I have one week to go to finish the AC block, but my chest has become very sore. There is pain from my chest bone, following the ribs all the way to the spine.Could I have damaged a rib or two during the heavy breathing workouts?
I have had a recovery ride followed by a day off but still feel too sore to do any demanding riding.

I’d go with the “listen to your body” approach here.


Hi @alchurch,

This is indeed unusual. My first suggestion is to check with a medical professional. It is unlikely that you damaged any tissues breathing but it is possible that you had a pre-existing condition. Either way, I would back it off, call a doctor before continuing.


When you feel better, I highly recommend that you start breathing diaphragmatically. It takes a short while to reprogram your body, but it’s the way it was designed to breathe. A chest breath is a shallow breath - a vertical breath. We don’t breathe through our chests in the upper regions of the lungs to maximize capacity when we are trying to exchange oxygen at a high rate - such as during the MAP efforts for 9H. We breathe most efficiently when we breathe horizontally, relaxing the diaphragm fully and letting the lungs fill completely in their densest regions. Through the abdomen are where the most efficient breaths come from. Move the stomach, mid and upper abs, and lower ribs out horizontally. A diaphragmatic breath is a deep all encompassing breath that maximizes your lung capacity.

But how can I breathe like that bent over on a bike? Same abdominal horizontal bit with a move called back breath. Lay on your stomach on the floor with your head to one side. When you breathe in, move your body up with your breath. This is called a crocodile breath. The sideways and backwards expansion of your breath that you feel here is how you want to feel on the bike. It takes a while to get used to, but it’s worth the practice. I do 60 breaths of crocodile breathing 5x a week amongst other diaphragm exercises. My MAP numbers have jumped 50+w in 8 weeks.

Once you can control your deep breaths, you can control your HR better. You can drop your HR after an intense effort faster, essentially recovering faster, to be ready to go for the next interval.


Thank you for your replies. I am clear of covid. The medical people here are prioritising small, fast and easy complaints, and covid, so if covid gets bad enough, at least some of the backlog is cleared. I have had 3 days off riding and can still feel soreness around the chest, but it no longer carries around to the ribs in my back. I had been doing some exercises in pilates, that included filling the lungs, then giving a sniff to inhale some more.Also with the panting produced by the AC block, I have certainly been using chest muscles that have been ignored for a few years.

Thank you Sir Alexander Lee. My usual breath is from the stomach area only, I was raised in a household the had a cloud of cigarette smoke hanging at about 7 feet high in the main room. Starting to work, I was in an office with a similar fresh air strategy, and so from a young age to early adulthood, I used to take as small a breaths as I could, until I could get outside into something fresher. This involved inhaling air with tiny nudges from stomach breathing

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Hope you recover well soon.

I worked in an extremely stressful and toxic work environment for a long time, so my breaths were short and shallow due to constant stress. So I understand your current default breathing mode. If you can change it, you’ll have amazing benefits.

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