Ever had this heart rate/breathing issue

48 yrs old, 175lbs , resting HR is around 38. race the local expert class in MTB. have a weird issue nearing max hr. has been going on since april 2018. When climbing and my heart rate gets over 170, i feel weird and panicky, like im reaching for the phone somethings wrong… im not even breathing hard, and dont feel like im near max. it could be a small 10 second climb. I slow down and im back to normal. if i keep my hr down on the hills i can crank the flat section and the hr stays low. I had some back pain, so i mentioned it to a buddy thats a retired chiro. He says i need an adjustment, cause my lungs cant expand. I didnt beleive him, but seen him anyway. sure enough, i hit 185 that night and got a PR on a hilly section. I noticed that when i got my HR up high, i was actually breathing hard. I have to get an adjustment frequently, which is tough as hes out of town. I cant seem to get to the really breathing hard point. This is keeping me from really training hard and racing. I still ride 3-4 days a week, and feel good other wise. Doctor says im the healthiest guy in there… I feel like my lungs are not fully expanding when i really need it. Or does this sound like asthma? definately have some tension between the shoulder blades. may try a massage or its back to chiro every few weeks.

Go to a real doctor. Don’t play around. You can’t get medical advice on a forum.


I start to feel this way when I push over around 95% of my max HR. (And my arms start feeling prickly? It’s weird.) Closing my eyes and focusing on belly/yoga/diaphragm breathing helps a ton. (If you’ve done more than a couple TR workouts, you’ve probably seen Chad’s advice about it.) As counter-intuitive as it seems, I do not feel like I’m drawing full breaths if I’m trying to “expand my lungs”. Consciously expelling air and letting the inhale happen automatically from my diaphragm (what feels like my belly) makes a huge difference. It feels like I’m pulling air into my whole torso.

That said, if you think you’ve got asthma (exercise-induced or otherwise), go get tested. It’s a quantifiable thing, and there’s no point mucking around with focused breathing or chiro if your lungs are just not functioning properly.

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I can’t comment on the panic sensation but I do have asthma.
Mild symptoms are a cough increasing to a noticeable effort in breathing. Next up I’d describe as trying to breath through a straw and then accompanied by a whistling sound, by this stage your performance would be seriously impacted. For me it only goes one step higher which is like the above but with a child sitting on your chest. For some it can go as far as stopping breathing.

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Wow, that describes what has happened to me in the last year exactly.

42, 175lbs, 6’5. Resting HR 45-50, Max 180-185.

I get my heart rate over 175 and all of a sudden it feels like I might be in real medical trouble. There is simply not enough oxygen. Or maybe it is mental. It feels like a panic attach. I stopped wearing a heart rate strap because the little bit of pressure on my diaphram added to the anxiety. I’ve raced plenty before. I’ve pushed my body to the edge and been fine. 7 or 8 years ago, my max HR was 190-195 and I raced a 5k with an average HR of 188. It was hard, but, never got this feeling. WHAT IS GOING ON?!?!? Tell me you figured something out since you posted this @korte500?!? I’m pretty afraid to push myself right now.

@korte500 I found this paper that outlines a variety of reasons athletes complain of exercise induced dsypnoea, which seems to be what we’re both struggling with. There are a number of leads that I feel like are relevant for me here, and, yeah, as @txroadandmtb said, I think the next step is proper medical advice.

april of 2020 I had a stress test done, with ultrasound of heart. turned out perfect. they made me wear a mask running on the tread mill. (april 2020). after this i found a new chiro that is a competitive road cyclist. i told him that even with asthma meds if felt like i was not getting max lung function. he determined that my chest was very tight and needed to be stretched. he did some manipulating and also adjusted my upper back/ribs. this really, really helped! like is said before, im not even breathing hard, and dont feel that im even pushing it… after that i started racing bmx with my kids and i was nervous as you hit max heart rate very fast, if your racing… ended up hitting 184… my legs have been so worked after bmx 3 times a week that i havent been able ride the mtb hard. Hope this helps others as ive been dealing with this since spring of 2018 and even did a few expert mtb races trying to keep the HR low.