I posted the following on the Train Smooth Private Facebook group for our current and past athletes. I thought it is worth shearing on the blog.
Some of you know that I have been doing a lot of reading in regards to oxygen and in particular how it can help with sports performance.
If you watch Chris Froome cycling he will lower his head between 5-7 seconds at a moderate effort and 2-4 seconds when he attacks. A lot of people comment that this is Froome keeping a very close eye on his power meter.
This could be right however I personally think what Chris Froome is doing a special breathing technique that may bring an advantage over an uncontrolled breathing athlete (I would guess most in the field).
Lowering the head implemented with a special technique.
Bowing the head facilitates the elevation of the diaphragm and encourages the complete empting of the lungs. A complete elevation of the diaphragm reduces the intra-abdominal pressure and promotes the venous and lymphatic return from the lower limbs.
The next deep breath through the nose and mouth with the head looking forward for cyclists (and looking slightly up for runners) will fill your lungs with oxygen, reduces the endothoracic pressure by increasing diastolic filling and cardiac output and therefore the amount of oxygen that gets to the muscles.
For example, when the effort is moderate, complete cycle every 3-4 breaths and when the effort is high, complete cycle every 1-2 breaths.
I tried this technique over the past couple of weeks and I notice that each exhalation is resulting by a 15-20% increase in instant watts.
Watch the video of Froome https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26NmxKiihnU