Something to try over the weekend if climbing a long hill – A breathing technique pioneered by Alexi Grewal:
When pedalling at a high intensity, it’s natural to put the emphasis on inhaling lots of air. Instead, emphasise exhaling. Blow the air out aggressively, then let your lungs refill passively.
This may seem counterintuitive and may not suit you, but it is favoured by many cyclists who try it. The effect has a mainly positive effect on the long climbs, where you are riding at your own pace, methodically pedalling against the hill and gravity.
The reason it is said to work positively is by providing better air exchange. By emptying your lungs on each breath, they can take in more energy-producing oxygen.
Second, long exhales stop you from panting and taking short breaths inefficiently.
If you consider the technique worth exploring, when climbing, try breathing out fully for two counts (pedal strokes). Then let your lungs refill on the next two counts. This sets up a pedalling rhythm that puts you in control on long ascents.
This breathing technique may feel awkward at first. But it can become quite hypnotic, and before long, it can seem a lot more natural.
Not transformational…but can be a factor in the addition of small improvements, to get 1 percent better every day.
Regardless, the hill, will still be tall. But the views are worth it.