power burst climbs, and cranking out a nice cadence at lower wattage on long climbs?

Stamina has to be trained - and the hard work required to do so means sweating, grimacing, tearing down muscles, building them back up and that process of the training effect all takes time.

If she was a runner, would she be able to go for a 5-6 mile run in her current trained condition? Cycling - and especially mountain biking - requires one to really be trained to have success and stamina out on the trail. Has she put in the hours?

BB (Who has asthma and does fine.)
BB+1. You make no mention of age, ht/wt, prior athletic training. Over the years I have coached a lot of runners. Most attempt to do too much, too fast, too far too soon. If you are very fit and she is trying to keep up and is not as fit, that can result in what both of you are experiencing. I usually coach 2 components for runners:physical conditioning, then mental conditioning. Same concept would apply to folks training on bikes.
Suggestion, if she wants to make biking a lifelong endeavor, why be in such a hurry? Having personally logged over 75,000 miles of running over the last 36 years and assisted many couch potatoes into becoming great endurance atheletes, cut back on some of the riding. Have her slow down and cross train. Run, swim, skip, walk and learn a thing most of us struggle with and that is patience. Best of luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
She is 31. 5'4" and about 140 with a pretty muscular build, but like I, could cut a few pounds from around he middle. She has a strong background in tennis and basketball, but also has fibromialgia, that she only recently (within the past year) has got under control. She can rollerblade approximately 8-10 miles at a pretty swift pace or run/jog roughly 2 miles with some ease only to be over come by her breathing issues. I mean she has the strength to do this and insists on riding single speed, so I have no choice but to be patient with her and work with her on technique etc. I think all the time off trying to get her disease under control has really taken a toll on her body, but I am confident she will back where she was a ew seasons ago.
 

·
psycho cyclo addict
Joined
·
2,974 Posts
My GF and I ride with someone who has major asthma challenges and her approach is slow and steady plus she takes breaks before reaching 100% out of steam and gasping for air. A good general approach is to think like a train engineer... maintain something less than 80% pace and you will be much more resilient over the long haul.

Even for people in very good physical condition, fitness may not directly translate to cycling. My GF goes to the gym 3x per week (for like 10 years now, ~1/3rd of the time with a trainer) and fights to stay above 115 lbs. She started MTB riding a couple of years ago and became frustrated early on that her legs did not seem to have enough stamina. I explained that a different combination of muscles and cardio vascular demands are being placed on her body and it will take time... she has now progressed to the point where she can pedal most climbs without running out of steam.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,359 Posts
Her current issue now is leg stamina. I know a pretty dumb question, but is there anything else she can do other than just plain ride to build up her legs after not having to strain them like riding does in a long time. She can barely stand up for long periods of time on the bike and definitely struggles on climbs.
...
she ... insists on riding single speed, so I have no choice but to be patient with her and work with her on technique etc.
If she struggles up the hills then that's likely to be as a result of riding single speed, rather than the asthma. Single speed is a way of deliberately making riding uphill harder. It isn't a great idea if you live in a hilly area with hard climbs to begin with.

There are a few things you could do:

1. Fit gears to the bike, and show her how to use them, so that she can ride up the hills comfortably within her limits.
2. Fit a lower gear to her single speed bike that's more suited to the hills you ride.
3. Only ride on flatter terrain with fewer hills until she's fitter.
 

·
Professional Crastinator
Joined
·
6,013 Posts
If she struggles up the hills then that's likely to be as a result of riding single speed, rather than the asthma. Single speed is a way of deliberately making riding uphill harder. It isn't a great idea if you live in a hilly area with hard climbs to begin with.
....
2. Fit a lower gear to her single speed bike that's more suited to the hills you ride.
3. Only ride on flatter terrain with fewer hills until she's fitter.
Yes.
Sorry I clipped your post, but after I read the OP my first thought was "Quit flogging the poor girl so bad".

It takes time. For some, it takes more time than others. How long does she think it should take to build her stamina to some indeterminate level? How far is she trying ride? What kind of climbs is she attempting?

And IMO, riding is the best training for riding. Period.
I mean, if she's already cooked from a SS ride, is she really going to break in to an exercise routine?

Patience. MTBing is not work, it's play.

-F

PS - My daughter's allergy symptoms seemed to reduce after we made it a point to eat local honey - no kidding. I'd say 3 months of honey on bagels and pancakes and oatmeal and corn bread and she's much less bothered. Maybe it's a placebo effect, but I think not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
We have a large selectiorin of cogs at the house to experiment with.. we think we have the gearing sorted out. The ride is only a few miles long and relatively flat. We usually go very slow so she can maintain a pace and stick with it.... I'm trying to.work with her now about picking lines more effectively to rely on momentum to reduce the amount of pedaling she actually has to do as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
712 Posts
I am kind of surprised that no one has mentioned an effective solution for building leg stamina: Road miles. Getting a good foundation riding on the road is very helpful. You pretty much pedal constantly instead of the pedal coast pedal coast routine of mountain biking. If she puts in time riding on pavement, her stamina will improve and her recovery from hard efforts will be quicker.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Check with your doctor about organic or regular Maca. I used to live in Peru and I am not speaking of the over-priced capsules you find at GNC, but rather the bags of Maca flour sold in latin markets and in certain places online. I pay about $3.00 for a 1 pound bag of organic Maca in a local store where items from Peru are sold. It is a natural root from the raddish family, ground into a powder. It has many natural uses, among them increased stamina. When I put a scoop in a smoothie, I definitely feel that well-balanced, long-lasting energy that just stays consistent through a long workout.

Here is just one randomly chosen article about it:
Maca - What You Need to Know

Best!
Jamie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
We do mix it up with a bit of road riding. Good call on the maca thing. Never heard of it but worth looking into. Lots of great advice so far!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Protein.

If she is riding to the point that she can barely stand on the pedals, then her legs muscles are getting torn up. Without the proper fuel to rebuild them (protein) she wont be making much progress.

Buy some whey protein and mix a shake with it to drink immediately after riding. She should be getting at least 70g of protein a day.
 
1 - 20 of 61 Posts
Top